Iron Springs Bog SNA






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Minnesota DNR








Iron Springs Bog SNA was designated on 3/1/1983. In 2017, a 16-acre parcel was added, connecting the SNA to MN Hwy 200.












Detail map (MN DNR)


Printable Map(s) with GPS coordinates

  Printable map      



231 acres




To get to the site from MN Hwy 200, turn north onto the unmarked two-track road at the location shown above.

Turnoff to parking
N47 15.136, W95 14.035

Proceed north for 150 yards. Turn left (west) and drive 400 yards (0.23 miles). Park on the shoulder.

Parking (on shoulder)
N47 15.206, W95 14.340


Driving Directions

  Area and County  

Get driving directions from Google Maps to this destination from any address, and send those directions to your phone.

          Clearwater County  
          Northwest Minnesota  

Hiking Trails


No maintained trails




Deer only. See Hunting and Trapping Regulations (MN DNR) for details.


Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification  
  Ecological Province    

Laurentian Mixed Forest Province

  Ecological Section    

Northern Minnesota Drift & Lake Plains

  Ecological Subsection    

Chippewa Plains

  Land Type Association    

Alida Till Plain


Native Plant Communities*


Alder - (Maple - Loosestrife) Swamp

Black Ash - Aspen - Balsam Poplar Swamp (Northeastern)

Central Dry-Mesic Oak-Aspen Forest

Extremely Rich Tamarack Swamp

Northern Poor Conifer Swamp -disturbed

Northern Rich Fen (Basin)

Northern Rich Tamarack Swamp (Western Basin)

Northern Wet Ash Swamp

Northern Wet-Mesic Boreal Hardwood-Conifer Forest

Sedge Meadow

White Cedar Swamp (Northcentral)

Willow - Dogwood Shrub Swamp

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

Natural Features








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Getting There

    Iron Springs Bog SNA   Iron Springs Bog SNA  
    Iron Springs Bog SNA      

Wood Routed Sign

    Iron Springs Bog SNA      

Forest Opening

    Iron Springs Bog SNA      

Conifer Swamp

    Iron Springs Bog SNA      



Take a Walk with Me thru Iron Springs Bog SNA
Angela Shogren

Take a walk with me thru Iron Springs Bog, a Scientific and Natural Area in Northern MN.

You'll get a close-up look at a wood frog; naked miterwort; carnivorous pitcher plants; a few mushrooms, including Russula emetica or (my favorite name of anything, ever) 'The Sickener'; blue-eyed grass; many types of mosses; Canadian anemone;6 types of orchids - frog orchid, early coralroot, the gorgeous round-leaved orchid, plus 3 different types of lady's slippers; small cranberry blossoms...there's even a few plants in there that I don't know (so if you see any I didn't list, I'd love it if you left me a comment letting me know).

All of these photos were taken within the same day in an area that couldn't have been more than a couple of acres. Hope you enjoy!

If you'd like to see more from our MN bogs, please feel free to visit my blog, 'Boggy Wonderlands' at

(These photos were all taken by me and are protected under copyright, so please don't use any without my permission. You're welcome to share the video anywhere as long as it's used in it's entirety - thanks!)




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Iron Springs Bog Scientific and Natural Area Virtual Hike
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Aug 25, 2020

Only two miles northwest of Lake Itasca and the storied headwaters of the Mississippi, Iron Springs Bog SNA has its own distinctions. Generations of students from the nearby University of Minnesota Itasca Biological Station have spent time along Sucker Creek and its nameless tributary here, conducting research and using this SNA as a field study site.

Even if you never visit this site in person, you can rest easy knowing that this habitat is protected for the benefit of all Minnesotans for many years to come.

  Iron Springs Bog SNA
Greg Brick

Dec 17, 2018

Iron springs are ubiquitous but the springs along Sucker Creek, just north of Itasca State Park in Minnesota, are part of a coniferous seepage slope. Iron bacteria thrive in the discharge pools, providing a whiff of brimstone to the weary bog-trotter.

#ItascaStatePark #springs




Visitor Sightings

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  wood frog (Rana sylvatica)   wood frog  



Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Birds List

Minnesota DNR Bird checklist

eBird Field Checklist


American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

  Blue Jay  



Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Fishes List


Fungi and Lichens


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Fungi List

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Lichens List

  Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)   Black Knot  

Insects and Arachnids


alder beadgall mite (Phytoptus laevis)

deer fly (Chrysops sp.)

eastern tent caterpillar moth (Malacosoma americanum)

goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

mustard white (Pieris oleracea)

northern crescent (Phyciodes cocyta)

northern pearly eye (Lethe anthedon)

twelve-spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella)

twice-stabbed stink bug (Cosmopepla lintneriana)


mustard white

northern pearly eye




American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

  American red squirrel  



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


bog adder’s-mouth (Malaxis paludosa)

winter bentgrass (Agrostis hyemalis)


ram’s head lady’s slipper (Cypripedium arietinum)

