Huntersville State Forest features 16,448-acres of rolling-to-flat land, famed for its jack and Norway pine mixed with aspen, spruce, tamarack and northern hardwoods and clear streams. The major attraction is the beauty of two rivers that flow through the forest. These rivers, the Crow Wing River State Water Trail and the Shell River, cut through this forest providing many canoeing opportunities, with access ramps at the campgrounds as well as other put-in and take-out points along the river’s course through the forest. The excellent boating and canoeing route traverses 80 miles of river. There are two canoe outfitters in the area. Wilderness campsites are available at three-to seven-mile intervals. Located south of Park Rapids, off Hwy. 87 on CR 25. Huntersville is only a short distance from Itasca State Park and offers a great alternative to the more developed and heavily used state park.
Huntersville Forest Landing Campground: The campground is considered “primitive,” designed to furnish only the basic needs of the camper. The campsites consist of a cleared area, fire ring, and table. In addition, vault toilets, garbage cans, and drinking water are available. Highlights: Huntersville Forest Landing Campground is located by the Crow River and provides a great place to put in and take out along the river’s course through the forest. Hikers should find plenty of places to trek from the campground using the 150-plus miles of logging trails throughout the forest. Hikers and drivers also share these routes. All sites are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Shell City Horse Campground: The campground is considered “primitive,” designed to furnish only the basic needs of the camper. The campsites consist of a cleared area, fire ring, and table. In addition, vault toilets, garbage cans, and drinking water are available. Highlights: Shell City Horse Campground is located on a 24 miles of designated horse trail that includes two loops and a river crossing. A horse trail map is located on the state forest map. All sites are on a first-come, first-served basis for a fee.
Shell City Landing Campground: Highlights:Shell City Landing Campground is located on the Shell River joining Crow Wing River Water Trail. In addition, there is swimming, water access, and fishing. The campsites are considered “primitive,” designed to furnish only the basic needs of the camper. The campsites consist of a cleared area, fire ring, table, vault toilets, garbage cans, and drinking water. All sites are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Forest Landscape: This forest lies entirely within the coniferous forest biome. Topography contains a mix of glacial features such as hills and old outwash and till plains. Historically, fires occurred every 10 to 40 years, and today jack pine, quaking aspen, and paper birch dominate. Stands of red and white pine are also found in the forest.
History: The Dakota and Ojibwe people first occupied the Crow Wing River area. In the early 1700s French fur traders arrived and controlled the fur business. Between the 1870s and the early 1900s, logging was Wadena County’s chief economy. Timber taken from the dense forests along the Crow Wing River and its tributaries created jobs for hundreds of early settlers and provided an economic base for many towns in the area. Along the Shell River in the northern part of the Huntersville State Forest, Shell City was established in 1879 as a lumber camp. It was named for the river’s clams, which were used to make buttons in the city’s button factories. The Shell City Navigation Company headquarters, incorporated in 1884, was formed to operate steamboats and barges on the Shell and Crow Wing rivers from Shell City to the Mississippi River. Shell City was eventually abandoned and the region’s economy came to depend on agriculture. Today, recreationists still use the roads created by the early loggers.
Huntersville State Forest Recreation:
- canoe or kayak the Crow Wing Shell Rivers
- picnic area
- cross-county skiing trails
- hiking trails
- 18 miles horseback trails
- 3.6 miles class 1 ATV trails
- 3.6 miles class 2 ATV trails
- 58 miles off-highway motorcycle trails
- 12 miles hunter walking
- snowmobiles are NOT allowed
Huntersville OHM Trail: Fifty-nine miles of OHM trail twists through Huntersville State Forest. Much of the trail is single-track, with some two-track and service road loops for beginning riders. All trails are marked and range from easy to more difficult. The Huntersville Trail is a great alternative to the more technical Martineau Recreational Trail. This trail is provided by the Township of Huntersville and the Twin Cities Trail Riders. More Detail.
Location: Address: Create Google Driving Map | Tel: (managed by Itasca State Park) 218-699-7251 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Maplewood State Park Website | Distance from The Lodge on Lake Detroit • 28 miles
Detroit Lakes Parks & Trails
The Detroit Lakes area abounds with beautiful parks, lakes, rivers, hiking & biking trails and more. Detroit Lakes, Becker County, and the surrounding area offers so many recreational and outdoor activities that it is difficult to fit them into one visit. With over 400 lakes within a 25-mile radius, and with beautiful rivers and streams (not to mention the Mississippi Headwaters), many parks and trails have been created to provide public access.
Parks, such as the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, provide cross-country and snow mobiling trails in the winter– and even more trails for hiking and biking during the spring, summer and fall months. You can also enjoy the natural beauty from your car. The Lake Country Scenic Byway is an 88-mile corridor that follows Highways 34 and 71. Along its route, the Byway uniquely spans three different types of geographic terrain.
View Detroit Lakes Parks & Trails Guide