Superior National Forest

Superior National Forest is a United States national forest that is located in the state of Minnesota, between the Canada – United States border. It is located in the Arrowhead Region and comprises an area of the Boundary Waters, which separates Canada and the United States. This forest holds 3,900,000 acres of protected lands and waters that are separated into numerous ranger districts, with over a quarter of the forest comprising the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. It was established in 1903 and Native Americans and Europeans used many of its waters for travel and trade.

Superior National Forest sits on a low plateau in the Superior Upland, and although most of the forest is located in a low elevation area known as a peneplain, it also holds tall mountains including the Sawtooth Mountains and Misquah Hills, which hold the forest’s highest peak, Eagle Mountain. This forest contains a mixed conifer-hardwood forest known as North Woods, a small area of boreal forest, and varying species of deciduous and conifer trees including maple, oak, aspen, and fir, spruce, and pine trees. The forest supports a variety of wildlife including walleye, lake trout, northern pike, Canadian lynx, white-tailed deer, timber wolf, American black bear, common loon, and the bald eagle. It is home to the largest population of gray wolves in its state, reaching between three hundred and four hundred individuals.

Superior National Forest offers visitors many activities including canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, which allows visitors to canoe down the same waters as traders and explorers from the past. This area of the park requires a permit to enter. The park also provides many camping areas to visitors, some of which have amenities like drinking water and require fees. Other camping sites are considered backcountry and are only equipped with a fire grate and pit latrine, but these do not require fees or permits.

Image Caption: View from Eagle Mountain Minnesota. Credit: MisterSquirrel/Wikipedia