Where to find a good forest trail in Minnesota?

Does anyone know about any predominantly coniferous forests or parks, with trails suitable for  hiking, within 100 miles from Twin Cities, Minnesota? There should be either public access or a possibility to negotiate access with the owner.

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9 Responses to Where to find a good forest trail in Minnesota?

  1. Phil Sevetson says:

    The really good coniferous parks are mostly more than 100 miles north of the Twin Cities. Figure two hours. However, there is at least one state park within the limit. I can’t swear that it’s coniferous, but you might want to make the call. (If this pans out and you get pictures, I’d love to see some of them — it’s been forever since I’ve been there, though I grew up in a St. Paul suburb.)


  2. Phil Sevetson says:

    Complete map of MN State parks (rich in linkey goodness) can be found at:


  3. Leonard says:

    It’s hard to say if the closest to the Twin Cities needle-covered trail of reasonable length is in Minnesota or Wisconsin. William O’Brien Park has good trails but it is not predominantly coniferous.

  4. ringer says:

    Jay Cooke State Park near Carelton and Cloquet. About 20 miles sw of Duluth. May be more than 100 mi. but an easy trip up I35 from the Cities. Crow-Wing State Park may also work and may be within 100 mi. It is just south of Brainerd. Might want to get it done soon. Right now you only have ticks to deal with. Shortly it will be mosqutoes, deer flies, horse flies, sand flies and various other biting things. Heck, we have mosquitoes that get wood ticks on ’em here!

  5. Jason Coyne says:

    The Nicolet forest is huge, but mostly untrailed.

  6. htom says:

    I’m told that Sand Dunes, just north of Anoka, is mostly pine/fir, but don’t remember it. Going north, either along I-35 or by the St. Croix River, there are some. I do know who does know — Minnesota DNR Information Center, 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367) website at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us

  7. Fred says:

    Like Jason said, the Nicolet is worth looking into, plus a number of state parks and forests throughout Northern Wisconsin, especially if you’re willing to push a bit further out.

  8. Gregory says:

    Hmm……you are going to have a tough time finding that within 100 miles if the twin cities. Pine point just outside of Bemidji is a sure thing and is state land.

  9. xl_target says:

    As others said, it’s going to be hard to find something that close to the Cities. If you want conifers and a hiking trail, there is always the Superior Hiking Trail.
    Dani and I are planning to do a part of it over the fouth of July week.
    It starts at Two Harbors and follows the North Shore.

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