Chippewa National Forest’s “Lost Forty”
Thought to be underwater as part of Coddington Lake, a survey mistake in 1882 saved the land of the Lost Forty.
Actually 144 acres, the Lost Forty, located within the 1.6 million acres Chippewa National Forest is one of the few places in Minnesota to experience truly virgin forest land that never has been logged. Less than 2 percent of Minnesota’s forests are considered old growth today.
Located northwest of Wirt, Minnesota the Lost Forty is found approximately two miles north of the intersection of County Roads 29 and 26. It is somewhat off the beaten path, but worth the drive to see the majestic pines and walk through these pristine woods.
Most of the mature red and white pine is found on the east end of the Lost Forty. These trees are up to 400 years old and between 22 and 48 inches in diameter. Biologically, pine can live up to 500 years. Old growth such as the Lost Forty is full of wildlife habitat, including bald eagles, hawks and woodpeckers, red squirrels, weasels and many more important species.
A one-mile self-guided trail winds its way through the majestic pines of the Lost Forty. A picnic area is also available at the site. Visit the Chippewa National Forest Hiking page for more information.