Chengwatana State Forest

Chengwatana State Forest featured image

Chengwatana State Forest, located about an hour north of the Twin Cities, is a recreational destination for nature enthusiasts. Loosely translated from “white-pine town,” the area was originally named for an Ojibwe village located just east of Pine City along the Snake River. Starting in the 1800s, the beautiful white pines attracted loggers. Today, the area supports abundant wildlife and is a hidden gem for kayaking, fishing, and hiking.

For the first time in nearly a century, 729-acres that border the Chengwatana State Forest along the St. Croix River became available for purchase. Recognizing this extraordinary opportunity, Trust for Public Land sprang into action. More than 75% of the St. Croix’s forestland remains in private possession, meaning this area faces a substantial threat of development and fragmentation. In collaboration with Xcel Energy and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Trust for Public Land purchased the land in order to add it to the Chengwatana State Forest. For decades, this land was closed to the public. Now, its conservation will help connect more Minnesotans to the outdoors, preserve drinking water, and protect valuable wildlife habitat.

Funding for this project was provided from the Outdoor Heritage Fund as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.