Uncas Dunes SNA





Minnesota DNR logo



Minnesota DNR















Northwest Unit: 606 acres

Southeast Unit: 69 acres


Driving Directions

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  Area and County
    County   Sherburne County
    Region   Central Minnesota


Northwest Unit
Ann Lake Campground and Day Use Area
To get to the parking area follow the directions on the Minnesota DNR Web page to get to the Ann Lake Campground and Day Use Area. Drive through the campground until you get to the parking area for the SNA just past campsite #28.
N45 25.399, W93 41.594

Northwest Unit
245th Ave. NW – park on shoulder
N45 24.905, W93 41.976

Southeast Unit
233rd Ave.
N45 23.599, W93 40.457



Detail map (MN DNR)


Printable Map(s) with GPS coordinates

Printable map   Printable map

Northwest Unit




Printable map


Southeast Unit











Horseback riding


Nature photography

Cross country skiing






Mileages not given



Cross country skiing







A hiking trail follows the northern boundary of the SNA. Another trail follows about half of the southern boundary. The North Orock Trail, a horse/hiking trail, passes through the SNA and connects the SNA boundary trails. All of the trails are former forest roads.


Hunting and Fishing

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


Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification
Ecological Province Ecological Province  

Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province

Ecological Section Ecological Section  

Minnesota & NE Iowa Morainal

Ecological Subsection Ecological Subsection  

Anoka Sand Plain

Land Type Association    

Anoka Lake Plain


Native Plant Communities*


Alder - (Maple - Loosestrife) Swamp

Dry Barrens Oak Savanna (Southern): Oak Subtype

Northern Rich Fen (Basin)

Sedge Meadow

Southern Dry-Mesic Oak (Maple) Woodland

Tamarack Swamp (Southern)

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

Natural Features





Long pants recommended



This site is memorable for, among other things, an overabundance of poison ivy. Long pants are strongly recommended, even for the trails.












Mosquito headnet recommended



Deer flies can be bothersome here in June and July. Bring a mosquito headnet and do not leave it in the car. At some point you will want to use it.





Visitor Photos

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Kirk Nelson

Uncas Dunes SNA  

Uncas Dunes SNA


Upturned Tree Roots

Jensen Slough  


MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

Northwest Unit

Uncas Dunes SNA   Uncas Dunes SNA

Parking (Ann Lake Campground)


Wood Routed Sign and Interpretive Sign (Ann Lake Campground)

Uncas Dunes SNA   Uncas Dunes SNA

Parking (245th Ave. NW)

Uncas Dunes SNA   Uncas Dunes SNA

Wood Routed Sign (245th Ave. NW)

Uncas Dunes SNA   Uncas Dunes SNA



Southeast Unit

Uncas Dunes SNA    
Parking (233rd Ave. NW)  





Uncas Dunes SNA
Brett Whaley

Uncas Dunes SNA

Sherburne County, Minnesota

Uncas Dunes SNA
Restoration Evaluation

Uncas Dunes SNA



Visitor Videos

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Other Videos

Uncas Sand Dunes SNA August 29, 2020
Much Wilder Me


Aug 29, 2020

Today's adventure was back to Uncas Sand Dunes, a Minnesota Scientific and Natural Area.

You may need to turn your volume up to hear the birds!

Uncas Sand Dunes is an amazing place. It's far enough out of the city that there isn't a ton of city noise...although there were airplanes that flew over. The area has some hiking trails and a beach, but the inner road is a bit rugged. it doesn't really have potholes, but it has big ruts and angles where the road sort of falls off.

Uncas Dunes RX burn windows


Jun 4, 2015



Visitor Sightings

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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.

Crystal Boyd


common nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) [nesting?]

scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea)

turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)


Fungi and Lichens

British soldiers (Cladonia cristatella)

earthstar puffball (Astraeus sp.)

