The 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.


tree tops

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 267 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 pike 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.

Information drawn from the © US Forest Service

Links of Interest

Chippewa National Forest

Chippewa Forest