Hovland Woods SNA

South Unit


Area and County

    Cook County
    Northeast Minnesota

Driving Directions

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About 581 acres


Detail map (MN DNR)


 Printable Maps with GPS coordinates

Printable map    

Camp 20 Rd
N47 53.058, W90 3.652

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 Province  

Laurentian Mixed Forest

Ecological Classification


Northern Superior Uplands


Border Lakes
North Shore Highlands

Land Type Association(s)

Northern Lights Lake Till Plain

Tettegouche Till Plain

Native Plant Communities1

Aspen - Birch Forest: Balsam Fir Subtype

Beaver Wetland Complex

Black Ash - Conifer Swamp (Northeastern)

Dry Mafic Cliff (Nothern) / Northern Talus Complex

Lowland White Cedar Forest (North Shore)

Mesic Mafic Cliff (Northern)

Northern Dry-Mesic Mixed Woodland

Paper Birch - Sugar Maple Forest (North Shore)

Sugar Maple Forest (North Shore)

Upland White Cedar Forest

Ownership Minnesota DNR logo        

Hovland Woods SNA (Complete)

Hovland Woods SNA (North 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.









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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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One tracked bird species has been seen on at least one of the units of this SNA:



Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)


Minnesota DNR Bird checklist


One mammal species with conservation status in Minnesota has been seen on at least one of the units of this SNA:



gray wolf (Canis lupus)


One plant species with conservation status in Minnesota is found on at least one of the units of this SNA:



large-leaved sandwort (Moehringia macrophylla)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Plant List (both units)


Plants frequently found in:

Aspen - Birch Forest: Balsam Fir Subtype FDn43b1

Black Ash - Conifer Swamp (Northeastern) WFn64a

Lowland White Cedar Forest (North Shore) WFn53a

Mesic Mafic Cliff (Northern) CTn32a

Northern Dry-Mesic Mixed Woodland FDn33

Paper Birch - Sugar Maple Forest (North Shore) MHn45a>

Sugar Maple Forest (North Shore) MHn45c

Upland White Cedar Forest FDn43c




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