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The Lost 40 - Minnesota's last stand of ancient pines

Posted June 17, 2020 @ 10:10am | by Doug

~~~Tour Guide Notes~~~

The Lost 40: Oh, to decipher the whisper of the wind through these giant ancient pines...

It may say “thank you” to a survey crew mistake! 

On a chilly, northern Minnesota November day in 1882, four forestry surveyors, perhaps disoriented or cold or impatient --- for whatever reason --- made a mistake to the benefit of those who live and love nature in this present day. For they erroneously mapped this most majestic stand of giant white and red pines as part of a nearby lake and swampland, thus sparing them from the ravenous lumber company saws.

As a result, today you can enjoy the mile trail through this enchantment to get a true feel of what much of northern Minnesota was once like.

The largest tree, a red pine, measures nearly 10 feet in diameter and 130’ high.  It would take three adults to embrace it.  This rare biome also protects some of the state’s most fragile plants, including baby pines.

The site was re-surveyed in 1960, after which it was protectively incorporated into the Big Fork State Forest and the adjoining Chippewa National Forest.  It is also designated a Scientific and Natural Area to help protect its priceless beauty.

Today, this ancient forest welcomes your visit! 

More info from the DNR

Photo Source:  Credit:  Vicki Olson/For MPR News


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