Skip to main content

Explore Minnesota's state forests with these fancy, high-tech new maps from the DNR

New technology makes it easier than ever to find your way through the woods.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is making it easier – and safer – than ever to explore our state's natural forests.

The department launched six new, state-of-the-art maps this week as part of an effort to update all of the state forest maps. 

There are two new options for maps, but one is definitely more high tech. 

It's a geoPDF that you can download to your smartphone. A blue dot tracks your location while you make your way through the woods (shown in the photo above).

“The little blue dot that appears on the map on my phone goes with me whether I’m on or off-trail,” Laura Duffey, DNR state forest map project coordinator, said in the announcement. “This feature lets people know exactly where they are in a state forest – no more getting lost.”

For those who prefer to keep it old school, the DNR also offers some new paper maps, which include pop-out maps for popular campgrounds and day-use areas. 

Both maps are more detailed than previous versions, the DNR says, and highlight destinations for hiking, hunting, mountain biking, birding, cross-country skiing and snowmobile riding.

In the coming years, the DNR will create these types of maps for all 59 state forests, but the first batch is for these six:

  • Paul Bunyan State Forest
  • Badoura State Forest
  • Croix State Forest
  • Huntersville State Forest
  • Lyons State Forest
  • Chengwatana State Forest

The geoPDF maps are available here. You can download each individually.

You can stop by your local DNR office to pick up a free paper map, or request one from the DNR Info Center by emailing or calling 888-646-6367.

Next Up

Jaelyn Campbell

11-year-old girl missing from Mille Lacs County

Jaelyn Campbell was last seen in Onamia.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 1.58.08 PM

2 ejected, 1 killed in crash that closed southbound I-35

The State Patrol says neither were wearing seat belts.

best buy

Best Buy makes job cuts weeks after warning of soft sales

The Richfield retailer has been dealing with a shift in consumer trends.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 10.26.20 PM

Man makes 'vague comments' about Jewish people, smashes own car with club

It happened at a course that was founded as a Jewish country club 100 years ago.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 9.59.07 PM

4 abandoned puppies found in a bucket in Willmar

The puppies were in good health when they were discovered.

Minneapolis police

Suspect of home invasion, murder in Minneapolis arrested in Wisconsin

There have been 57 deaths reported as homicides in Minneapolis this year.

Carson McCoy

Charges: Man stole handgun from house, fired at motorcyclists from car

A chaotic scene that led to a police chase unfolded after an alleged burglary in Ham Lake.

Mounds view 7 - crime scene

BCA's Uniform Crime Report shows violent crime in MN spiked in 2021

The report details violent crime trends in the seven-county metro and Greater Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 4.49.22 PM

Search for vulnerable man, 66, missing from Brooklyn Park

Alex Ramirez was last seen in the early hours of Thursday morning.

St. Cloud Times

St. Cloud Times writing staff hit by Gannett budget cuts

Mass layoffs were expected at Gannett-owned outlets across the country.


Pool company sued by AG for allegedly scamming homeowners out of $1M-plus

According to the lawsuit, 17 Minnesota homeowners were affected by this scam.


How to find mushrooms that taste like chicken in Minnesota

There's a treasure hunt waiting for you in the woods.

TopGolf looks to bring its high-tech driving range games to Minnesota

For fans of golf, or drinking, or food, or games, or all of the above.

TopGolf looks to bring its high-tech driving range games to Minnesota

For fans of golf, or drinking, or food, or games, or all of the above.