Potato Lake SNA






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Minnesota DNR




There is a fen on the northern part of the site and a swamp on the south part.. Extensive windfall made reaching the fen difficult in 2016.




This SNA was designated December 10, 2012.














Printable Map(s) with GPS coordinates

  Printable map      



84 acres




Horseshoe Forest Road (Deer Lake Farm Road)
N47 52.209, W93 19.994


Driving Directions

  Area and County  

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          Itasca County  
          Northeast Minnesota  

Hiking Trails


No maintained trails

Horseshoe Forest Road (Deer Lake Farm Road) passes through the site from east to west.




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


Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification  
  Ecological Province    

Laurentian Mixed Forest Province

  Ecological Section    

N. Minnesota & Ontario Peatlands
N. Minnesota Drift & Lake Plains

  Ecological Subsection    

Littlefork-Vermillion Uplands
St. Louis Moraines

  Land Type Association    

Effie Till Plain

Coon Lake Till Plain


Native Plant Communities*


Not mapped (10/11/2021).

Preliminary list:

Aspen-Birch Forest

Aspen-Birch-Red Maple Forest

Low Shrub Poor Fen

Poor Black Spruce Swamp

Red Pine-White Pine Woodland

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

Natural Features


Undeveloped lake shore






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    Potato Lake SNA      

Wood Routed Sign

    Potato Lake SNA      

Horseshoe Forest Road (Deer Lake Farm Road)

    Potato Lake SNA      

Potato Lake

    Potato Lake SNA      


    Potato Lake SNA   Potato Lake SNA  



Potato Lake SNA
  Potato Lake SNA  

Potato Lake SNA is comprised primarily of a Red Pine-White Pine Woodland and is an example of succession toward an old-growth pine stand. The area was logged at the turn-of-the-century and soon after fire swept through. Regeneration of the stand began after the fire, and it has experienced no further disturbance.




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MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings




  northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens)   northern leopard frog  



American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Common Loon (Gavia immer)

Eastern Wood-peewee (Contopus virens)

Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)


Blue Jay

White-breasted Nuthatch


Fungi and Lichens


Artist’s Conk (Ganoderma applanatum)

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)

Chicken Fat Mushroom (Suillus americanus)

Common Greenshield Lichen (Flavoparmelia caperata)

Dark-stalked Bolete (Leccinum atrostipitatum)

False Death Cap (Amanita citrina)

Frost’s Amanita (Amanita frostiana)

Golden Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius)

Hoof Fungus (Fomes fomentarius)

Purple Bordered Leaf Spot (Phyllosticta minima)

Thin-Walled Maze Polypore (Daedaleopsis confragosa)


Common Greenshield Lichen

Golden Chanterelle

Hoof Fungus


Insects and Arachnids


Canada darner (Aeshna canadensis)

deer fly (Chrysops spp.)

hoary comma (Polygonia gracilis)

ruby meadowhawk (Sympetrum rubicundulum)

tricolored bumble bee (Bombus ternarius)

willow pinecone gall midge (Rabdophaga strobiloides)

  tricolored bumble bee  



American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

  American red squirrel  



Plants frequently found in:

Aspen - Birch Forest FDn43b

Aspen - Birch - Red Maple Forest MHn44a

Low Shrub Poor Fen APn91a

Poor Black Spruce Swamp APn81a

Red Pine - White Pine Woodland FDn33a



alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum)

American bugleweed (Lycopus americanus)

American red raspberry (Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus)

American spurred gentian (Halenia deflexa ssp. deflexa)

American twinflower (Linnaea borealis ssp. americana)

American white waterlily (Nymphaea odorata ssp. tuberosa)

arctic brome (Bromus kalmii)

arrowleaf tearthumb (Persicaria sagittata)

balsam fir (Abies balsamea var. balsamea)

balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera)

beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta var. cornuta)

Bebb’s willow (Salix bebbiana)

bigleaf aster (Eurybia macrophylla)

bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata)

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

black spruce (Picea mariana)

black-seeded plantain (Plantago rugelii var. rugelii)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis)

bog Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum)

broad-leaved cattail (Typha latifolia)

bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

calico aster (Symphyotrichum lateriflorum)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)

Canadian clearweed (Pilea pumila)

Canadian honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common self-heal (Prunella vulgaris ssp. vulgaris)

common strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

creeping snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula)

dark green bulrush (Scirpus atrovirens)

downy yellow violet (Viola pubescens var. pubescens)

dwarf raspberry (Rubus pubescens)

eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)

four-flowered yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia quadriflora)

golden clover (Trifolium aureum)

goldthread (Coptis trifolia)

great water dock (Rumex britannica)

greater bladder sedge (Carex intumescens)

hairy honeysuckle (Lonicera hirsuta)

hairy Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum pubescens)

Indianpipe (Monotropa uniflora)

interrupted fern (Claytosmunda claytoniana)

large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)

large-leaved avens (Geum macrophyllum var. perincisum)

late goldenrod (Solidago altissima)

lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

marsh skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata)

meadow horsetail (Equisetum pratense)

narrow-leaved meadowsweet (Spiraea alba var. alba)

northern blue flag (Iris versicolor)

northern bugleweed (Lycopus uniflorus var. uniflorus)

northern bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)

northern groundcedar (Diphasiastrum complanatum)

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

northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

northern starflower (Lysimachia borealis)

oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

palmate sweet coltsfoot (Petasites frigidus var. palmatus)

paper birch (Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera)

pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)

prairie fleabane (Erigeron strigosus)

prairie rose (Rosa arkansana)

prickly rose (Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi)

prickly tree clubmoss (Dendrolycopodium dendroideum)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

red baneberry (Actaea rubra ssp. rubra)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

red maple (Acer rubrum var. rubrum)

red pine (Pinus resinosa)

redtop (Agrostis gigantea)

roadside agrimony (Agrimonia striata)

rose twisted-stalk (Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes)

rough bedstraw (Galium asprellum)

rough cinquefoil (Potentilla norvegica)

rough hawkweed (Hieracium scabrum)

round-leaved dogwood (Cornus rugosa)

round-lobed hepatica (Anemone americana)

sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

smooth serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis)

smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)

speckled alder (Alnus incana ssp. rugosa)

sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sp.)

spotted touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis)

spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)

starry false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum stellatum)

stiff clubmoss (Spinulum annotinum)

swamp red currant (Ribes triste)

tall buttercup (Ranunculus acris var. acris)

tall thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)

tamarack (Larix laricina)

three-leaved false Solomon’s seal (Smilacina trifolia)

threeway sedge (Dulichium arundinaceum var. arundinaceum)

timothy (Phleum pratense)

veiny pea (Lathyrus venosus var. intonsus)

velvet-leaf blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides)

water plantain (Alisma sp.)

water smartweed (Persicaria amphibia)

western blue virgin’s bower (Clematis occidentalis var. occidentalis)

western bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum)

white clover (Trifolium repens)

white rattlesnake root (Nabalus albus)

wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

wild mint (Mentha arvensis)

wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

Wood’s rose (Rosa woodsii var. woodsii)

woodland horsetail (Equisetum sylvaticum)

wool grass (Scirpus cyperinus)

woodland horsetail (Equisetum sylvaticum)

yellow marsh marigold (Caltha palustris var. palustris)

yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta)


Abies balsamea var. balsamea (balsam fir)

Acer rubrum var. rubrum (red maple)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Actaea rubra ssp. rubra (red baneberry)

Agrimonia striata (roadside agrimony)

Agrostis gigantea (redtop)

Alisma sp. (water plantain)

Alnus incana ssp. rugosa (speckled alder)

Amelanchier laevis (smooth serviceberry)

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)

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

Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera (paper birch)

Bromus kalmii (arctic brome)

Caltha palustris var. palustris (yellow marsh marigold)

Carex intumescens (greater bladder sedge)

Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)

Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)

Clematis occidentalis var. occidentalis (western blue virgin’s bower)

Clintonia borealis (bluebead lily)

Coptis trifolia (goldthread)

Cornus canadensis (bunchberry)

Cornus rugosa (round-leaved dogwood)

Corylus cornuta var. cornuta (beaked hazelnut)

