Scenic State Park





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Minnesota DNR



Two areas of Scenic State Park are included separately on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), the service yard and the CCC Rustic Style Historic District. The service yard includes four buildings on the western shore of Sandwick Lake. The historic district is 16 acres on the south shore of Coon Lake that includes five buildings and a set of stone steps. The buildings in these areas were designed by the National Park Service and constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). They were designed in Rustic Style Architecture and built with a labor-intensive process. They are considered irreplaceable. The work was performed during the Great Depression between 1933 and 1935. On June 6, 1992, the service yard was placed in the NRHP. On June 8, 1992, the historic district was placed in the NRHP.



In 1921, in an effort to preserve the birch and pines around Coon and Sandwick Lakes from logging, 2,121 acres in Itasca County were acquired and Scenic State Park was created. Subsequent land acquisitions have almost doubled the size of this park.









3,936 acres statutory, 2,650 owned


Driving Directions

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  Area and County
    County   Itasca County
    Region   Northeast Minnesota


56956 Scenic Highway 7
Bigfork, MN 56628

N47 42.189, W93 34.012



Daily from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.



Daily park permit: $7

Annual park permit: $35



all season (PDF)

all season (GeoPDF)


Printable Map(s) with GPS coordinates

Printable map    

North section




Mountain biking

Horseback riding




Rock climbing and bouldering





Nature photography


Cross country skiing


Winter hiking





Self guided/Interpretive

2 mile


14 miles

Cross country skiing

1.3 miles


10 miles groomed


Anywhere in park


Hunting and Fishing

No hunting. The park may hold one or more managed hunts in the fall.

In most cases, Minnesota residents do not need a permit to fish in Minnesota State Parks.


Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification
Ecological Province Ecological Province  

Laurentian Mixed Forest Province

Ecological Section Ecological Section  

Northern Minnesota Drift & Lake Plains

Ecological Subsection Ecological Subsection  

St. Louis Moraines

Land Type Association    

Coon Lake Till Plain


Native Plant Communities*


Alder - (Maple - Loosestrife) Swamp

Aspen - Birch - Basswood Forest

Cattail - Sedge Marsh (Northern)

Low Shrub Poor Fen

Northern Dry Sand Pine Woodland

Northern Very Wet Ash Swamp

Northern Wet-Mesic Boreal Hardwood-Conifer Forest

Red Pine - White Pine Woodland

Rich Tamarack - (Alder) Swamp

White Cedar Swamp (Northcentral)

Willow - Dogwood Shrub Swamp

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

Natural Features







Visitor Photos

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Scenic State Park   Scenic State Park

Park entrance

  Coon Lake
Scenic State Park

Coon Lake

Scenic State Park   Scenic State Park

Osprey Nest Trail






Osprey Nest Trail

Scenic State Park   Scenic State Park

Chase Point Trail

Scenic State Park   Scenic State Park

Chase Point Trail

Scenic State Park   Scenic State Park

Alder - (Maple - Loosestrife) Swamp

  Aspen - Birch - Basswood Forest
Scenic State Park   Scenic State Park

Red Pine - White Pine Woodland




Scenic State Park
Sharon Somero

Scenic State Park

Scenic State Park
Brett Whaley

Scenic State Park

Scenic State Park
Richard Sanders

Scenic State Park

Scenic State Park

Scenic State Park MN
Chris Kratzke


Published on Feb 13, 2014

I created this video with the YouTube Slideshow Creator

Scenic State Park in Minnesota - Video Tour


Uploaded on May 3, 2011 - Scenic State Park in Minnesota is one of our little known local treasures. This video tour will show you how the aptly named "Scenic" got its name. Visit for more on Scenic State Park in Minnesota and to see our Minnesota Audio Tours.



Visitor Videos

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Wander Without Wifi

Aug 2, 2020


Scenic State Park is a quiet and peaceful park just about 45 miles north of Grand Rapids, MN. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Wander Without Wifi is :
Scott Bemman - Video, stills
Diana Pierce- Video, editing.
Music- Take Your Time, Dan Lebowitz, YouTube Music
You can find us at

Other Videos

scenic state park
nick hoffman


Premiered Jul 17, 2020

scenic state park MN

Chase Point, Scenic State Park. Bigfork, MN. Relaxing Hiking Video with Ambient Music.
Tent Walls to Waterfalls


Jul 8, 2021

This is a video of us hiking Chase Point at Scenic State Park.

