Superior National Forest

Lake Superior
Lake Superior, Superior National Forest (Explore Minnesota Tourism)

Located in the northeastern tip of Minnesota, the Superior National Forest spans 150 miles along the United States/Canadian border, encompassing 3,850,000 vast acres.

This deep pine forest is a wilderness of rolling hills brimming with aspen, birch, maple, woodland wildflowers, and blueberries. It is home to moose, wolves, black bears, loons, and migratory birds. In order to survive in the Superior National Forest, these animals and plants have adapted to the thin soils, deep snows, and extreme temperatures. The Superior is a water-rich national forest. Over 445,000 acres, or 695 square miles of the total forest area is surface water! More than 1,300 miles of cold water streams and 950 miles of warm water streams flow within the Superior's boundaries, providing a wide variety of water-based recreation, as well as habitat for a variety of wildlife, fish, and plant species.

Timber Wolves
The essence of the Superior National Forest is the timber wolf, symbolic of the wild, remote country of northeastern Minnesota, which is its home. Here is the last stronghold of the timber wolves in the lower 48 United States. Truly a magnificent sight to behold, the endangered timber wolf is seldom seen by the forest visitor although 300 to 400 of these large, beautiful animals still roam the Superior National Forest.

The Superior National Forest contains the renowned Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, containing over 1,200 miles of canoe routes.

Dog Sledding
Winter visitors can travel the way of trappers and early settlers in a unique dog sled adventure. Rapidly becoming a popular winter sport, outfitters have introduced a variety of dog sledding packages. Participants can learn to harness a team of dogs and mush to remote ice fishing camps in beauty and solitude.

International Wolf Center
Lying in the heart of the only remaining home range of timber wolves in the continental United States is the International Wolf Center. It is dedicated to educating the world about wolves and promoting the survival of this endangered species as a symbol of wilderness. The International Wolf Center is located next to the Voyageur Visitor Center in Ely, Minnesota. A display, Wolves and Wilderness, relates fascinating information on this much misunderstood species and includes life-size mounts of wolves and their prey. You will also have the opportunity to observe a captive pack of wolf pups as they feed, play, and grow.

Christmas Tree Ritual
To partake in this ritual on the Superior National Forest, simply obtain a tree cutting permit, for a nominal fee, from any of the Superior National Forest District Offices. Then, hike through the woods in the refreshing, crisp winter air and find the perfect tree to adorn your home during the holidays. A great way to create a memorable Christmas.

Resort Naturalists
Resorts in and around the Superior National Forest have joined hands with the Forest Service to provide you with a new service, Resort Naturalists. On staff at 17 resorts in the area and available to answer questions about plants and animals, lead hikes, teach canoeing skills, lead canoe trips, give natural history talks, etc., these knowledgeable folks will open doors of wonder for you to enhance your experience in the northwoods.

Towns Nearby
Duluth, Grand Marais, and Tofte.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 12 Oct 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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