Cryptotaenia canadensis (Canadian honewort)

Dendrolycopodium dendroideum (prickly tree clubmoss)

Diervilla lonicera (northern bush honeysuckle)

Diphasiastrum complanatum (northern groundcedar)

Dulichium arundinaceum var. arundinaceum (threeway sedge)

Equisetum pratense (meadow horsetail)

Equisetum sylvaticum (woodland horsetail)

Equisetum sylvaticum (woodland horsetail)

Erigeron strigosus (prairie fleabane)

Eurybia macrophylla (bigleaf aster)

Fragaria virginiana (common strawberry)

Galium asprellum (rough bedstraw)

Gaultheria hispidula (creeping snowberry)

Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen)

Geum macrophyllum var. perincisum (large-leaved avens)

Halenia deflexa ssp. deflexa (American spurred gentian)

Hieracium scabrum (rough hawkweed)

Impatiens capensis (spotted touch-me-not)

Iris versicolor (northern blue flag)

Larix laricina (tamarack)

Lathyrus venosus var. intonsus) (veiny pea)

Leucanthemum vulgare (oxeye daisy)

Linnaea borealis ssp. americana (American twinflower)

Lonicera hirsuta (hairy honeysuckle)

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

Lycopus americanus (American bugleweed)

Lycopus uniflorus var. uniflorus (northern bugleweed)

Lysimachia borealis (northern starflower)

Lysimachia quadriflora (four-flowered yellow loosestrife)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

Maianthemum stellatum (starry false Solomon’s seal)

Mentha arvensis (wild mint)

Monotropa uniflora (Indianpipe)

Nabalus albus (white rattlesnake root)

Nymphaea odorata ssp. tuberosa (American white waterlily)

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Claytosmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)

Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel)

Persicaria amphibia (water smartweed)

Persicaria sagittata (arrowleaf tearthumb)

Petasites frigidus var. palmatus (palmate sweet coltsfoot)

Phleum pratense (timothy)

Picea mariana (black spruce)

Pilea pumila (Canadian clearweed)

Pinus resinosa (red pine)

Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

Polygonatum pubescens (hairy Solomon’s seal)

Populus balsamifera (balsam poplar)

Populus grandidentata (bigtooth aspen)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil)

Prunella vulgaris ssp. vulgaris (common self-heal)

Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum (western bracken fern)

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)

Ranunculus acris var. acris (tall buttercup)

Rhododendron groenlandicum (bog Labrador tea)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Ribes triste (swamp red currant)

Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi (prickly rose)

Rosa arkansana (prairie rose)

Rosa woodsii var. woodsii (Wood’s rose)

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (American red raspberry)

Rubus pubescens (dwarf raspberry)

Rumex britannica (great water dock)

Salix bebbiana (Bebb’s willow)

Scirpus atrovirens (dark green bulrush)

Scirpus cyperinus (wool grass)

Scutellaria galericulata (marsh skullcap)

Smilacina trifolia (three-leaved false Solomon’s seal)

Solidago altissima (late goldenrod)

Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum moss)

Spinulum annotinum (stiff clubmoss)

Spiraea alba var. alba (narrow-leaved meadowsweet)

Streptopus lanceolatus var. longipipes (rose twisted-stalk)

Symphyotrichum lateriflorum (calico aster)

Tanacetum vulgare (common tansy)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Trifolium aureum (golden clover)

Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens (white clover)

Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)

Uvularia grandiflora (large-flowered bellwort)

Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry)

Vaccinium myrtilloides (velvet-leaf blueberry)

Viola pubescens var. pubescens (downy yellow violet)


American red raspberry

American white waterlily (ssp. tuberosa)

beaked hazelnut

bird’s-foot trefoil

bluebead lily


common self-heal (ssp. vulgaris)

common strawberry

common tansy

common yarrow

downy yellow violet (var. pubescens)


large-flowered bellwort

lowbush blueberry

northern blue flag

northern starflower

oxeye daisy

pearly everlasting

prairie rose

red baneberry

rough cinquefoil

spotted touch-me-not

tall buttercup

tall thimbleweed

swamp smartweed

western blue virgin’s bower

wild columbine

wild mint

yellow marsh marigold





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