Scenic State Park


Oct 11, 2021

Scenic State Park Minnesota


Jul 24, 2018

Minnesota Scenic State Park boat in campsite #4 Bigfork MN

Suggested by Kill Rock Stars



Visitor Sightings

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Scott Bemman

Insects and Arachnids

bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata)

red-banded leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea quadrivittata)

  bald-faced hornet

Olga Zenteno


chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana) Sightings





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


Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

Special Concern

American Goshawk (Accipiter atricapillus)

Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri)

Purple Martin (Progne subis)

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Birds List

Minnesota DNR Bird checklist

eBird Field Checklist

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

  Pileated Woodpecker


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

Special Concern

northern sunfish (Lepomis peltastes)

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Fishes List


Fungi and Lichens

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Fungi List

Aspen Bolete (Leccinum insigne)

Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)

Bristly Beard Lichen (Usnea hirta)

Cavern Beard Lichen (Usnea cavernosa)

Chicken Fat Mushroom (Suillus americanus)

Common Greenshield Lichen (Flavoparmelia caperata)

Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)

Purple Bordered Leaf Spot (Phyllosticta minima)

Red-banded Polypore (Fomitopsis pinicola)

Short-stemmed Russula (Russula brevipes)


Aspen Bolete

Black Knot

Insects and Arachnids

bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata)

dog day cicada (Neotibicen canicularis)

great spangled fritillary (Argynnis cybele)

lake darner (Aeshna eremita)

plum finger gall mite (Eriophyes emarginatae)

red admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

red nail gall mite (Eriophyes tiliae)

silver-bordered fritillary (Boloria selene)

twirler moth (Scrobipalpula manierreorum)

white-faced meadowhawk (Sympetrum obtrusum)

willow pinecone gall midge (Rabdophaga strobiloides)

wood, mound, and field ants (Formica spp.)


dog day cicada

great spangled fritillary

willow pinecone gall midge


American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

  American red squirrel


One plant species with conservation status in Minnesota is found here:

Special Concern

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

Aspen - Birch - Basswood Forest MHn35a

Cattail - Sedge Marsh (Northern) MRn83a

Low Shrub Poor Fen APn91a

Northern Dry Sand Pine Woodland FDn12

Northern Very Wet Ash Swamp WFn64

Northern Wet-Mesic Boreal Hardwood-Conifer Forest MHn44

Red Pine - White Pine Woodland FDn33a

Rich Tamarack - (Alder) Swamp FPn82a

White Cedar Swamp (Northcentral) FPn63b

Willow - Dogwood Shrub Swamp WMn82a



American basswood (Tilia americana var. americana)

American elm (Ulmus americana)

American hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana)

American red raspberry (Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus)

American spurred gentian (Halenia deflexa ssp. deflexa)

American vetch (Vicia americana ssp. americana)

American white waterlily (Nymphaea odorata)

balsam fir (Abies balsamea var. balsamea)

balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera)

bigleaf aster (Eurybia macrophylla)

bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata)

bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus var. corniculatus)

black ash (Fraxinus nigra)

black cherry (Prunus serotina var. serotina)

black medick (Medicago lupulina)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis)

bog Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum)

broad-leaved cattail (Typha latifolia)

bulbet-bearing water hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera)

bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

Canada lettuce (Lactuca canadensis)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense)

chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana)

cleavers (Galium aparine)

clustered black snakeroot (Sanicula odorata)

common agrimony (Agrimonia gryposepala)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

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

common plantain (Plantago major)

common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

common selfheal (Prunella vulgaris ssp. vulgaris)

common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

downy yellow violet (Viola pubescens)

dwarf raspberry (Rubus pubescens)

early meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)

eastern woodland sedge (Carex blanda)

four-flowered yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia quadriflora)

giant sunflower (Helianthus giganteus)

goldthread (Coptis trifolia)

great water dock (Rumex britannica)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

hairy goldenrod (Solidago hispida)

hairy honeysuckle (Lonicera hirsuta)

heart-leaved birch (Betula cordifolia)

interrupted fern (Claytosmunda claytoniana)

jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)