  British soldiers

Insects and Arachnids

Bee flies (Bombylidae) [on puccoon]

common eastern bumblebee (Bombus impatiens--queen)

duskywing moth (Erynnis sp.)

green june bug (Cotinis nitida)

hobomok skipper (Lon hobomok)

monarch (Danaus plexippus)

mournful thyris (Thyris sepulchris)

mourning cloak butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa)

multicolored Asian ladybeetle (Harmonia axyridis)

Neighbor moth (Haploa contigua)

northern green-striped grasshopper (Chortophaga viridifasciata)

predatory stink bug (Podisus modestus)

silvery blue butterfly (Glaucopsyche lygdamus)

two-spotted bumble bee (Bombus bimaculatus)


duskywing moth

mournful thyris

Neighbor moth

northern green-striped grasshopper


Whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)


Plants in Bloom

Amur maple (Acer ginnala)
[Amur maple had the most bee activity, even though it's an invasive species in a protected site!]

birds-foot violet (Viola pedata)

chickweed (Stellaria sp.)

columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

false lily-of-the-valley (Mianthemum canadense)

orange honeysuckle (Lonicera cilosa)

poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

prairie buttercup (Ranunculus rhomboideus)

puccoon (Lithospermum sp.)

wild strawberry (Fragaria sp.)


Jordan Wilson


seaside three-awn (Aristida tuberculosa)

  seaside three-awn
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings





Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Amphibians and Reptiles List

American toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

wood frog (Rana sylvatica)

  wood frog


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

Special Concern

American Goshawk (Accipiter atricapillus)

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri)

Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Purple Martin (Progne subis)

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)

Minnesota DNR Bird checklist

eBird Field Checklist

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)

Eastern Wood-peewee (Contopus virens)

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla)

Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)


American Robin

Mourning Dove

Fungi and Lichens

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Fungi List

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Lichens List

Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)

British Soldiers (Cladonia cristatella)

  Black Knot

Insects and Arachnids

One insect and arachnid species with conservation status in Minnesota has been seen here:


Uncas skipper (Hesperia uncas)

Minnesota Bee Atlas

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Insects List

American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis)

autumn meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum)

band-winged meadowhawk (Sympetrum semicinctum)

belted whiteface (Leucorrhinia proxima)

black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

cabbage white (Pieris rapae)

Carolina grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina)

common green darner (Anax junius)

common whitetail (Plathemis lydia)

common wood nymph (Cercyonis pegala)

deer fly (Chrysops sp.)

dog day cicada (Neotibicen canicularis)

dot-tailed whiteface (Leucorrhinia intacta)

eastern tent caterpillar moth (Malacosoma americanum)

frosted whiteface (Leucorrhinia frigida)

great spangled fritillary (Argynnis cybele)

Halloween pennant (Celithemis eponina)

monarch (Danaus plexippus)

mustached clubtail (Hylogomphus adelphus)

northern pearly eye (Lethe anthedon)

twelve-spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella)

white admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis)

white-faced meadowhawk (Sympetrum obtrusum)

widow skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)


female common whitetail

dot-tailed whiteface

eastern tent caterpillar

great spangled fritillary


widow skimmer


plains pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius)

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

  whitetail deer


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


beaked skeletonweed (Shinnersoseris rostrata)

lance-leaved violet (Viola lanceolata ssp. lanceolata)

seaside three-awn (Aristida tuberculosa)

woolly beachheather (Hudsonia tomentosa)

Special Concern

blue toadflax (Nuttallanthus canadensis)

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas and Minnesota Biological Survey Vegetation Releves Plant List

Plants frequently found in:

Alder - (Maple - Loosestrife) Swamp FPn73a

Dry Barrens Oak Savanna (Southern): Oak Subtype UPs14a2

Northern Rich Fen (Basin) OPn92

Sedge Meadow WMn82b

Southern Dry-Mesic Oak (Maple) Woodland FDs37

Tamarack Swamp (Southern) FPs63a



American basswood (Tilia americana var. americana)

American elm (Ulmus americana)

American hazelnut (Corylus americana)

American hog peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata var. bracteata)

American lopseed (Phryma leptostachya)

American red raspberry (Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus)

American stinging nettle (Urtica gracilis ssp. gracilis)

American white waterlily (Nymphaea odorata)

Amur maple (Acer ginnala)

asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)

balsam fir (Abies balsamea var. balsamea)

bittersweet nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)

black bindweed (Fallopia convolvulus)

black medick (Medicago lupulina)

black oak (Quercus velutina)

black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)

black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima)

black-seeded plantain (Plantago rugelii var. rugelii)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis)

boxelder (Acer negundo var. negundo)

broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade (Circaea canadensis)

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa)

butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa ssp. interior)

butter and eggs (Linaria vulgaris)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)

