Lake Alexander Woods SNA

South Unit






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Lake Alexander Woods SNA, Central Unit

Lake Alexander Woods SNA, North Unit

Minnesota DNR








Lake Alexander Woods SNA was established on 8/22/1996. It consists of three disconnected units.














Printable Map(s) with GPS coordinates


Lake Alexander Woods SNA, Complete


South Unit, Complete

  Printable map   Printable map  

South Unit, Upper Section


South Unit, Lower Section

  Printable map   Printable map  



1,453 acres




Park at a ditch crossing on the west side of Bear Road (County Road 5). In front of the parking spot there is a ribbon of wetland with a small amount of open water near the road. The wooden SNA sign is 200 feet to the south.

N46 9.332, W94 33.422


Driving Directions

  Area and County  

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          Morrison County  
          Northwest Minnesota  

Hiking Trails


No maintained trails




Deer hunting by permit 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 and Lake Plains

  Ecological Subsection    

Pine Moraines and Outwash Plains

  Land Type Association    

St. Croix Moraine


Native Plant Communities*


Central Dry-Mesic Oak-Aspen Forest

Graminoid Poor Fen (Basin)

Low Shrub Poor Fen

Sedge Meadow

Willow - Dogwood Shrub Swamp

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

Natural Features








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    Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit   Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit  
    Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit      

Wood Routed Sign

    Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit   Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit  
    Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit      

Stream (Intermittent)

    Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit   Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit  


    Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit      

Unnamed Lake

    Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit      

Small Tamarack Swamp

    Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit      

Central Dry-Mesic Oak-Aspen Forest

    Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit   Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit  



Lake Alexander Woods SNA
  Lake Alexander Woods SNA  

The unfragmented forests and diverse habitat of Lake Alexander SNA occupy an outstanding knob and kettle topography, the legacy of the Rainy lobe from past continental glaciation. Steep hills rise 100 feet above adjacent wetlands and 600 feet above the bedrock below. Kettles where glacial ice blocks slowly melted and collapsed are now filled with ponds, sedge meadows, marshes, swamps, and fens.




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  mink frog (Rana septentrionalis)   mink frog  

Bacteria, Viruses, and Other Pathogens

  apical chlorosis of Canada thistle (Pst) (Pseudomonas syringae pv. tagetis)   Pst  



One bird species with conservation status in Minnesota has been seen on at least one unit of this SNA:

Special Concern

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)


Minnesota DNR Bird checklist


Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

Eastern Wood-peewee (Contopus virens)

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla)

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)


Gray Catbird

Red-winged Blackbird


Fungi and Lichens


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Fungi List


Artist’s Conk (Ganoderma applanatum)

Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)

False Tinder Fungus (Phellinus igniarius)

Hoof Fungus (Fomes fomentarius)

Orange-gilled Waxy Cap (Humidicutis marginata var. marginata)

Purple Bordered Leaf Spot (Phyllosticta minima)

Winter Russula (Russula cremoricolor)


Hoof Fungus

Orange-gilled Waxy Cap


Insects and Arachnids


Carolina grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina)

common green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata)

deer flies (Chrysops spp.)

goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

maple spindle-gall mite (Vasates aceriscrumena)

orange sulphur (Colias eurytheme)

ruby meadowhawk (Sympetrum rubicundulum)

spongy oak apple gall wasp (Amphibolips confluenta)

western thatching ant (Formica obscuripes)

white-faced meadowhawk (Sympetrum obtrusum)


Carolina grasshopper

goldenrod gall fly

spongy oak apple gall wasp




American beaver (Castor canadensis)

North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

  whitetail deer  



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


bog bluegrass (Poa paludigena)

bright green spike-rush (Eleocharis flavescens var. olivacea)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas and Minnesota Biological Survey Vegetation Releves Plant List


Plants frequently found in:

Central Dry-Mesic Oak-Aspen Forest MHc26

Graminoid Poor Fen (Basin) APn91b

Low Shrub Poor Fen APn91a

Sedge Meadow WMn82b

Willow - Dogwood Shrub Swamp WMn82a



alfalfa (Medicago sativa ssp. sativa)

Allegheny blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis)

American basswood (Tilia americana var. americana)

American black currant (Ribes americanum)

American elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)

American fly honeysuckle (Lonicera canadensis)

American hazelnut (Corylus americana)

American hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana)

American red raspberry (Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus)

American stinging nettle (Urtica gracilis ssp. gracilis)

American vetch (Vicia americana ssp. americana)

American white waterlily (Nymphaea odorata)

annual fleabane (Erigeron annuus)

arrowleaf tearthumb (Persicaria sagittata)

beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta var. cornuta)

Bell’s honeysuckle (Lonicera × bella)

big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi)

Bigelow’s bottlebrush grass (Elymus hystrix var. bigeloviana)

bigleaf aster (Eurybia macrophylla)

bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata)

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

black ash (Fraxinus nigra)

black medick (Medicago lupulina)

black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima)

bladderwort (Utricularia sp.)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

blue giant hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

blue skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)

blue vervain (Verbena hastata)

bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis)

broad-leaved arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia)

broad-leaved cattail (Typha latifolia)

broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade (Circaea canadensis)

bulbet-bearing water hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera)

