State Forests

Paul Bunyan State Forest


Forest Landscape: This forest lies almost entirely on the "central ridge," a terminal moraine in east-central Hubbard County. Many tiny ponds and bogs dot this rough and hilly land.

Management Activities: From year to year, you may see changes in this forest. The DNR manages the trees, water, and wildlife in state forests for everyone to keep them healthy and meet recreational, environmental, and economic goals. Trees are harvested to make a variety of products, such as lumber and building materials, pulp for making paper, pallets, fencing, and telephone poles. Through careful planning, harvesting, and planting, land managers create forest openings or plant trees and vegetation to improve habitat for white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, and waterfowl. The DNR manages state forests to prevent wildfires, and keep our water and air clean.

History: Millions of board feet of white and red pine were harvested from this area in the early 1900s. The Red River Lumber Company had purchased most of the land and timber and in 1898 constructed a sawmill on the Eleventh Crow Wing Lake near what is today the city of Akeley. At first, the company maintained four to five logging camps. By 1908, eight to 10 camps existed in the area, with 4,000 to 5,000 men on the payroll. A logging railroad, started in 1902, extended to Lake Alice Township within a quarter-mile of Itasca State Park by 1915. Many of the present forest roads are old logging railroad beds, such as Spur I and the Gulch Lake forest trail. In 1915 the Red River Lumber Company moved its operations to California. Small operators with portable sawmills cut the rest of the merchantable timber and left the area by 1920. Hubbard County's "logging days" lasted only 20 years.

Acres: 105,113

Year Estab: 1935


Rare Species Guide:


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