Canada wildrye (Elymus canadensis)

Canadian horseweed (Erigeron canadensis)

chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana)

clammy groundcherry (Physalis heterophylla)

Cleland’s evening primrose (Oenothera clelandii)

common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

common cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

curlytop knotweed (Persicaria lapathifolia)

downy phlox (Phlox pilosa ssp. fulgida)

eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana)

eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)

field horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

giant chickweed (Myosoton aquaticum)

giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida)

glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus)

gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

green carpetweed (Mollugo verticillata)

green foxtail (Setaria viridis var. viridis)

ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

hairy hedge nettle (Stachys pilosa var. pilosa)

hairy puccoon (Lithospermum caroliniense var. croceum)

hairy vetch (Vicia villosa ssp. villosa)

hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana)

jack pine (Pinus banksiana)

June grass (Koeleria macrantha)

large-flowered beardtongue (Penstemon grandiflorus)

leadplant (Amorpha canescens)

long-spine sandbur (Cenchrus longispinus)

narrow-leaved cattail (Typha angustifolia)

narrow-leaved hawk’s-beard (Crepis tectorum)

narrow-leaved meadowsweet (Spiraea alba var. alba)

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

northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis)

northern prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)

northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

northern starflower (Lysimachia borealis)

Norway spruce (Picea abies)

orange daylily (Hemerocallis fulva)

plains snake-cotton (Froelichia floridana var. campestris)

pointed-leaved tick-trefoil (Hylodesmum glutinosum)

prairie coreopsis (Coreopsis palmata)

prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)

prairie fleabane (Erigeron strigosus)

prairie lettuce (Lactuca ludoviciana)

prairie peppergrass (Lepidium densiflorum)

prairie rose (Rosa arkansana)

prairie spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis var. occidentalis)

prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola)

purple lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

rabbit’s foot clover (Trifolium arvense)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

red maple (Acer rubrum var. rubrum)

red pine (Pinus resinosa)

rose twisted-stalk (Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes)

rough blazing star (Liatris aspera)

rough cinquefoil (Potentilla norvegica)

rough false pennyroyal (Hedeoma hispida)

round-headed bush clover (Lespedeza capitata)

Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)

showy goldenrod species complex (Solidago speciosa complex)

silver maple (Acer saccharinum)

silvery cinquefoil (Potentilla argentea)

slender beardtongue (Penstemon gracilis var. gracilis)

smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)

spotted lady’s thumb (Persicaria maculosa)

starry false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum stellatum)

stiff sunflower (Helianthus pauciflorus ssp. subrhomboideus)

swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata)

tall buttercup (Ranunculus acris var. acris)

tall thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)

timothy (Phleum pratense ssp. pratense)

variegated yellow pond lily (Nuphar variegata)

Virginia stickseed (Hackelia virginiana)

Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum)

western bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

western ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya)

white campion (Silene latifolia ssp. alba)

white clover (Trifolium repens ssp. repens)

white sage (Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. ludoviciana)

white spruce (Picea glauca)

white sweet clover (Melilotus albus)

white-flowered leafcup (Polymnia canadensis)

wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

wild grape (Vitis riparia)

wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea)

woodland horsetail (Equisetum sylvaticum)

yellow foxtail (Setaria pumila ssp. pumila)

yellow goat’s beard (Tragopogon dubius)

yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta)


Abies balsamea var. balsamea (balsam fir)

Acer ginnala (Amur maple)

Acer negundo var. negundo (boxelder)

Acer rubrum var. rubrum (red maple)

Acer saccharinum (silver maple)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)

Ambrosia psilostachya (western ragweed)

Ambrosia trifida (giant ragweed)

Amorpha canescens (leadplant)

Amphicarpaea bracteata var. bracteata (hog peanut)

Anemone virginiana (tall thimbleweed)

Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. ludoviciana (white sage)

Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa ssp. interior (butterfly weed)

Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)

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

Berteroa incana (hoary alyssum)

Cenchrus longispinus (long-spine sandbur)

Circaea canadensis (broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade)

Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)

Coreopsis palmata (prairie coreopsis)

Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)

Corylus americana (American hazelnut)

Crepis tectorum (narrow-leaved hawk’s-beard)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)

Equisetum sylvaticum (woodland horsetail)

