Within minutes of Deer River are the largest white pine forests in northern Minnesota offering a retreat for hunters, hikers, bikers, snowmobilers, and cross-country and downhill enthusiasts. The crystal-clear water of glacial lakes and thousands of streams provides a pristine setting for boating, canoeing, fishing, swimming and other water activities. Maps linked to on this page will help you enjoy the sights the area has to offer.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has maps and stocking information about many of the lakes in Minnesota. Click here to go the DNR website and get information about the lakes in our area you are interested in.
Winter sports in Deer River include cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Snowmobile trails were developed and are maintained by the local Minnesota snowmobile clubs and the Department of Natural Resources. A free copy of our Itasca County Snowmobile Map is available online. The cross-country skiers’ will enjoy the lake and hills of Blueberry Hills Nordic skiing trails as well as many other groomed trails are also in our area.
There is no better way to see the Chippewa National Forest than on a trail. Hike and view spring wildflowers, bike along a tranquil wetland, hunt grouse on a hunter/walking trail, or ski through winter woods. The Chippewa National Forest offers over 298 miles of non-motorized trails. Click here for more information about walking or ski trails.
Biking on the Chippewa National Forest has changed dramatically over the last ten years. Ten years ago, mountain bikes were the only option to travel a limited number of bike trails. Today, 41 miles of paved bike trails line the west side of the Forest and mountain bikers can travel over 43 miles of unpaved trails on the east side between Deer River and Marcell. Click here for more information about local bike trails
The Chippewa National Forest offers nine canoe routes, ranging from the mighty Mississippi and the unpredictable Leech Lake to the slow moving Shingobee River and other small creeks. Click here for more information about canoe routes.
Make sure you take a drive up the Avenue of Pines Scenic Byway on Hwy 46. See how huge some of the few remaining virgin pine trees that once covered northern Minnesota are by going to Dora Lake and see Lost Forty .Take a ride from Grand Rapids to Effie along the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway.
Minnesota Trails magazine is a statewide, quarterly magazine that features the quiet sports that take place in and on our state parks and trails. They also feature the state’s scenic byways and the communities along them. They are building what we hope will become the best website for Minnesota’s parks, trails and byways.