Uncas Dunes SNA


Area and County

    Sherburne County
    Central Minnesota

Driving Directions

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Northwest Unit: 606 acres

Southeast Unit: 69 acres


Sand Dunes State Forest Trail Map


 Printable Maps with GPS coordinates



Printable map    

Northwest Unit


Southeast Unit

Printable map   Printable map

Northwest Unit
Ann Lake Campground and Day Use Area

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

Hiking Trails

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.


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

Ecological Classification Province  

Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province

Ecological Classification

Minnesota & NE Iowa Morainal


Anoka Sand Plain

Land Type Association(s)

Anoka Lake Plain

Native Plant Communities1

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)

Ownership Minnesota DNR logo        

Minnesota DNR


Getting There
To locate this SNA 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.

Deer Flies
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.

Poison Ivy
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

Site Steward

Bret Whaley








Visitor Photos

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Kirk Nelson

Jensen Slough

  Uncas Dunes SNA    

Upturned Tree Roots

  Uncas Dunes SNA  
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
Northwest Unit

Parking (245th Ave. NW)

  Uncas Dunes SNA   Uncas Dunes SNA

Wood Routed Sign (245th Ave. NW)

  Uncas Dunes SNA    

Parking (Ann Lake Campground)

  Uncas Dunes SNA    

Wood Routed Sign and Interpretive Sign (Ann Lake Campground)

  Uncas Dunes SNA    


  Uncas Dunes SNA    


  Uncas Dunes SNA   Uncas Dunes SNA
Southeast Unit

Parking (233rd Ave. NW)

  Uncas Dunes SNA    



  Uncas Dunes SNA
Restoration Evaluation
  Uncas Dunes SNA  



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Other Videos



Visitor Sightings

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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

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 rhomboides)

puccoon (Lithospermum sp.)

wild strawberry (Fragaria sp.)




MinnesotaSeasons.com Observations

American toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

wood frog (Rana sylvatica)

wood frog


Sandhill Cranes nest on this site.


Four bird species with conservation status in Minnesota and one tracked species have been seen here:


Special concern

Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri)

Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)



Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)


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 Lichen List


Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)

British Soldiers (Cladonia cristatella)

Black Knot
Insects and Arachnids

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


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



Uncas skipper (Hesperia uncas)


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 (Speyeria 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


Four 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)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas 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 hazel (Corylus americana)

American hog peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata var. bracteata)

American lopseed (Phryma leptostachya)

American red raspberry (Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus)

American starflower (Lysimachia borealis)

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 ssp. 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 (Conyza canadensis)

chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana)

clammy groundcherry (Physalis heterophylla var. 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 strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

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)

Norway spruce (Picea abies)

orange daylily (Hemerocallis fulva)

plains snake-cotton (Froelichia floridana var. campestris)

pointed-leaved tick-trefoil (Desmodium 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)

Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris)

showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa)

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)

stinging nettle (Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis)

swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata)

tall buttercup (Ranunculus acris var. acris)

tall thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)

timothy (Phleum 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)

white sage (Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. ludoviciana)

white spruce (Picea glauca)

white sweet clover (Melilotus albus)

white-flowered leaf-cup (Polymnia canadensis)

wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

wild grape (Vitis riparia)

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 (American 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 ssp. canadensis (broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade)

Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)

Conyza canadensis (Canadian horseweed)

Coreopsis palmata (prairie coreopsis)

Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)

Corylus americana (American hazel)

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

Desmodium glutinosum (pointed-leaved tick-trefoil)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)

Equisetum sylvaticum (woodland horsetail)

Eragrostis spectabilis (purple lovegrass)

Erigeron strigosus (prairie fleabane)

Fallopia convolvulus (black bindweed)

Fragaria virginiana (common 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)

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 (American 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 (timothy)

Phlox pilosa ssp. fulgida (downy phlox)

Phryma leptostachya (American lopseed)

Physalis heterophylla var. 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 (Scotch pine)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

Polymnia canadensis (white-flowered leaf-cup)

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 (showy goldenrod)

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 (white clover)

Typha angustifolia (narrow-leaved cattail)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis (stinging nettle)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Vicia villosa ssp. villosa (hairy vetch)

Vitis riparia (wild grape)

Zanthoxylum americanum (northern prickly ash)

American hazel

American white waterlily (ssp. tuberosa)

black bindweed

black raspberry

black-eyed Susan

butterfly weed

butter and eggs


Cleland’s evening primrose

common mullein

common strawberry

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

yellow goat’s beard

yellow wood sorrel




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