Eragrostis spectabilis (purple lovegrass)

Erigeron canadensis (Canadian horseweed)

Erigeron strigosus (prairie fleabane)

Fallopia convolvulus (black bindweed)

Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)

Frangula alnus (glossy buckthorn)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Froelichia floridana var. campestris (plains snake-cotton)

Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)

Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy)

Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed)

Hedeoma hispida (rough false pennyroyal)

Helianthus pauciflorus ssp. subrhomboideus (stiff sunflower)

Hemerocallis fulva (orange daylily)

Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum (Virginia waterleaf)

Hylodesmum glutinosum (pointed-leaved tick-trefoil)

Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Koeleria macrantha (June grass)

Lactuca ludoviciana (prairie lettuce)

Lactuca serriola (prickly lettuce)

Lepidium densiflorum (prairie peppergrass)

Lespedeza capitata (round-headed bush clover)

Liatris aspera (rough blazing star)

Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)

Lithospermum caroliniense var. croceum (hairy puccoon)

Lysimachia borealis (northern starflower)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

Maianthemum stellatum (starry false Solomon’s seal)

Medicago lupulina (black medick)

Melilotus albus (white sweet clover)

Mollugo verticillata (green carpetweed)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Myosoton aquaticum (giant chickweed)

Nuphar variegata (variegated yellow pond lily)

Nymphaea odorata (American white waterlily)

Oenothera clelandii (Cleland’s evening primrose)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Penstemon gracilis var. gracilis (slender beardtongue)

Penstemon grandiflorus (large-flowered beardtongue)

Persicaria lapathifolia (curlytop knotweed)

Persicaria maculosa (spotted lady’s thumb)

Phleum pratense ssp. pratense (timothy)

Phlox pilosa ssp. fulgida (downy phlox)

Phryma leptostachya (American lopseed)

Physalis heterophylla (clammy groundcherry)

Picea abies (Norway spruce)

Picea glauca (white spruce)

Pinus banksiana (jack pine)

Pinus resinosa (red pine)

Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)

Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

Polymnia canadensis (white-flowered leafcup)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Potentilla argentea (silvery cinquefoil)

Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil)

Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)

Prunus virginiana var. virginiana (chokecherry)

Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum (western bracken fern)

Quercus ellipsoidalis (northern pin oak)

Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa (bur oak)

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)

Quercus velutina (black oak)

Ranunculus acris var. acris (tall buttercup)

Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Rosa arkansana (prairie rose)

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (American red raspberry)

Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)

Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet)

Setaria pumila ssp. pumila (yellow foxtail)

Setaria viridis var. viridis (green foxtail)

Silene latifolia ssp. alba (white campion)

Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)

Solidago speciosa complex (showy goldenrod species complex)

Spiraea alba var. alba (narrow-leaved meadowsweet)

Sporobolus heterolepis (prairie dropseed)

Stachys pilosa var. pilosa (hairy hedge nettle)

Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes (rose twisted-stalk)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Tilia americana var. americana (American basswood)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Tradescantia occidentalis var. occidentalis (prairie spiderwort)

Tragopogon dubius (yellow goat’s beard)

Trifolium arvense (rabbit’s foot clover)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens ssp. repens (white clover)

Typha angustifolia (narrow-leaved cattail)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

Urtica gracilis ssp. gracilis (American stinging nettle)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Vicia villosa ssp. villosa (hairy vetch)

Vitis riparia (wild grape)

Zanthoxylum americanum (northern prickly ash)


American hazelnut

American white waterlily (ssp. tuberosa)

black bindweed

black raspberry

black-eyed Susan

butterfly weed

butter and eggs


Cleland’s evening primrose

common mullein

common yarrow

downy phlox

hairy puccoon

June grass


long-spine sandbur

orange daylily

plains snake-cotton

prairie coreopsis

prairie rose

prairie spiderwort

rabbit’s foot clover

rough cinquefoil

round-headed bush clover

silvery cinquefoil

stiff sunflower (ssp. subrhomboideus)

swamp milkweed

Virginia waterleaf

wild bergamot

wild geranium

wild strawberry

yellow goat’s beard

yellow wood sorrel


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Amphibians and Reptiles List











Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes nest on this site.





Uncas skippers

Uncas Dunes SNA is one of only two sites in Minnesota where the Uncas skipper can be found.



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