Special Concern

northern oak fern (Gymnocarpium robertianum)

white adder’s-mouth (Malaxis monophyllos var. brachypoda)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas and Minnesota Biological Survey Vegetation Releves Plant List


Plants frequently found in:

Alder - (Maple - Loosestrife) Swamp FPn73a

Black Ash - Aspen - Balsam Poplar Swamp (Northeastern) WFn55a

Central Dry-Mesic Oak-Aspen Forest MHc26

Extremely Rich Tamarack Swamp FPn82b

Northern Poor Conifer Swamp APn81

Northern Rich Fen (Basin) OPn92

Northern Rich Tamarack Swamp (Western Basin) FPn82

Northern Wet Ash Swamp WFn55

Northern Wet-Mesic Boreal Hardwood-Conifer Forest MHn44

Sedge Meadow WMn82b

White Cedar Swamp (Northcentral) FPn63b

Willow - Dogwood Shrub Swamp WMn82a



alder-leaved buckthorn (Rhamnus alnifolia)

alfalfa (Medicago sativa ssp. sativa)

Allegheny monkeyflower (Mimulus ringens var. ringens)

alpine enchanter’s-nightshade (Circaea alpina ssp. alpina)

alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum)

American bugleweed (Lycopus americanus)

American cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum)

American elm (Ulmus americana)

American hazelnut (Corylus americana)

American highbush cranberry (Viburnum opulus var. americanum)

American red raspberry (Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus)

American vetch (Vicia americana ssp. americana)

arctic sweet coltsfoot (Petasites frigidus)

balsam fir (Abies balsamea var. balsamea)

bigleaf aster (Eurybia macrophylla)

bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata)

black ash (Fraxinus nigra)

black cherry (Prunus serotina var. serotina)

black medick (Medicago lupulina)

black spruce (Picea mariana)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

blue giant hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

blue vervain (Verbena hastata)

bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis)

blunt-leaved orchid (Platanthera obtusata)

bog birch (Betula pumila)

bog Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum)

broad-leaved cattail (Typha latifolia)

buckbean (Menyanthes trifoliata)

bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa)

Canada anemone (Anemonastrum canadense)

Canada lettuce (Lactuca canadensis)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)

Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense)

chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana)

clustered black snakeroot (Sanicula odorata)

common agrimony (Agrimonia gryposepala)

common hop (Humulus lupulus)

common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common plantain (Plantago major)

common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus var. albus)

common strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

creeping snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula)

crested wood fern (Dryopteris cristata)

crown vetch (Securigera varia)

cut-leaved coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata var. laciniata)

dwarf raspberry (Rubus pubescens)

early goldenrod (Solidago juncea)

early meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern marsh fern (Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens)

field chickweed (Cerastium arvense)

fragrant bedstraw (Galium triflorum)

giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

goldthread (Coptis trifolia)

grass-leaved goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia)

great water dock (Rumex britannica)

green adder’s-mouth (Malaxis unifolia)

green alder (Alnus alnobetula ssp. crispa)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

green keeled cottongrass (Eriophorum viridicarinatum)

heart-leaved twayblade (Neottia cordata)

hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana)

Huron green orchid (Platanthera huronensis)

liverleaf wintergreen (Pyrola asarifolia ssp. asarifolia)

longbract frog orchid (Dactylorhiza viridis)

marsh bellflower (Campanula aparinoides)

marsh horsetail (Equisetum palustre)

marsh skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata)

marsh vetchling (Lathyrus palustris)

meadow horsetail (Equisetum pratense)

narrow-leaved cattail (Typha angustifolia)

northern bedstraw (Galium boreale)

northern blue flag (Iris versicolor)

northern bog aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)

northern bog bedstraw (Galium labradoricum)

northern green orchid (Platanthera aquilonis)

northern oak fern (Gymnocarpium robertianum)

northern small yellow lady’s slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin)

northern starflower (Lysimachia borealis)

northern wild comfrey (Andersonglossum boreale)

one-flowered wintergreen (Moneses uniflora)

one-sided wintergreen (Orthilia secunda)

oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)

