The Chippewa National Forest
The Chippewa National Forest, located in the heart of northern Minnesota, is a celebration of seasons, culture and environment.
The Chippewa National Forest is the first National Forest established east of the Mississippi River in 1908 and is the home to more lakes and wetlands than any other National Forest. The forest was originally known as the Minnesota National Forest. The name was changed in 1928 to honor the original inhabitants. Today, the Forest and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe share goals and offer visitors a chance to experience Anishinabe culture and learn about the past from prehistory to early, logging-era and Civilian Conservation Corps days.
The Forest offers 21 developed campgrounds, 100 back-country campsites, 298 miles of non-motorized trails, 160 miles of hiking trails, and 20 miles of horse trails. There are 380 miles of motorized trails providing access for snowmobilers to frozen lakes and scenic woodlands. Over 1300 lakes, including three of Minnesota’s largest, provide water-oriented recreation. The Norway Beach, Cut Foot Sioux, and Edge of the Wilderness Visitor Centers are open throughout the summer and offer information and interpretive programs.
The Forest boundary encompasses about 1.6 million acres, with over 660,000 acres managed by the Chippewa National Forest. The remaining lands are state, county, tribal, and private. The Leech Lake Indian Reservation is also within the Forest boundary. The forest supervisor’s office is located in Cass Lake, Minn., with district offices in Blackduck, Deer River and Walker.
There are over 3000 archeological and historic sites, including the Forest Supervisor’s Office, listed on the National Historic Register and built by the CCC in 1936, Rabideau CCC Camp, also a National Historic Landmark, and the Cut Foot Sioux Ranger Station, which was the first ranger station east of the Mississippi River.
Water is abundant in the Chippewa National Forest, with over 1,300 lakes, 925 miles of streams and 400,000 acres of wetlands. The Forest's landscape is a reminder of the glaciers, which blanketed northern Minnesota 10,000 years ago.
The Forest is one of the largest breeding areas of bald eagles in the lower-48 states. Eagles can often be viewed soaring over the lakes. White-tailed deer, ruffed grouse and numerous waterfowl provide great wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities. Sensitive species such as osprey, loon and great grey owl also make the forest their home.
Source, credits & more information: FSUSDA