Horse Riding & Camping

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CUT FOOT SIOUX HORSE CAMP is surrounded by over 20 miles of Forest Roads and recreation trails. Drive 3.2 miles past the Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Center along Highway 46 and turn left on Forest Road 2171. Travel approximately 2 miles. Watch for campground signs.  

The Cut Foot trails will lead you through the Cut Foot Experimental Forest. The Forest is an outdoor laboratory for studying pine forest management. Research areas are designated by various markers--please do not remove or disturb the markers as you move through the area on horseback. The Experimental Forest is jointly managed by the North Central Research Station in Grand Rapids and the Chippewa National Forest.


From 1890 to 1908, people depended on horses to travel from Deer River to Northhome.  The first Ranger in the Cut Foot Sioux area traveled with a 2-hitch team when venturing out on the Forest.

In 1910, Sam Simpson was successful in obtaining a large contract for logging pine from the Cut Foot Sioux area for the Northland Pine Lumber Company. Simpson's logging crew utilized horse power to pull pine logs out of the woods.  Records show that the logging camp employed 60 men and 30 horses.  Even today, horses are used to pull logs out of non-motorized areas on the Forest.


Unique campgrounds like Cut Foot Horse Camp require certain restrictions to maintain water quality,  minimize soil erosion, and lessen impacts on vegetation.  Special attention has been paid in selecting this site for horse camping.  You can make the Horse Camp a great addition to the Chippewa National Forest by following some simple camping  and riding ethics:

  • Show respect for other Forest visitors in the campground and on the trail.   These are multiple use trails, and you must use caution when meeting motorized vehicles, bikers and hikers.
  • Stay on the designated trails.  Cross-country travel is not permitted.  Be aware that some trails and recreation areas are closed to horses. 
  • Use the picket line provided when tying your horse.  This reduces damage to trees and vegetation.  Portable corrals are not permitted.  Before leaving the campground, please remove all manure and hay from campsites to manure pits provided.
  • Use nosebags to keep feed from landing on the ground, and pack out supplemental feed.  Certified weed-free hay is strongly recommended and may stop the spread of non-native plant species.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities