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Minnesota State Parks

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Arrowhead Region
D A R Memorial State Forest
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DAR State Forest was established in 1929 when the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) donated 1,020 acres to the Commonwealth. Almost 750 additional acres have been acquired since then, including Upper and Lower Highland Lakes.

DAR offers a popular beach for swimming on Upper Highland Lake, and a shady picnic area. A group picnic pavilion can be reserved. The campground offers 50 campsites and a private beach. Wheelchair-accessible campsites are available and may be reserved. A group campsite is also available. Nonmotorized boats may be launched at ramps in both lakes. Ice fishing and skating are popular. More than 15 miles of marked trails wind through the woods, offering year-round opportunities for hiking and horseback riding. In winter these trails are popular with cross country skiers, snowshoers and snowmobilers.
History of the Area
The D.A.R. Memorial State Forest, also known as the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) Memorial Forest, is located in Itasca County, Minnesota, within the Chippewa National Forest. The forest has a rich history dating back to its establishment in the early 20th century.

The idea of creating a memorial dedicated to the men who fought in the American Revolutionary War first originated in the late 1800s. In 1901, the D.A.R. state regent for Minnesota, Sarah Farrell, proposed the creation of a memorial forest in the state during the organization's annual conference.

In 1904, the Minnesota Daughters of the American Revolution began actively pursuing the establishment of the forest. They worked diligently to secure funding and support from various sources, including the state legislative body and prominent individuals. The D.A.R. succeeded in raising enough funds to purchase the initial 110 acres of land, directly from the Chippewa National Forest, on October 29, 1906.

The forest was officially dedicated as the D.A.R. Memorial State Forest on June 10, 1908. The dedication ceremony was attended by numerous state and national officials, including the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson. The site quickly gained attention and recognition as the first state forest established in Minnesota.

The size of the D.A.R. Memorial State Forest has expanded through various acquisitions of adjacent lands. Today, it encompasses approximately 1,100 acres of land in Itasca County. The forest is managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) with a focus on preserving its natural resources, supporting outdoor recreational activities, and promoting environmental education.

Within the D.A.R. Memorial State Forest, visitors can enjoy a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, bird-watching, nature observation, and camping. The forest also houses the historic D.A.R. Memorial Chapel, which was constructed in the 1920s as a tribute to the American Revolutionary War veterans. The chapel is available for weddings, baptisms, and other special events.

The D.A.R. Memorial State Forest continues to honor the memory of those who fought for American independence, acting as a living testament to their sacrifice and the efforts of the Daughters of the American Revolution in preserving their legacy.
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Area Campgrounds
Two Creeks Campground
62399 Duxbury Road
Sandstone, MN
Banning RV Park & Campground
60545 Minnesota 23
Finlayson, MN

D.A.R. State Forest is located in Western Massachusetts.

From north: Rte I-91 south to Rte. 2 west, Greenfield exits. Follow Rte. 2 west to Rte. 112 south. Follow Rte. 112 south 10 miles to Park Entrance on left.

From south: Rte. I-91 north to exit 19 in Northampton. Rte. 9 west to Goshen. Turn right onto Rte. 112 north. Park Entrance is 1 mile on the right.

From east and west: Massachusetts Turnpike (Rte. I-90) to exit 4 and Rte. I-91 north. Rte. I-91 north to exit 19 in Northampton. Follow Rte. 9 west to Goshen. Turn right onto Rte. 112 north. The Park entrance is 1 mile on right.

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Minnesota State Parks