Greenwater Lake SNA






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Minnesota DNR




Greenwater Lake SNA is 815 acres of second-growth mixed hardwood and coniferous forest with many small wetlands and the 81-acre Greenwater Lake. It is on the White Earth Indian Reservation and is bordered on the north and west by Becker County Forest land. The lake is fed by a stream to the north and is mostly surrounded by forested hills. The shoreline is undeveloped. A 1.8-mile section of the North Country National Scenic Trail passes through the SNA.

Thirteen native plant communities have been identified on Greenwater Lake SNA. A survey in 1980 found 34 butterfly species here, including eastern pine elfin, green-veined white, and Appalachian brown.
















Detail map (MN DNR)


Printable Map(s) with GPS coordinates



  Printable map      

North Section


South Section

  Printable map   Printable map  



815 acres




Park in the parking lot for the North Country National Scenic Trail on the south side of County Road 35.

N46 59.063, W95 29.420


Driving Directions

  Area and County  

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          Becker County  
          Northwest Minnesota  

Hiking Trails


A 1.8-mile section of the North Country National Scenic Trail passes through the site. A section of Winter Wonderland Trails, a Becker Co. Parks & Recreation snowmobile trail, passes through the southwest corner of the site.




No hunting


Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification  
  Ecological Province    

Laurentian Mixed Forest Province

  Ecological Section    

Northern Minnesota Drift & Lake Plains

  Ecological Subsection    

Pine Moraines & Outwash Plains

  Land Type Association    

Park Rapids Sand Plain

Round Lake Sand Plain

Shell Lake Moraine

Two Inlets Moraine


Native Plant Communities*


Alder - (Maple - Loosestrife) Swamp

Aspen - (Sugar Maple - Basswood) Forest

Beaver Wetland Complex

Black Ash - Mountain Maple Swamp (Northern)

Jack Pine - (Bush Honeysuckle) Woodland

Marsh-Open Water Complex

Meadow - Marsh - Fen-Swamp Complex

Oak - Aspen Forest

Oak - Aspen - Red Maple Forest

Red Pine - White Pine Forest

Rich Fen (Peatland)

Sedge Meadow

Sugar Maple - Basswood - (Aspen) Forest

  * Source: The Minnesota Biological Survey, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological Resources      

Natural Features













Surrounding Area

Greenwater Lake SNA is on the White Earth Indian Reservation. It is bordered on the north and west by Becker County Forest land.

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    Greenwater Lake SNA   Greenwater Lake SNA  

Wood Routed Sign

    Greenwater Lake SNA      

North Country National Scenic Trail

    Greenwater Lake SNA   Greenwater Lake SNA  

Greenwater Lake

    Greenwater Lake SNA   Greenwater Lake SNA  

Oak - Aspen - Red Maple Forest

    Greenwater Lake SNA   Greenwater Lake SNA  

Sugar Maple - Basswood - (Aspen) Forest

    Greenwater Lake SNA   Greenwater Lake SNA  

Beaver Wetland Complex

    Greenwater Lake SNA      






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Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Amphibians and Reptiles List

  wood frog (Rana sylvatica)   wood frog  

Bacteria, Viruses, and Other Pathogens




Two bird species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen here:

Special Concern

Purple Martin (Progne subis)

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)


Minnesota DNR Bird checklist

eBird Field Checklist


American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Eastern Wood-peewee (Contopus virens)

Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)


Blue Jay

White-breasted Nuthatch




One fish species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen here:

Special Concern

least darter (Etheostoma microperca)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Fishes List


Fungi and Lichens


American Starburst Lichen (Imshaugia placorodia)

Common Greenshield Lichen (Flavoparmelia caperata)

Crown-tipped Coral (Artomyces pyxidatus)

Frost’s Amanita (Amanita frostiana)

Golden Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius)

Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa)

Hexagonal-pored Polypore (Neofavolus alveolaris)

Hintapink (Russula paludosa)

Hoof Fungus (Fomes fomentarius)

Jellied False Coral Fungus (Sebacina schweinitzii)

Lobster Mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum)

Old Man of the Woods (Strobilomyces strobilaceus)

Phyllosticta Leaf Spot (Mycosphoerello fraxinicola)

Purple Bordered Leaf Spot (Phyllosticta minima)

Rock Greenshield Lichen (Flavoparmelia baltimorensis)

Short-stemmed Russula (Russula brevipes)

Strict-branched Coral Fungus (Ramaria stricta)

Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria sp.)

Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)

Violet-toothed Polypore (Trichaptum biforme)


Golden Chanterelle

Hoof Fungus

Jellied False Coral Fungus

Old Man of the Woods

Turkey Tail


Insects and Arachnids


American carrion beetle (Necrophila americana)

dog day cicada (Neotibicen canicularis)

maple spindle-gall mite (Vasates aceriscrumena)

  American carrion beetle  



Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Mammals List


American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

  American red squirrel  



Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas and Minnesota Biological Survey Vegetation Releves Plant List


Plants frequently found in:

Alder - (Maple - Loosestrife) Swamp FPn73a

Aspen - (Sugar Maple - Basswood) Forest MHc37a

Black Ash - Mountain Maple Swamp (Northern) WFn55c

Jack Pine - (Bush Honeysuckle) Woodland FDc24a

Oak - Aspen Forest FDc34b

Oak - Aspen - Red Maple Forest MHc26a

Red Pine - White Pine Forest FDc34a

Rich Fen (Peatland) OPp91b

Sedge Meadow WMn82b

Sugar Maple - Basswood - (Aspen) Forest MHc37b



Allegheny monkeyflower (Mimulus ringens var. ringens)

American basswood (Tilia americana var. americana)

American hazelnut (Corylus americana)

American hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana)

American spikenard (Aralia racemosa ssp. racemosa)

American spurred gentian (Halenia deflexa ssp. deflexa)

American vetch (Vicia americana ssp. americana)

balsam fir (Abies balsamea var. balsamea)

bigleaf aster (Eurybia macrophylla)

bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata)

black ash (Fraxinus nigra)

black spruce (Picea mariana)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

blue giant hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

broad-leaved cattail (Typha latifolia)

broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade (Circaea canadensis)

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa)

calico aster (Symphyotrichum lateriflorum)

Canada lettuce (Lactuca canadensis)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Canadian honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis)

Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense)

common agrimony (Agrimonia gryposepala)

common blue violet (Viola sororia)

common burdock (Arctium minus)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common plantain (Plantago major)

common self-heal (Prunella vulgaris ssp. vulgaris)

common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus var. albus)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

devil’s beggarticks (Bidens frondosa)

downy yellow violet (Viola pubescens)

early meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern bottlebrush grass (Elymus hystrix var. hystrix)

fragrant bedstraw (Galium triflorum)

fringed brome (Bromus ciliatus)

fringed willowherb (Epilobium ciliatum ssp. ciliatum)

golden alexanders (Zizia aurea)

gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

great water dock (Rumex britannica)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

hairy honeysuckle (Lonicera hirsuta)

hairy Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum pubescens)

harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana)

Indianpipe (Monotropa uniflora)

large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)

late goldenrod (Solidago altissima)

Lindley’s aster (Symphyotrichum ciliolatum)

long-leaved bluet (Houstonia longifolia)

lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

lowland hog peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata var. comosa)

Maryland black snakeroot (Sanicula marilandica)

narrow-leaved hawkweed (Hieracium umbellatum)

northern bedstraw (Galium boreale)

northern bugleweed (Lycopus uniflorus)

northern bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)

northern lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina var. angustum)

northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis)

northern prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)

ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica)

paleleaf woodland sunflower (Helianthus strumosus)

paper birch (Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera)

Pennsylvania buttercup (Ranunculus pensylvanicus)

pointed-leaved tick-trefoil (Hylodesmum glutinosum)

poke milkweed (Asclepias exaltata)

prairie rose (Rosa arkansana)

prickly rose (Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi)

purple meadow-rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum)

purple-stem aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum var. puniceum)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

red maple (Acer rubrum var. rubrum)

red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea ssp. sericea)

red pine (Pinus resinosa)

redtop (Agrostis gigantea)

reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

rose twisted-stalk (Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes)

round-leaved dogwood (Cornus rugosa)

round-lobed hepatica (Anemone americana)

sharp-lobed hepatica (Anemone acutiloba)

spinulose wood fern (Dryopteris carthusiana)

sugar maple (Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum)

sweet Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum)

tall thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)

timothy (Phleum pratense ssp. pratense)

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

water horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile)

western bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

white avens (Geum canadense)

white campion (Silene latifolia ssp. alba)

white clover (Trifolium repens ssp. repens)

white spruce (Picea glauca)

wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

wild grape (Vitis riparia)

wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)

wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

willow herb (Epilobium spp.)

woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea)

yellow marsh marigold (Caltha palustris var. palustris)

yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis)

yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta)


Abies balsamea var. balsamea (balsam fir)