Philadelphia fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus var. philadelphicus)

porcupine sedge (Carex hystericina)

prairie rose (Rosa arkansana)

prickly rose (Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi)

prairie willow (Salix humilis)

northern purple pitcherplant (Sarracenia purpurea ssp. purpurea)

purple meadow-rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum)

purple-stem aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum var. puniceum)

pussy willow (Salix discolor)

quackgrass (Elymus repens)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

rattlesnake fern (Botrypus virginianus)

red baneberry (Actaea rubra ssp. rubra)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa)

red maple (Acer rubrum var. rubrum)

red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea ssp. sericea)

red pine (Pinus resinosa)

reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

rose twisted-stalk (Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes)

rough bedstraw (Galium asprellum)

round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia)

roundleaf orchid (Galearis rotundifolia)

scarlet Indian paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea)

showy lady’s slipper (Cypripedium reginae)

silvery cinquefoil (Potentilla argentea)

slender willow (Salix petiolaris)

slim-stem reedgrass (Calamagrostis stricta)

small cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos)

smooth brome (Bromus inermis)

smooth rose (Rosa blanda var. blanda)

smooth scouring rush (Equisetum laevigatum)

speckled alder (Alnus incana ssp. rugosa)

spotted Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum)

spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos)

spotted touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis)

spotted water hemlock (Cicuta maculata)

spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)

starry false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum stellatum)

striped coralroot (Corallorhiza striata)

swamp candles (Lysimachia terrestris)

swamp fly honeysuckle (Lonicera oblongifolia)

swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata)

swamp red currant (Ribes triste)

swamp thistle (Cirsium muticum)

tall thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)

tamarack (Larix laricina)

three-leaved false Solomon’s seal (Smilacina trifolia)

timothy (Phleum pratense ssp. pratense)

twoleaf miterwort (Mitella diphylla)

veiny pea (Lathyrus venosus var. intonsus)

velvet-leaf blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides)

water horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile)

western bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

white bog orchid (Platanthera dilatata var. dilatata)

white campion (Silene latifolia ssp. alba)

white clover (Trifolium repens ssp. repens)

white spruce (Picea glauca)

white sweet clover (Melilotus albus)

wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

wolfberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis)

wood forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica)

woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca ssp. americana)

woundwort (Stachys pilosa var. arenicola)

yellow avens (Geum aleppicum)

yellow goat’s beard (Tragopogon dubius)

yellow marsh marigold (Caltha palustris var. palustris)

yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis)


Abies balsamea var. balsamea (balsam fir)

Acer rubrum var. rubrum (red maple)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Actaea rubra ssp. rubra (red baneberry)

Agastache foeniculum (blue giant hyssop)

Agrimonia gryposepala (common agrimony)

Alnus incana ssp. rugosa (speckled alder)

Alnus alnobetula ssp. crispa (green alder)

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting)

Andersonglossum boreale (northern wild comfrey)

Anemonastrum canadense (Canada anemone)

Anemone virginiana (tall thimbleweed)

Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane)

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)

Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)

Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)

Berteroa incana (hoary alyssum)

Betula pumila (bog birch)

Botrypus virginianus (rattlesnake fern)

Bromus inermis (smooth brome)

Calamagrostis stricta (slim-stem reedgrass)

Caltha palustris var. palustris (yellow marsh marigold)

Campanula aparinoides (marsh bellflower)

Carex hystericina (porcupine sedge)

Castilleja coccinea (scarlet Indian paintbrush)

Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos (spotted knapweed)

Cerastium arvense (field chickweed)

Cicuta maculata (spotted water hemlock)

Circaea alpina ssp. alpina (alpine enchanter’s-nightshade)

Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)

Cirsium muticum (swamp thistle)

Clintonia borealis (bluebead lily)

Coptis trifolia (goldthread)

Corallorhiza striata (striped coralroot)

Cornus canadensis (bunchberry)

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (red osier dogwood)

Corylus americana (American hazelnut)

Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin (northern small yellow lady’s slipper)

Cypripedium reginae (showy lady’s slipper)

Dactylorhiza viridis (longbract frog orchid)

Drosera rotundifolia (round-leaved sundew)

Dryopteris cristata (crested wood fern)

Elymus repens (quackgrass)

Equisetum fluviatile (water horsetail)

Equisetum laevigatum (smooth scouring rush)

Equisetum palustre (marsh horsetail)

Equisetum pratense (meadow horsetail)

Erigeron philadelphicus var. philadelphicus (Philadelphia fleabane)

Eriophorum viridicarinatum (green keeled cottongrass)

Eurybia macrophylla (bigleaf aster)

Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)

Eutrochium maculatum (spotted Joe Pye weed)

Fragaria vesca ssp. americana (woodland strawberry)

Fragaria virginiana (common strawberry)

Fraxinus nigra (black ash)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galearis rotundifolia (roundleaf orchid)

Galium asprellum (rough bedstraw)

Galium boreale (northern bedstraw)

Galium labradoricum (northern bog bedstraw)

