White Earth State Forest near Itasca State Park
White Earth State Forest near Itasca State Park

White Earth State Forest

Detroit Lakes Minnesota Parks & Outdoors

White Earth State Forest

Detroit Lakes Minnesota Parks & Outdoors

White Earth State Forest is made up of 160,000 acres rolling hills and lakes with 4/5th being variegated forest and the rest being lowland brush and marsh. Almost all of this forest is within the boundaries of the White Earth Indian Reservation. The Shuttlebug Nature Trail is popular for summer hiking. It has 70 miles of marked and groomed snowmobile trails. Located about 20 miles north of Park Rapids on Hwy. 71, then west off Hwy. 113. The White Earth Indian Reservation, holds an annual Powwow; the first one was held in 1862.

Within the forest you will find both motorized and nonmotorized trails, a boat launch, primitive camping, a fishing pier, a historic site, a rest area, and WMAs to explore. White Earth State Forest has 65 miles of dual-purpose forest roads and 70 miles of snowmobile trails. Attention Trail Users: Note: White Earth tribal lands are always closed to non-band members.

White Earth Pow Wow & Celebration
The annual White Earth Pow Wow & Celebration is held on the second or third weekend of June each year at the White Earth Powwow Grounds in White Earth, Minnesota (be sure to check with tribal office to confirm date). Though the White Earth Pow Wow is a celebration of the White Earth Reservations’ people and heritage, everyone is invited. It’s an open event — not just for the native people, but for everyone. Around 1,000 dancers and over 25 drum groups can be expected. Nearly all of the state forest is within the boundaries of the White Earth Indian Reservation created in 1867 by a treaty between the United States and the Mississippi Band of Chippewa (Ojibwe). Native Americans people have inhabited the area since at least 1400, drawn to the place where the land grows food on the water, a reference to the plentiful wild rice that grows in the area.

White Earth State Forest Recreation:

  • dispersed camping
  • hunting
  • snowshoeing
  • 14 miles hiking trails
  • 1.7 miles class 1 ATV trails
  • 1.7 miles class 2 ATV trails
  • 1.7 miles off-highway motorcycle trails
  • 56 miles snowmobiling trails (White Earth State Park snowmobile trail detail.)

Forest Landscape: White Earth State Forest is located at the western edge of Minnesota’s deciduous forest biome. Among the many rolling hills and lakes you’ll find Minnesota’s second-highest elevation along with Height of Land Road. The eastern part of the forest transitions into Minnesota’s coniferous forest biome. The Laurentian Divide bisects the forest—water north of the divide drains to Hudson Bay and water south of the divide drains to the Gulf of Mexico.

History: Between 1904 and 1918, the Nichols-Chisholm Lumber Company removed much of the old-growth timber from the area. Massive fires followed the intensive logging in 1918, leaving behind blackened stumps and fire-scarred pines. The Minnesota Legislature dedicated this forest in 1943 for purposes of reforestation, habitat, and recreation.

Location: Create Google Driving Map | Tel: (managed by Itasca State Park) 218-699-7251 | Email: itasca.statepark@state.mn.us | White Earth State Forest Website | Distance from The Lodge on Lake Detroit • 60 miles

White Earth State Forest Crappie Fishing

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

Lakefront Hotels In Detroit Lakes

About The Lodge on Lake Detroit & The Spa Within
Our Detroit Lakes Minnesota lake resort is the perfect setting to relax and enjoy brilliant sunsets and memorable nights on Big Lake Detroit. Nestled in a lovely tree-filled setting on a private 550 foot wide sandy beach, you’ll find the latest hotel style and amenities. The Lodge is independently owned and operated by Holland Hospitality, Inc., now in its third generation of providing excellence in hospitality.

With our modern amenities and thoughtful design, we stand out among other lodging choices in Detroit Lakes, MN. For couples or family getaways, we offer a variety of rooms and suites with king, queen or two queen beds. Our free hot breakfast (currently using Grab & Go Bags while Covid precautions are in place), free local calls, indoor heated pool and fitness center make the hotel a great place to recharge between enjoying Detroit Lakes attractions and activities. View hotel detail.

All rooms feature lakefront views, free Wi-Fi and wired internet, flat-screen TVs with extended channels. Rooms are equipped with mini-frige, microwaves, and coffee makers and are pet and smoke free. View accommodation detail.

Detroit Lakes Day Spa: The Spa Within at The Lodge offers an extensive menu of select spa treatment services, many of which are signature treatments exclusive to this spa. These revitalizing treatments include the use of warm and cold basalt stones for face and body, and a variety of facials and massage therapies that are sure to induce a state of deep relaxation.

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Your Guide to Year-Round Detroit Lakes Recreation & Fun!

With over 400 lakes within a 25-mile radius, Detroit Lakes lives up to its reputation as a great place for year-round outdoor activities. Whether your activity choice is in, on or below the water (or even on land) Detroit Lakes offers a great variety of things to do for your entire family.


There’s a lot going on at The Lodge year round. Be sure to subscribe to our eNews and keep an eye on our Facebook page to keep up with live musical events (Live at The Lodge), Summer Thursdays, Wine Tastings, Murder Mystery Events, Girlfriend Getaways, and so more.

“Perfect spot for Business Meetings with time to Relax, Rejuvenate and Reconnect with your clients. Want a Perfect spot for your next Business Meeting, a Group Meeting and or small conferences with time to Relax, Rejuvenate and Reconnect with your clients. Great hospitality welcomes you to The LODGE on Lake Detroit with friendly customer service, outstanding lodging environment from the comfort of your room to the sounds of the Minnesota Loons on Lake Detroit. A great selection of restaurants and golf courses are just minutes away. Close to the downtown area, great location for fishing, and all seasonal things to do and events for all to enjoy year-around in the Detroit Lakes area.”


“We enjoyed our stay at The Lodge in Detroit Lakes, Mn. The staff was very helpful and very friendly. We stayed in the Resort Room adjoining to the Retreat Room. It was very nice for our family so we could have access to each others room and to have use of a Kitchen. We were celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary and our son was participating in the Pine to Palm Tournament. Nice location to golf course & downtown. The rooms were clean and the amenities of having a dock for our boat and use of paddle boat & Kayakes was especially nice. We enjoyed the complementary breakfast; especially the waffles and pancakes.  The Ice water cooler was very refreshing. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The Lodge & will be back on any future trips to the Detroit Lakes area.”


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