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Minnesota State Parks

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Arrowhead Region
Finland State Forest
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The Finland State Forest, located in northeastern Minnesota, is a captivating natural haven that envelops visitors in its serene and pristine beauty. With its lush green forests, rolling hills, and sparkling lakes, this forest offers a truly immersive wilderness experience. The old-growth forests, abundant wildlife, and meandering trails invite nature enthusiasts to explore and reconnect with the outdoors. Whether fishing in its crystal-clear lakes, hiking through fragrant pine groves, or simply absorbing the peaceful ambiance, the Finland State Forest provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, capturing the essence of Minnesota's breathtaking natural landscapes.
History of the Area
Finland State Forest, located in northern Minnesota, has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. Here is a brief overview of its historical background:

- Settlement and Logging: The area that is now Finland State Forest was initially settled by Finnish immigrants in the late 19th century. The Finnish settlers were attracted to the region due to its similarity to their homeland's landscape and the abundance of forests. They primarily engaged in logging activities and built small sawmills to process the timber.

- Establishment of Superior National Forest: In 1909, the Superior National Forest was established, which included the area that is now Finland State Forest. The establishment aimed to promote sustainable forest management practices and protect natural resources.

- The Minnesota Forest Service: The Minnesota Forest Service, now part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), began managing the state's forests in the 1920s. They actively worked to reforest areas that had been heavily logged, including the Finland State Forest region.

- CCC Era: During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played a significant role in the development of Finland State Forest. The CCC, a public work relief program, employed young men to carry out conservation projects. In the Finland State Forest, CCC workers planted trees, constructed roads and trails, and built forest recreation amenities.

- State Forest Designation: Finland State Forest officially gained its designation as a state forest in 1945. This designation helped preserve the forest's natural resources and promote sustainable timber management.

- Modern Management: Today, Finland State Forest is managed by the Minnesota DNR to balance conservation, recreation, and sustainable forestry. The forest provides a range of recreational activities, such as hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping, while ensuring the sustainable use of forest resources.

The history of Finland State Forest reflects the intertwined stories of Finnish settlers, logging activities, forest conservation efforts, and modern forest management practices. It stands as a testament to the importance of maintaining healthy forests and preserving natural landscapes for future generations.
1. Finland State Forest offers dispersed camping for a back:to-nature experience.
2. The Eckbeck Campground provides rustic campsites with fire rings and picnic tables.
3. Baptism River Inn Bed & Breakfast is nearby, offering comfortable accommodations close to the forest.
4. Crosby Manitou State Park has secluded backpack sites within driving distance of Finland State Forest.

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1. Bear Lake Trail: This 2-mile loop trail is perfect for beginners and offers scenic views of the beautiful Bear Lake. The path winds through a lush forest, offering glimpses of local wildlife.

2. Finland State Forest Hiking Loop: A moderate difficulty level hike that stretches over 5 miles, this route takes you deep into the heartland of Minnesota's wilderness with plenty to see including water bodies and diverse flora & fauna.

3. Baptism River High Falls Trail: An easy-to-moderate hiking trail spanning about three miles round trip; it leads hikers to one of Minnesota's highest waterfall - the High Falls on Baptism River which stands at approximately seventy feet tall.

4. Superior Hiking Trail Section - Crosby Manitou Park To Caribou Wayside: One part in an extensive network covering more than 300+ miles along North Shore from Duluth up till Canadian border, this section spans around seven challenging but rewarding uphill/downhill terrain filled with breathtaking overlooks onto nearby lakes or valleys below.

5. George Crosby-Manitou State Park Trails: With multiple trails ranging between two to five mile loops within park boundaries itself, these offer varying levels like beginner friendly flat terrains as well some steep climbs leading towards panoramic vistas atop ridges overlooking dense forests beneath.

6. Tettegouche Camp Spur Trial: Approximately four mile long out-and-back type moderately difficult trek taking visitors alongside serene Bean/Bear Lakes before ending near historic campsite area used by early loggers during late nineteenth century era.

7. Sonju Lake Road Dispersed Camping Area Accessible Routes: These are relatively shorter (less than half-a-mile) yet equally enjoyable nature walks suitable even for families having young children who can explore surrounding woods while also getting chance spotting occasional deer grazing peacefully amidst undergrowth.

8. Moosewalk Snowshoeing Route / Cross-Country Ski Track During Winters: This multi-use trail transforms into a winter wonderland offering unique snowshoeing or cross-country skiing opportunities amidst tranquil silence of snowy landscapes.

9. Section 13 Hiking Trail: A strenuous, steep hike that takes you to the top of one of Minnesota's highest peaks. The view from the summit is absolutely breathtaking and well worth the effort.

10. Manitou River Waterfall Pathway: Short but slightly tricky due its rocky terrain, this pathway leads towards hidden waterfall tucked away within dense forest cover - an ideal spot for quiet contemplation surrounded by soothing sounds cascading waterfalls.

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1. Start by heading northeast on MN:61 N/London Rd towards 26th Ave E.
2. Continue to follow MN:61 N for approximately 45 miles until you reach Two Harbors.
3. In Two Harbors, turn left onto Co Hwy 2/Outer Dr and continue for about half a mile.
4. Take another left onto Co Rd 102/Silver Creek Tunnel Spur Road and drive for around 7 miles.

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Minnesota State Parks