Big Bog boardwalk

Big Bog State Recreation Area


Big Bog SRA boardwalk

About the Park

Map of MN with Big Bog pinpointed

It has been called Minnesota’s last true wilderness. Divided into two parts with the bog in the north and the main use area in the south. The bog is the largest one in the lower 48 states and has a mile-long boardwalk through an otherwise inaccessible landscape.

The bog, which has long been a source of medicinal plants for the Ojibwe, represented a barrier to European settlers who tried in vain to drain it. Today, many of the native plants, including yellow-eyed grass, bog rush and two kinds of sundews, are on Minnesota’s endangered or threatened species list.

The southern unit in sandwiched between Upper Red Lake and the Tamarac River. Visitors can enjoy a campground with winterized camper cabins, a sandy beach, picnic grounds, and great fishing.

Our Work by the Numbers



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Map Showing Project Site

Our Project Stories

Creating access to the Big Bog

pitcher plant
Big Bog SRA by Jennifer Myers
Park staff and Friends of Big Bog at the grand opening on June 4, 2006.
Children scope out wildlife from the bog walk at Big Bog State Recreation Area. The bog walk's environmentally friendly decking allows for 60 percent sunlight penetration so that it can remain just as green below its surface.

Project Year: 2003

Project Acres: 40

Our working partnership with the Friends of the Big Bog State Recreation Area played a significant role in the acquisition of the 40-acre parcel of land that represents the only access point to the 500-acre Big Bog ecotourist attraction.

“We are extremely proud to have secured the piece of land that will give people from all over the world the opportunity to visit the Big Bog and all of its unique geological and ecological treasures,” said Parks & Trails Council President Grant Merritt.

Parks & Trails Council purchased the land from a local family. Preservation of the land was so important to P&TC’s mission that $10,000 in land value was donated to ensure the public’s access forever.

“We are very appreciative of Parks & Trails Council’s efforts,” said Jerry Stensing, vice chair of the Friends of Big Bog State Recreation Area, a local community advocacy group. “Parks & Trails Council played a vital role in acquiring the only access to Ludlow Island where the bog walk begins.”

The bog walk is a 1.1-mile environmentally sensitive decking that allows visitors to actually walk into the bog to get an up-close look at all of its unique plant and animal life.

Land Projects at Other Parks or Trails

Tour more of the land projects we’ve undertaken for parks and trails.

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