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa)

Canada anemone (Anemonastrum canadense)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)

Canadian tick-trefoil (Desmodium canadense)

chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana)

cleavers (Galium aparine)

common blue violet (Viola sororia)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common duckweed (Lemna minor)

common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)

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

common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common plantain (Plantago major)

common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

crown vetch (Securigera varia)

curly dock (Rumex crispus)

downy arrowwood (Viburnum rafinesqueanum)

dwarf raspberry (Rubus pubescens)

early goldenrod (Solidago juncea)

early meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern marsh fern (Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens)

eastern prickly gooseberry (Ribes cynosbati)

eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)

field sagewort (Artemisia campestris ssp. caudata)

giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

grass-leaved goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia)

greater bladder sedge (Carex intumescens)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

hairy honeysuckle (Lonicera hirsuta)

hairy Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum pubescens)

harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

hemlock water-parsnip (Sium suave)

hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana)

hog peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata var. bracteata)

Indianpipe (Monotropa uniflora)

interrupted fern (Claytosmunda claytoniana)

jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)

lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

marsh hedge nettle (Stachys palustris)

marsh skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata)

meadow horsetail (Equisetum pratense)

Michigan lily (Lilium michiganense)

narrow-leaved meadowsweet (Spiraea alba var. alba)

nodding trillium (Trillium cernuum)

northern blue flag (Iris versicolor)

northern bog violet (Viola nephrophylla)

northern bugleweed (Lycopus uniflorus)

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

northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

northern starflower (Lysimachia borealis)

ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica)

pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)

paleleaf woodland sunflower (Helianthus strumosus)

paper birch (Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera)

Pennsylvania buttercup (Ranunculus pensylvanicus)

pineapple-weed (Matricaria discoidea)

plumeless thistle (Carduus acanthoides ssp. acanthoides)

pointed-leaved tick-trefoil (Hylodesmum glutinosum)

poke milkweed (Asclepias exaltata)

porcupine sedge (Carex hystericina)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

rabbit’s foot clover (Trifolium arvense)

rattlesnake mannagrass (Glyceria canadensis)

red baneberry (Actaea rubra ssp. rubra)

red maple (Acer rubrum var. rubrum)

redtop (Agrostis gigantea)

reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

rose twisted-stalk (Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes)

rough cinquefoil (Potentilla norvegica)

round-headed bush clover (Lespedeza capitata)

round-leaved dogwood (Cornus rugosa)

round-lobed hepatica (Anemone americana)

sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

slender willow (Salix petiolaris)

smooth brome (Bromus inermis)

smooth scouring rush (Equisetum laevigatum)

spotted touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis)

spotted water hemlock (Cicuta maculata)

spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)

staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)

sugar maple (Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum)

swamp candles (Lysimachia terrestris)

swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata)

tall blue lettuce (Lactuca biennis)

tamarack (Larix laricina)

threeway sedge (Dulichium arundinaceum var. arundinaceum)

timothy (Phleum pratense ssp. pratense)

upright carrionflower (Smilax ecirrhata)

variegated yellow pond lily (Nuphar variegata)

veiny pea (Lathyrus venosus var. intonsus)

velvet-leaf blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides)

virgin’s bower (Clematis virginiana)

water plantain (Alisma sp.)

water smartweed (Persicaria amphibia)

watershield (Brasenia schreberi)

western bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

white avens (Geum canadense)

white campion (Silene latifolia ssp. alba)

white sweet clover (Melilotus albus)

wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

wild leek (Allium tricoccum)

wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia var. quinquefolia)

woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea)

woodland horsetail (Equisetum sylvaticum)

wool grass (Scirpus cyperinus)

yellow avens (Geum aleppicum)

zigzag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)


Acer rubrum var. rubrum (red maple)

Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum (sugar maple)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Actaea rubra ssp. rubra (red baneberry)

Agastache foeniculum (blue giant hyssop)

Agrostis gigantea (redtop)

Alisma sp. (water plantain)

Allium tricoccum (wild leek)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)

Amphicarpaea bracteata var. bracteata (hog peanut)

Andropogon gerardi (big bluestem)

Anemone americana (round-lobed hepatica)

Anemonastrum canadense (Canada anemone)

Anemone quinquefolia var. quinquefolia (wood anemone)

Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane)

Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)

Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)

Artemisia campestris ssp. caudata (field sagewort)

Asclepias exaltata (poke milkweed)

Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)

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

Berteroa incana (hoary alyssum)

Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera (paper birch)

Brasenia schreberi (watershield)

Bromus inermis (smooth brome)

Campanula rotundifolia (harebell)

Carduus acanthoides (plumeless thistle)

Carex hystericina (porcupine sedge)

Carex intumescens (greater bladder sedge)

Cicuta bulbifera (bulbet-bearing water hemlock)

Cicuta maculata (spotted water hemlock)

Circaea canadensis (broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade)

Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)

Clematis virginiana (virgin’s bower)

Clintonia borealis (bluebead lily)

