The Lost Forty Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) is one of the most popular day hikes on the Chippewa National Forest.

Visitors hike the through old growth red and white pine forest. Lost 40 SNA owes its name to a surveying error in 1882. Early survey maps showed a wetland in the area, and surveyors did not visit the site, thus preserving the big pine visitors see today. 

The key attraction is the 30-acres of white pine-red pine forest. The virgin old-growth forest here is considered to be the most significant old-growth white pine-red pine stand outside of the Boundary Waters and Itasca State Park. Red pine 240-250 years old can be found on the site. Minnesota's state red pine "Big Tree Champion" is found here and is 120 feet tall with a circumference of 115 inches. 

The U.S. Forest Service administers adjacent lands with old-growth red and white pine, as well. Fringed polygala, bluebead lily, twin flower, and Canada mayflower bloom along the trail. Lost Forty SNA is located in Itasca County, and contains a total of 114 acres. The SNA is adjacent to a site of the same name under Federal Ownership. This SNA and surrounding area is a popular spot to view virgin old growth Red and White Pines. There is a maintained trail through the SNA that provides an easy walk along the narrow upland esker, and traverses the various plant communities. A hiking trail follows the narrow peninsula extending from a large upland glacial esker that is flanked by black spruce and tamarack bog on one side, and a willow and alder marsh on the other. The walking trail provides a circle route through the Lost Forty. 

Source, image, credits & more information: ExploreMN