Verdant green vies with the breeze scuffed satin of dark blue lake in Minnesota's 1.6 million acre Chippewa National Forest for camera attention. The Mississippi River turns south here, and this natural paradise, composed of trees, river and lake, is the largest national forest in the east, a vast stretch of protected land that one might get happily lost in for a long time.
It's certain that visitors will never have to wander aimlessly, looking for outdoor activity. Here, the options range from typical ? hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing and so on, to the less expected ? geocaching, maple syrup tapping, morel gathering and bald eagle spotting. The action isn't limited to warm weather either: winter snows bring in snowmobilers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers. But if it is hiking, camping, or canoeing you're here for, rest assured that there are trails to meet the needs of all parties involved, from short treks to long distance routes (including a stretch of the North Country National Scenic Trail), campsites ranging from primitive to upscale, and plenty of waterways on which to paddle.
There are four districts in the park, Blackduck, Deer River, Walker, and Marcell, and visitors can count on finding plenty of lake surface area and camping sites in all of them. You won't find any big cities here, only small towns, like Walker, Ojibwe, Deer River and Cass Lake, that offer overnight accommodation for the weary unshowered camper, boat rentals and a handful of historic sights to discover.
Walker is 37 miles southeast of Bemidji, and 39 miles east of Lake Itasca at the edge of Itasca State Park.