Cornus alternifolia (pagoda dogwood)

Cornus rugosa (round-leaved dogwood)

Corylus americana (American hazelnut)

Corylus cornuta var. cornuta (beaked hazelnut)

Desmodium canadense (Canadian tick-trefoil)

Dulichium arundinaceum var. arundinaceum (threeway sedge)

Elymus hystrix var. bigeloviana (Bigelow’s bottlebrush grass)

Equisetum laevigatum (smooth scouring rush)

Equisetum pratense (meadow horsetail)

Equisetum sylvaticum (woodland horsetail)

Erigeron annuus (annual fleabane)

Eurybia macrophylla (bigleaf aster)

Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)

Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)

Fraxinus nigra (black ash)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium aparine (cleavers)

Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)

Geum aleppicum (yellow avens)

Geum canadense (white avens)

Glyceria canadensis (rattlesnake mannagrass)

Helianthus strumosus (paleleaf woodland sunflower)

Hylodesmum glutinosum (pointed-leaved tick-trefoil)

Impatiens capensis (spotted touch-me-not)

Iris versicolor (northern blue flag)

Lactuca biennis (tall blue lettuce)

Larix laricina (tamarack)

Lathyrus venosus var. intonsus) (veiny pea)

Lemna minor (common duckweed)

Lespedeza capitata (round-headed bush clover)

Lilium michiganense (Michigan lily)

Lonicera × bella (Bell’s honeysuckle)

Lonicera canadensis (American fly honeysuckle)

Lonicera hirsuta (hairy honeysuckle)

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

Lycopus uniflorus (northern bugleweed)

Lysimachia borealis (northern starflower)

Lysimachia terrestris (swamp candles)

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)

Medicago sativa ssp. sativa (alfalfa)

Melilotus albus (white sweet clover)

Monotropa uniflora (Indianpipe)

Nuphar variegata (variegated yellow pond lily)

Nymphaea odorata (American white waterlily)

Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Claytosmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)

Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana (American hophornbeam)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Persicaria amphibia (water smartweed)

Persicaria sagittata (arrowleaf tearthumb)

Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)

Phleum pratense ssp. pratense (timothy)

Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)

Plantago major (common plantain)

Polygonatum pubescens (hairy Solomon’s seal)

Populus grandidentata (bigtooth aspen)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil)

Prunus virginiana var. virginiana (chokecherry)

Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum (western bracken fern)

Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa (bur oak)

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)

Ranunculus pensylvanicus (Pennsylvania buttercup)

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)

Ribes americanum (American black currant)

Ribes cynosbati (eastern prickly gooseberry)

Rubus allegheniensis (Allegheny blackberry)

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (American red raspberry)

Rubus pubescens (dwarf raspberry)

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)

Rumex crispus (curly dock)

Sagittaria latifolia (broad-leaved arrowhead)

Salix petiolaris (slender willow)

Sambucus canadensis (American elderberry)

Scirpus cyperinus (wool grass)

Scutellaria galericulata (marsh skullcap)

Scutellaria lateriflora (blue skullcap)

Securigera varia (crown vetch)

Silene latifolia ssp. alba (white campion)

Sium suave (hemlock water-parsnip)

Smilax ecirrhata (upright carrionflower)

Solidago flexicaulis (zigzag goldenrod)

Solidago gigantea (giant goldenrod)

Solidago juncea (early goldenrod)

Spiraea alba var. alba (narrow-leaved meadowsweet)

Stachys palustris (marsh hedge nettle)

Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes (rose twisted-stalk)

Tanacetum vulgare (common tansy)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow-rue)

Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens (eastern marsh fern)

Tilia americana var. americana (American basswood)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Trifolium arvense (rabbit’s foot clover)

Trillium cernuum (nodding trillium)

Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)

Urtica gracilis ssp. gracilis (American stinging nettle)

Utricularia sp. (bladderwort)

Uvularia grandiflora (large-flowered bellwort)

Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry)

Vaccinium myrtilloides (velvet-leaf blueberry)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Verbena hastata (blue vervain)

Viburnum rafinesqueanum (downy arrowwood)

Vicia americana ssp. americana (American vetch)

Viola nephrophylla (northern bog violet)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)


Allegheny blackberry

American elderberry

American red raspberry

American white waterlily (ssp. tuberosa)

Bell’s honeysuckle

bird’s-foot trefoil

black-eyed susan

blue vervain

bluebead lily

Canada anemone

Canadian tick-trefoil

common blue violet

common evening primrose

common yarrow

crown vetch

eastern prickly gooseberry

grass-leaved goldenrod



large-flowered bellwort

lowbush blueberry

Michigan lily

nodding trillium

northern blue flag

northern starflower

poke milkweed

rabbit’s foot clover

red baneberry

rough cinquefoil

round-lobed hepatica

spotted touch-me-not

swamp milkweed

variegated yellow pond lily

virgin’s bower

swamp smartweed

wild columbine

wild strawberry

wood anemone




Two reptile species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen on at least one unit of this SNA:


Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)

timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) (?)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Amphibians and Reptiles List

  painted turtle (Chrysemys picta)   western painted turtle  






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