DescriptionIn north-central Minnesota, Chippewa National Forest encompasses approximately 666,000 acres, including some of the largest lakes in the state—Winnibigoshish, Leech and Cass—and more than 700 smaller bodies of water.
With this proximity to lakes it's only natural that many recreational activities focus on water. Fishing, canoeing, bird-watching, water skiing and swimming are popular during the summer, while snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and ice fishing take over during winter. Trails provide many hiking opportunities.
Recreational facilities also include hundreds of backcountry camp sites and 21 developed campground and picnicking sites. Resorts within forest land provide boat rentals. Information and interpretive programs are available at Norway Beach and Cut Foot Sioux visitor centers Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
Lined with large red and Norway pines, a scenic 46-mile stretch of SR 46, the Avenue of Pines, runs through the heart of the forest. Another scenic route, the 47-mile stretch of SR 38 from Grand Rapids to Effie, is known as the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway.
The forest is home to a large population of American bald eagles. Also common are white-tailed deer and ruffed grouse. More retiring bird species include ospreys, loons and great gray owls. For information contact the Forest Supervisor, Chippewa National Forest, 200 Ash Ave. N.W., Cass Lake, MN 56633; phone (218) 335-8600.