State Bird Loon

You truly like to stop and smell the roses (or Lady’s Slippers) when you get outside. Where others see nothing and hustle on by, you see a magnificent ecosystem brimming with life.

You’re a fan of mother earth and all she has to offer, and the Minnesota Northwoods are a nature-lover’s paradise.

Lady’s Slippers

Hop on the Lady Slipper Scenic Byway for a drive through some of the most beautiful countryside in the Minnesota Northwoods region. Located partially within the Chippewa National Forest, you’ll appreciate the view of aspen, birch trees, centuries-old pines, and Minnesota’s state flower, the pink and white Showy Lady’s Slipper. The Lady’s Slipper blooms late June into early July and can vary year to year. Keep your eyes peeled for the chance to glimpse a bald eagle, blue heron, or white-tailed deer along the 28-mile drive.

Lost 40 and Birdwatching

In the late 1800s when logging and timber companies were making their way through northern Minnesota, they left very few forests untouched. Less than two percent of Minnesota’s logged forests contain old growth timber, but the Lost 40 in the Chippewa National Forest is a plot loggers mistakenly overlooked. The 40 acre expanse is now protected as a scientific and natural area for nature lovers to appreciate. Among abundant hardwoods like red maple and silver birch, the Lost 40 is most known for its old growth pine stands of red and white pine, some estimated to be 350 years old! Hike the one-mile trail and watch for one of the 90 species of birds known to live in this ecosystem.

Loop the Lake by Bike

An all-time favorite recreation for nature lovers is biking around Lake Bemidji. Start downtown Bemidji by the famous Paul and Babe statues where you can rent bicycles by the hour, courtesy of Nice Bike. Spend a couple hours making the 16 mile ride around the lake where you’ll see loons, waterfowl, eagles and the occasional white-tailed deer.

The north side of the lake takes you through Lake Bemidji State Park where you can make a side-trip into the scenic bog walk trail. The boardwalk takes you into a secluded tamarac and spruce bog where you can view rare Lady’s Slipper orchids and insect-eating plants.

Discover the Northwoods

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