There are 25 different plant species along the trail.
The Lost 40 is famous for the stand of old-growth white pine and red pine. Less than five percent of Minnesota's old growth remain.
Why the Lost 40? In 1882, Josiah A. King and a three-man survey crew traveled 40 miles in the winter to complete the first land surveys of Minnesota's north woods. With November winds blowing, the crew surveys the six square mile area between Moose and Coddington Lakes. The cold weather and swampy travel may have led to the half-mile survey error that mapped the pines in front of you as being underwater!
The oldest white pine in the Lost 40 is 194 years old. (White pine can live to 450 years, but most live to around 200 years.)
The oldest red pine here is about 250 years old. The oldest recorded red pine at the Lost 40 was 307 years old.
While hiking the trail, most visitors look up into the tall pines, but don't forget to look down at the forest floor. There is a diverse list of wildlife and plants that call the old growth forest home. (92 bird species, 25 plants and 21 tree species)
Do you notice many young pine seedlings as you hike the Lost 40 trail? What is the future of this old growth forest?
The Lost 40 is a part of both the Chippewa National Forest Biologically Unique Area and the Minnesota DNR's State Scientific and Natural Area. The area is managed by both agencies to maintain the old growth character.
Lat: 47.45.57 Long: 94.05.20
Bring your binoculars and field guides along. There are 92 species of birds, 25 plants and 21 tree species found along the Lost Forty trail. This is a unique, diverse ecosystem!