Monday, May 19, 2014

Day hikes through forests, alongside rivers, abound near Barnum, Minn.

The Willard Munger State Trail
is one of many near Barnum, Minn.
A variety of great day hiking trails run near the small community of Barnum, Minn.

Conveniently located off of Interstate 35 between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Duluth, several excellent state parks and forests are within an hour’s drive of Barnum. Most notable are Moose Lake and Jay Cooke state parks.

Among the major Barnum-area trails are:
g Blackhoof River Trail – The Blackhoof Wildlife Management Area offers many trails, including a 1.3-mile round trip through aspen-spruce/fir and riparian forests to the Blackhoof River. Park at the trailhead on County Road 6’s south side just west of the County Road 3 intersection.
g Mahtowa Road Trails – A web of branching ATV trails that can be day hiked run through the southern section of the Fond du Lac State Forest northwest of town. On Minn. Hwy. 14 west of the County Road 172 intersection, take the first road heading north; drive well past the buildings and hike to the first trail junction for a mile round-trip.
g Willard Munger State Trail, Barnum segment – A parking lot is on the south side of County Road 6/Main Street west of downtown Barnum. Going north, the trail crosses the Moose Horn River.
g Willard Munger State Trail, Mahtowa segment – Though there’s no designated parking lot in nearby Mahtowa, a number of access paths run from parallel streets, particularly County Road 61 and County Road 141. The trail heading north of town is more wooded that the southern route.

Read more about day hiking Northeast Minnesota in my Headin’ to the Cabin: Day Hiking Trails of Northeast Minnesota guidebook.