Big Moose Trail


The Big Moose Trail is 2 ½ miles one way. From the parking lot, the trail follows an old roadbed for about ½ mile, then turns right and traverses a forest of jack pine and aspen for most of its length. The last ½ mile passes through mature red, white and jack pine and aspen with areas of ledge rock. Watch for piles of rocks, called cairns, to guide you on the ledge rock. The last portion of the trail near Big Moose Lake is in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Map and compass skills are recommended for users of this trail.

Downloadable map and information

At a Glance

Reservations: Not required. See permit info below.
Permit Info:   Permits are required year round for day and overnight travel throughout BWCAW, including last ½ mile of this trail
Restrictions: For rules and regulations, see the BWCAW Trip Planning Guide.  
Closest Towns: Orr, MN
Water: Boil or filter water
Restroom: Wilderness latrines at campsites
Operated By: USDA Forest Service
Information Center: LaCroix Ranger District, 218-666-0020

General Information


Big Moose Trail is located 47 miles northeast of Orr, MN.

  • From Orr, take St. Louis County 23 to Buyck (16 miles).
  • At Buyck, County 23 turns into County 24. Continue on County 24 for 4 miles to the Echo Trail (County 116).
  • Turn right for 25 miles to the east end of Forest Road 464 (Moose Loop Road).
  • Turn right on Forest Road 464 for 1½ miles. Trailhead and parking are on the left. 


Overnight parking allowed.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Hide detail HIDE

Day Hiking


Overnight hikers must camp at a campsite (see map) or at least 150 feet from the trail or lakeshore. There are 3 backcountry campsites on the shore of Big Moose Lake. Permit required when entering the BWCAW (see above).