Frequently Asked Questions - L's

Lost Forty

Experience the forest of old at the Chippewa National Forest's "Lost Forty."  The original Government Land Survey in 1882 described the land of the Lost Forty as part of Coddington Lake.  This mapping error caused the virgin pine of the area to be left behind by loggers at the turn of the century.  The Lost Forty is actually 144 acres.

    From Blackduck, take County Roads 30/13 to Alvwood (about 13 miles), travel north on State Highway 46 for 1/2 mile to County 29.  Follow 29 east for about 11 miles to Dora Lake and County 26.  Travel 2 miles north on 26 to Forest Road 2240.  About 1 1/2 miles west of this intersection you will find a sign for the Lost Forty.
    Most of the mature red and white pine is found on the east end of the Lost Forty.  These trees are up to 350 years old and between 22 and 48 inches in diameter.  In other areas of the Forest, white pine is managed for pulp (paper), lumber, wildlife and aesthetics, and the trees are harvested at about 80 to 150 years.  Biologically, pine can live up to 500 years.  Most of the aspen growing in the area is about 60 years old and is beginning to deteriorate.  Aspen reach its biological old age at about 85 years. Old growth such as the Lost Forty is valuable for wildlife, including bald eagles, a number of hawks and woodpeckers, red squirrels,  weasels and numerous other species. The Lost Forty is considered a unique area in the Chippewa National Forest and will be managed to maintain its old growth character.
    A one-mile self-guided trail winds its way through the majestic pines of the Lost Forty.  Carry-in boat access is located on the north side of Coddington Lake. The lake offers northern like fishing, mallard and wood duck hunting and wild ricing. You may camp anywhere on National Forest System land, but if you prefer a developed campground, Noma Lake Campground is located just 5 miles east and 2 miles north of Wirt on County 31.

Lake Maps

Lake contour maps are available through the MN Bookstore (1-800-657-3757). Local bait shops also carry contour maps ranging in price from $.50 to $7.95.  Also check out the Lake Finder on the Minnesota DNR web site.



Forest Boundary: 1,599,660
Forest Managed: 666,978 acres

The Forest Service buys or exchanges land, but does not sell National Forest system land. Any land exchange is evaluated for its benefit to the government including eagle nesting habitat, consolidating federal ownership, preserving unique features or biological communities, or resolving trespass. The gross acreage of Chippewa National Forest is 1,599,660 of which 666,978 is National Forest system land. Private, Reservation, State and County lands comprise 933,335 acres within the national Forest boundary. There are over 1,300 lakes, 925 miles of streams, 440,000 acres of wetlands and 400,000 acres of open water.


Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

As one of six reservations that make up the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe was established by Treaty in 1855-56. The Leech Lake Tribal Council (6530 Highway 2 NW,  Cass Lake 56633, 218-335-8200) provides leadership to the sovereign Government that serves over 8,000 enrolled members. The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe shares overlapping boundaries with Chippewa National Forest.  |  www.llojibwe.com


Log buildings

There are five historic log buildings in the Chippewa National forest open to the public. The oldest is the Cut Foot Sioux Ranger Station, north of Deer River. This small log building was built in 1908 and is the oldest existing Forest Service Ranger Station in the Eastern U.S. The historic ranger station was renovated in 1996 and is open to the public during the summer. Stop by the Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Center on highway 46 for information and directions.

The other log structures were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The Marcell Log House is now used as summer crew quarters. Norway Beach Visitor Center near Cass Lake was built as a campground shower house in 1936 by Pike Bay CCC, and was renovated in 1989-90 as an interpretive center. Displays and programs are offered Memorial Day - Labor Day. The Forest Supervisors Office was originally the office for Cass Lake District and Forest headquarters from 1934-36. Constructed by the Pike Bay CCC, it was called the "log palace" and was the largest log building of its time. Interpretive displays on forest history are available year round at the Supervisors Office. Displays and tours are also available near the Rabideau Picnic Shelter - adjacent to Rabideau CCC Camp near Blackduck. The shelter was built in 1930's and was moved from the shore of Lake Winnie to Blackduck in 1986.