Lindley’s aster (Symphyotrichum ciliolatum)

lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

marsh cinquefoil (Comarum palustre)

Maryland black snakeroot (Sanicula marilandica)

meadow horsetail (Equisetum pratense)

mountain maple (Acer spicatum)

narrow-leaved hawkweed (Hieracium umbellatum)

nodding bur marigold (Bidens cernua)

nodding trillium (Trillium cernuum)

northern blue flag (Iris versicolor)

northern bugleweed (Lycopus uniflorus)

northern bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)

northern green orchid (Platanthera aquilonis)

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

northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

northern starflower (Lysimachia borealis)

northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis)

ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica)

oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)

panicled aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum)

paper birch (Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera)

peachleaf willow (Salix amygdaloides)

pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)

Pennsylvania buttercup (Ranunculus pensylvanicus)

perennial sow thistle (Sonchus arvensis)

Philadelphia fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus var. philadelphicus)

pineapple-weed (Matricaria discoidea)

poke milkweed (Asclepias exaltata)

porcupine grass (Hesperostipa spartea)

prairie rose (Rosa arkansana)

prickly rose (Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi)

purpleleaf willowherb (Epilobium coloratum)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

rabbit’s foot clover (Trifolium arvense)

red baneberry (Actaea rubra ssp. rubra)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa)

red maple (Acer rubrum var. rubrum)

red pine (Pinus resinosa)

reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

rose twisted-stalk (Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes)

rough bedstraw (Galium asprellum)

round-leaved dogwood (Cornus rugosa)

round-lobed hepatica (Anemone americana)

sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

sessile-leaf bellwort (Uvularia sessilifolia)

Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila)

silky dogwood (Cornus obliqua)

smooth rose (Rosa blanda var. blanda)

smooth Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum)

smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)

speckled alder (Alnus incana ssp. rugosa)

spinulose wood fern (Dryopteris carthusiana)

spotted touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis)

spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)

stiff clubmoss (Spinulum annotinum)

sugar maple (Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum)

sweet Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum)

tall thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)

thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus)

timothy (Phleum pratense ssp. pratense)

veiny pea (Lathyrus venosus var. intonsus)

water horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile)

western bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

white campion (Silene latifolia ssp. alba)

white clover (Trifolium repens ssp. repens)

white rattlesnake root (Nabalus albus)

white sage (Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. ludoviciana)

white spruce (Picea glauca)

white sweet clover (Melilotus albus)

wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

woodland horsetail (Equisetum sylvaticum)

wool grass (Scirpus cyperinus)

yellow avens (Geum aleppicum)

yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis)

yellow marsh marigold (Caltha palustris var. palustris)


Abies balsamea var. balsamea (balsam fir)

Acer rubrum var. rubrum (red maple)

Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum (sugar maple)

Acer spicatum (mountain maple)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Actaea rubra ssp. rubra (red baneberry)

Agrimonia gryposepala (common agrimony)

Alnus incana ssp. rugosa (speckled alder)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)

Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting)

Anemone americana (round-lobed hepatica)

Anemone virginiana (tall thimbleweed)

Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane)

Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)

Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)

Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. ludoviciana (white sage)

Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)

Asclepias exaltata (poke milkweed)

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

Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)

Betula cordifolia (heart-leaved birch)

Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera (paper birch)

Bidens cernua (nodding bur marigold)

Caltha palustris var. palustris (yellow marsh marigold)

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge)

Cicuta bulbifera (bulbet-bearing water hemlock)

Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)

Clintonia borealis (bluebead lily)

Comarum palustre (marsh cinquefoil)

Coptis trifolia (goldthread)

Cornus alternifolia (pagoda dogwood)

Cornus obliqua (silky dogwood)

Cornus canadensis (bunchberry)

Cornus rugosa (round-leaved dogwood)

Diervilla lonicera (northern bush honeysuckle)

Dryopteris carthusiana (spinulose wood fern)

Epilobium coloratum (purpleleaf willowherb)

Equisetum fluviatile (water horsetail)

