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If you're looking to get out and explore the great outdoors in Minnesota this summer, these new forest maps from the DNR are a great place to start.

When you stop to think about it, we're really lucky to live in a state that's as beautiful as Minnesota. From the extreme wilderness of the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area, to the rocky cliffs along the North Shore of Lake Superior, to the crystal clear lakes Up North, Minnesota has a lot to offer.

My wife and I had a great time last week on a quick vacation where we did some hiking and explored several parks along the North Shore near Duluth and Grand Marais. (We saw some beautiful scenery at Jay Cooke State Park near Carlton and Lookout Mountain at Cascade River State Park near Lutsen, as well as the new Black Beach Park in Silver Bay.)

And thanks to some just-published new state forest maps from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, you can plan an outdoor vacation in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as well. According to the DNR, these new maps are available in print and mobile formats, and include maps for Bear IslandBig ForkBurntsideGolden Anniversary, RemerKoochichingSmokey Bear, and White Earth state forests.

Downloading these maps can help you plan an outdoor adventure that can include summer hiking, mountain biking, birding, berry picking, horseback and ATV riding, fishing, camping and more. In fact, check out what the DNR says are just a few examples:

  • Look up at the towering pines of the Lost 40 Scientific and Natural Area inside Big Fork State Forest.
  • Canoe among the pines at the Bear Island and Burntside State Forests. Nestled on the edge of the Boundary Waters, these offer a northwoods paddling experience!
  • Cruise through trees on the Blue Ox State Trail in the Koochiching State Forest. As you travel past the black spruce swamps and upland aspen stands, be on the lookout for wildlife, including beavers, bobcats, eagles, moose and wolves.

They look pretty cool! And seeing as we just updated our Minnesota State Parks sticker, we'll no doubt be hitting up one of these areas yet this summer as well!

Listen to Curt St. John from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5
and from 2 to 6 p.m. on 103.9 The Doc