About the Forest


The Chippewa National Forest, located in the heart of northern Minnesota, is a celebration of seasons, cultures and environments. Come explore the big lakes, big pines and all the Forest has to offer.


The Chippewa National Forest was the first national forest established east of the Mississippi River in 1908. 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 boundary encompasses about 1.6 million acres, with more than 660,000 acres managed by the Chippewa National Forest. The remaining lands are state, county, tribal, and private. The Leech Lake Indian Reservation and the Chippewa National Forest share almost 2,000 miles of boundary with about 90 percent of the reservation situated within the national forest.

The Forest Supervisor’s office is located in Cass Lake, Minn., with district offices in Blackduck, Deer River and Walker.

There are over 3,000 archeological and historic sites. The Forest Supervisor’s office is listed on the National Historic Register and was built by the CCC in 1936. The Rabideau CCC Camp is also a National Historic Landmark. The Cut Foot Sioux Ranger Station was the first ranger station east of the Mississippi River.

Water is abundant on the Chippewa National Forest. There is more than 1,300 lakes, 925 miles of streams and 400,000 acres of wetlands.

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 larger lakes. White-tailed deer, ruffed grouse and numerous waterfowl provide good wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities. Sensitive species such as osprey, loon and great grey owl also make the Forest their home.

Photos from available recreation opportunities.