Hovland Woods SNA

North Unit






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Hovland Woods SNA, South Unit

Minnesota DNR








On February 4, 1992, a site in Cook County about 291 acres in size was designated as Hovland Woods Scientific and Natural Area. It protected old growth hardwoods, the special concern species Carolina spring beauty, and the state threatened species large-leaved sandwort (Carolina spring beauty has since been delisted). The site was greatly expanded on December 16, 2013. An adjacent parcel of about 290 acres was added to the original site, and a separate but nearby parcel of about 742 acres became the North Unit of this SNA.












Detail map (MN DNR)


Printable Map(s) with GPS coordinates



  North Unit  
  Printable map   Printable map  



About 742 acres




Boyd Rd
N47 56.147, W89 59.929


Driving Directions

  Area and County  

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          Cook County  
          Northeast Minnesota  

Hiking Trails


There are several roads and trails in the North Unit. The Hovland Woods Trail is a 16-mile ATV trail. It forms a loop that passes through both units of Hovland Woods SNA. It is open to ATVs from May 15 to November 30, to hikers year round.

North Unit: The Hovland Woods Trail follows Boyd Road, a light duty dirt road, from the north parking area 0.83 miles to the north boundary of the SNA; 2.26 miles to the southwest corner of the North Unit; then 0.83 miles to Tom Lake Road, the Superior Hiking Trail,and the South Unit of the SNA. A 0.63-mile spur off the main trail on Boyd Road leads east to Stevens Lake. A minimum maintenance road leads southwest from Boyd Road for 0.68 miles. It ends at a fork with two trails, one leading west into Grand Portage State Forest, the other leading north and back onto the SNA.

South Unit: From Tom Lake Road, another light duty dirt road, the Hovland Woods Trail leads northeast following the road 0.71 miles to the north boundary of the South Unit. The Superior Hiking Trail passes through the South Unit for a short distance. The Hazel Campground is adjacent to the south boundary.




All hunting. See Hunting and Trapping Regulations (MN DNR) for details.


Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification  
  Ecological Province    

Laurentian Mixed Forest

  Ecological Section    

Northern Superior Uplands

  Ecological Subsection    

Border Lakes

North Shore Highlands

  Land Type Association    

Swamp River Till Plain

Tettegouche Till Plain


Native Plant Communities*


Alder - (Maple - Loosestrife) Swamp

Aspen - Birch Forest: Balsam Fir Subtype

Beaver Wetland Complex

Black Ash - Conifer Swamp (Northeastern)

Lowland White Cedar Forest (North Shore)

Northern Shrub Shore Fen

Paper Birch - Sugar Maple Forest (North Shore)

Sugar Maple Forest (North Shore)

White Cedar Swamp (Northeastern)

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

Natural Features








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Hovland Woods SNA
  Hovland Woods SNA  

Hovland Woods SNA, a large forested natural area, contains mature and old-growth virgin forest communities now rare in the region. Beaver flowages, alder swamp, and a tributary of the Flute Reed River are also found on the property. Large old white spruce and white pine provide habitat for rare lichens and nesting eagles. Other species found on the site and in the general area include gray wolf and pine marten. Rare plants include the Carolina spring beauty and large-leaved sandwort.




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Minnesota DNR Bird checklist

eBird Field Checklist




Two plant species with conservation status in Minnesota are found here:


large-leaved sandwort (Moehringia macrophylla)

Special Concern

blunt-fruited sweet cicely (Osmorhiza depauperata)


Plants frequently found in:

Alder - (Maple - Loosestrife) Swamp FPn73a

Aspen - Birch Forest: Balsam Fir Subtype FDn43b1

Black Ash - Conifer Swamp (Northeastern) WFn64a

Lowland White Cedar Forest (North Shore) WFn53a

Northern Shrub Shore Fen OPn81

Paper Birch - Sugar Maple Forest (North Shore) MHn45a

Sugar Maple Forest (North Shore) MHn45c

White Cedar Swamp (Northeastern) FPn63a







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