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw)

Gaultheria hispidula (creeping snowberry)

Geum aleppicum (yellow avens)

Gymnocarpium robertianum (northern oak fern)

Heracleum maximum (American cow parsnip)

Humulus lupulus (common hop)

Impatiens capensis (spotted touch-me-not)

Iris versicolor (northern blue flag)

Lactuca canadensis (Canada lettuce)

Larix laricina (tamarack)

Lathyrus palustris (marsh vetchling)

Lathyrus venosus var. intonsus) (veiny pea)

Leucanthemum vulgare (oxeye daisy)

Lonicera oblongifolia (swamp fly honeysuckle)

Lycopus americanus (American bugleweed)

Lysimachia borealis (northern starflower)

Lysimachia terrestris (swamp candles)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

Maianthemum stellatum (starry false Solomon’s seal)

Malaxis unifolia (green adder’s-mouth)

Medicago lupulina (black medick)

Medicago sativa ssp. sativa (alfalfa)

Melilotus albus (white sweet clover)

Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover)

Menyanthes trifoliata (buckbean)

Mimulus ringens var. ringens (Allegheny monkeyflower)

Mitella diphylla (twoleaf miterwort)

Moneses uniflora (one-flowered wintergreen)

Myosotis sylvatica (wood forget-me-not)

Neottia cordata (heart-leaved twayblade)

Orthilia secunda (one-sided wintergreen)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Petasites frigidus (arctic sweet coltsfoot)

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)

Platanthera aquilonis (northern green orchid)

Platanthera dilatata var. dilatata (white bog orchid)

Platanthera huronensis (Huron green orchid)

Platanthera obtusata (blunt-leaved orchid)

Populus grandidentata (bigtooth aspen)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Potentilla argentea (silvery cinquefoil)

Prunus serotina var. serotina (black cherry)

Prunus virginiana var. virginiana (chokecherry)

Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum (western bracken fern)

Pyrola asarifolia ssp. asarifolia (liverleaf wintergreen)

Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa (bur oak)

Rhamnus alnifolia (alder-leaved buckthorn)

Rhododendron groenlandicum (bog Labrador tea)

Ribes triste (swamp red currant)

Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi (prickly rose)

Rosa arkansana (prairie rose)

Rosa blanda var. blanda (smooth rose)

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (American red raspberry)

Rubus pubescens (dwarf raspberry)

Rudbeckia laciniata var. laciniata (cut-leaved coneflower)

Rumex britannica (great water dock)

Salix discolor (pussy willow)

Salix humilis (prairie willow)

Salix petiolaris (slender willow)

Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa (red elderberry)

Sanicula odorata (clustered black snakeroot)

Sarracenia purpurea ssp. purpurea (northern purple pitcherplant)

Scutellaria galericulata (marsh skullcap)

Securigera varia (crown vetch)

Silene latifolia ssp. alba (white campion)

Smilacina trifolia (three-leaved false Solomon’s seal)

Solidago gigantea (giant goldenrod)

Solidago juncea (early goldenrod)

Stachys pilosa var. arenicola (woundwort)

Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes (rose twisted-stalk)

Symphoricarpos albus var. albus (common snowberry)

Symphoricarpos occidentalis (wolfberry)

Symphyotrichum boreale (northern bog aster)

Symphyotrichum puniceum var. puniceum (purple-stem aster)

Tanacetum vulgare (common tansy)

Thalictrum dasycarpum (purple meadow-rue)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow-rue)

Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens (eastern marsh fern)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Tragopogon dubius (yellow goat’s beard)

Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens ssp. repens (white clover)

Typha angustifolia (narrow-leaved cattail)

Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

Vaccinium myrtilloides (velvet-leaf blueberry)

Vaccinium oxycoccos (small cranberry)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Verbena hastata (blue vervain)

Viburnum opulus var. americanum (American highbush cranberry)

Vicia americana ssp. americana (American vetch)


alsike clover

American cow parsnip

American highbush cranberry

American red raspberry

black cherry

blue vervain

bluebead lily


Canada anemone


common mullein

common strawberry

common yarrow

crown vetch

early meadow-rue

fragrant bedstraw

grass-leaved goldenrod

hoary alyssum

marsh skullcap

northern bedstraw

northern blue flag

northern starflower

small yellow lady’s slipper

oxeye daisy

pearly everlasting

prairie fleabane (var. strigosus)

prickly rose

red baneberry

red clover

red elderberry

scarlet Indian paintbrush (f. coccinea)

Showy Lady’s Slipper

smooth rose

spotted touch-me-not

swamp milkweed

swamp thistle

purple meadow-rue

tall thimbleweed

western poison ivy

woodland strawberry

yellow avens

yellow marsh marigold







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