Acer rubrum var. rubrum (red maple)

Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum (sugar maple)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Agastache foeniculum (blue giant hyssop)

Agrimonia gryposepala (common agrimony)

Agrostis gigantea (redtop)

Amphicarpaea bracteata var. comosa (lowland hog peanut)

Anemone acutiloba (sharp-lobed hepatica)

Anemone americana (round-lobed hepatica)

Anemone virginiana (tall thimbleweed)

Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)

Aralia racemosa ssp. racemosa (American spikenard)

Arctium minus (common burdock)

Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)

Asclepias exaltata (poke milkweed)

Athyrium filix-femina var. angustum (northern lady fern)

Berteroa incana (hoary alyssum)

Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera (paper birch)

Bidens frondosa (devil’s beggarticks)

Bromus ciliatus (fringed brome)

Caltha palustris var. palustris (yellow marsh marigold)

Campanula rotundifolia (harebell)

Circaea canadensis (broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade)

Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)

Cornus rugosa (round-leaved dogwood)

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (red osier dogwood)

Corylus americana (American hazelnut)

Cryptotaenia canadensis (Canadian honewort)

Diervilla lonicera (northern bush honeysuckle)

Dryopteris carthusiana (spinulose wood fern)

Elymus hystrix var. hystrix (eastern bottlebrush grass)

Epilobium ciliatum ssp. ciliatum (fringed willowherb)

Epilobium spp. (willowherbs)

Equisetum fluviatile (water horsetail)

Eurybia macrophylla (bigleaf aster)

Eutrochium purpureum (sweet Joe Pye weed)

Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)

Fraxinus nigra (black ash)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium boreale (northern bedstraw)

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw)

Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)

Geum canadense (white avens)

Halenia deflexa ssp. deflexa (American spurred gentian)

Helianthus strumosus (paleleaf woodland sunflower)

Hieracium umbellatum (narrow-leaved hawkweed)

Houstonia longifolia (long-leaved bluet)

Hylodesmum glutinosum (pointed-leaved tick-trefoil)

Lactuca canadensis (Canada lettuce)

Lonicera hirsuta (hairy honeysuckle)

Lycopus uniflorus (northern bugleweed)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum (common false Solomon’s seal)

Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica (ostrich fern)

Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover)

Mimulus ringens var. ringens (Allegheny monkeyflower)

Monotropa uniflora (Indianpipe)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana (American hophornbeam)

Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Pastinaca sativa (wild parsnip)

Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)

Phleum pratense ssp. pratense (timothy)

Picea glauca (white spruce)

Picea mariana (black spruce)

Pinus resinosa (red pine)

Plantago major (common plantain)

Polygonatum pubescens (hairy Solomon’s seal)

Populus grandidentata (bigtooth aspen)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Prunella vulgaris ssp. vulgaris (common self-heal)

Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum (western bracken fern)

Quercus ellipsoidalis (northern pin oak)

Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa (bur oak)

Ranunculus pensylvanicus (Pennsylvania buttercup)

Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi (prickly rose)

Rosa arkansana (prairie rose)

Rumex britannica (great water dock)

Sanicula marilandica (Maryland black snakeroot)

Silene latifolia ssp. alba (white campion)

Solidago altissima (late goldenrod)

Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes (rose twisted-stalk)

Symphoricarpos albus var. albus (common snowberry)

Symphyotrichum ciliolatum (Lindley’s aster)

Symphyotrichum lateriflorum (calico aster)

Symphyotrichum puniceum var. puniceum (purple-stem aster)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dasycarpum (purple meadow-rue)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow-rue)

Tilia americana var. americana (American basswood)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens ssp. repens (white clover)

Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)

Uvularia grandiflora (large-flowered bellwort)

Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Vicia americana ssp. americana (American vetch)

Viola pubescens (downy yellow violet)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Vitis riparia (wild grape)

Zanthoxylum americanum (northern prickly ash)

Zizia aurea (golden alexanders)


Allegheny monkeyflower

American spikenard

American vetch

balsam fir

bur oak (var. macrocarpa)

Canada mayflower

Canadian honewort

common blue violet

common false Solomon’s seal

common self-heal (ssp. vulgaris)

downy yellow violet

fragrant bedstraw

golden alexanders


large-flowered bellwort

Lindley’s aster

lowbush blueberry

paleleaf woodland sunflower

poke milkweed

prairie rose

red clover

round-lobed hepatica

sharp-lobed hepatica

purple meadow-rue

tall thimbleweed

white campion

wild columbine

wild geranium

yellow marsh marigold

yellow sweet clover







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