Equisetum pratense (meadow horsetail)

Equisetum sylvaticum (woodland horsetail)

Erigeron philadelphicus var. philadelphicus (Philadelphia fleabane)

Eurybia macrophylla (bigleaf aster)

Eutrochium purpureum (sweet Joe Pye weed)

Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)

Fraxinus nigra (black ash)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium aparine (cleavers)

Galium asprellum (rough bedstraw)

Geum aleppicum (yellow avens)

Halenia deflexa ssp. deflexa (American spurred gentian)

Helianthus giganteus (giant sunflower)

Hesperostipa spartea (porcupine grass)

Hieracium umbellatum (narrow-leaved hawkweed)

Impatiens capensis (spotted touch-me-not)

Iris versicolor (northern blue flag)

Lactuca canadensis (Canada lettuce)

Lathyrus venosus var. intonsus) (veiny pea)

Leucanthemum vulgare (oxeye daisy)

Lonicera hirsuta (hairy honeysuckle)

Lotus corniculatus var. corniculatus (bird’s-foot trefoil)

Lycopus uniflorus (northern bugleweed)

Lysimachia borealis (northern starflower)

Lysimachia quadriflora (four-flowered yellow loosestrife)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

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

Matricaria discoidea (pineapple-weed)

Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica (ostrich fern)

Medicago lupulina (black medick)

Melilotus albus (white sweet clover)

Nabalus albus (white rattlesnake root)

Nymphaea odorata (American white waterlily)

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Claytosmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)

Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana (American hophornbeam)

Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)

Phleum pratense ssp. pratense (timothy)

Picea glauca (white spruce)

Pinus resinosa (red pine)

Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)

Plantago major (common plantain)

Platanthera aquilonis (northern green orchid)

Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum (smooth Solomon’s seal)

Populus balsamifera (balsam poplar)

Populus grandidentata (bigtooth aspen)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Prunella vulgaris ssp. vulgaris (common selfheal)

Prunus serotina var. serotina (black cherry)

Prunus virginiana var. virginiana (chokecherry)

Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum (western bracken fern)

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)

Ranunculus pensylvanicus (Pennsylvania buttercup)

Rhododendron groenlandicum (bog Labrador tea)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi (prickly rose)

Rosa arkansana (prairie rose)

Rosa blanda var. blanda (smooth rose)

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (American red raspberry)

Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry)

Rubus pubescens (dwarf raspberry)

Rumex britannica (great water dock)

Salix amygdaloides (peachleaf willow)

Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa (red elderberry)

Sanicula marilandica (Maryland black snakeroot)

Sanicula odorata (clustered black snakeroot)

Scirpus cyperinus (wool grass)

Silene latifolia ssp. alba (white campion)

Solidago hispida (hairy goldenrod)

Sonchus arvensis (perennial sow thistle)

Spinulum annotinum (stiff clubmoss)

Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes (rose twisted-stalk)

Symphyotrichum ciliolatum (Lindley’s aster)

Symphyotrichum lanceolatum (panicled aster)

Tanacetum vulgare (common tansy)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow-rue)

Thuja occidentalis (northern white cedar)

Tilia americana var. americana (American basswood)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Trifolium arvense (rabbit’s foot clover)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens ssp. repens (white clover)

Trillium cernuum (nodding trillium)

Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

Ulmus pumila (Siberian elm)

Uvularia grandiflora (large-flowered bellwort)

Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile-leaf bellwort)

Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry)

Vicia americana ssp. americana (American vetch)

Viola pubescens (downy yellow violet)


American red raspberry

American white waterlily (ssp. tuberosa)

bird’s-foot trefoil

black cherry

bluebead lily


Canada anemone

common false Solomon’s seal

common tansy

downy yellow violet

early meadow-rue

eastern white pine

hairy goldenrod

large-flowered bellwort

Lindley’s aster

nodding bur marigold

nodding trillium

northern starflower

oxeye daisy

pearly everlasting

poke milkweed

prairie rose

prickly rose

red baneberry

red elderberry

silky dogwood

smooth rose

spotted touch-me-not

tall thimbleweed


western poison ivy

white clover

wild columbine

yellow marsh marigold






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