The Trust for Public Land today announced the addition of 170 acres to the Savanna State Forest, including 1.25 miles of undeveloped frontage along the Mississippi River. This land, now managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, will provide access to hunting, fishing, hiking, and canoeing while also preserving local forest-management. The property is in the headwaters of the Mississippi River and helps to maintain connectivity to adjacent public lands and protect drinking water for 18 million people.

 “This acquisition is representative of the great work The Trust for Public Land is doing in the headwaters of our nation’s largest river,” said Susan Schmidt, the Minnesota and Northwoods Program Director for The Trust for Public Land, “By working closely with local partners, we’re able to protect land that not only provides unique recreation opportunities for Minnesotans, but also protects habitat for wildlife and an invaluable source of drinking water.”

In coming months, a kiosk and parking area will be set-up at the northern edge of the property, allowing visitors to make a stop while road-tripping on the Great River Road.

Megan Christianson, who represents the Grand Rapids to Brainerd Region of the Great River Road on the MN-MRPC commented, “The Minnesota Great River Road is all about authentic river experiences and this new acquisition provides wonderful opportunities for travelers and residents alike.  We thank the Trust for Public Land and their partners including the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, a Minnesota Mississippi River Parkway Commission member agency, for their vision and important work.” 

This acquisition was completed as part of the Mississippi Headwaters Habitat Corridor Project, a partnership between The Trust for Public Land, the Mississippi Headwaters Board and the MN  Board of Soil and Water Resources.  In this partnership, The Trust for Public Land acquires and protects land, the Mississippi Headwaters Board coordinates the project, and the MN Board of Water and Soil Resources in coordination with eight headwaters soil and water conservation districts, acquires conservation easements. The project uses both fee-title acquisition and conservation easements to achieve permanent fish and wildlife habitat protection. Funding for this project was provided from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature.


The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit

Minnesota Great River Road

The Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the course of the Mississippi River through ten states. Minnesota’s Great River Road is a network of roadways offering a bounty of river experiences and spanning 565 miles, 453 communities, 20 counties, three tribes and six unique destination areas – from Lake Itasca to the Iowa Border. Minnesota’s Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MN-MRPC) is the Great River Road’s statutory commission. For more information visit

The Mississippi Headwaters Board

Formed in 1980 as an alternative to designation of the river into the National Wild and Scenic River System, the Mississippi Headwaters Board (MHB) works to protect and preserve the first 400 miles of the Mississippi River in Minnesota. A joint powers board of Clearwater, Beltrami, Cass, Hubbard, Itasca, Aitkin, Crow Wing and Morrison Counties, the MHB is mandated by Minnesota Statutes 103F.361-377 to enhance and protect the natural, cultural, historic, scientific and recreational values of the headwaters region. For more information visit