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George Washington State Forest


Koochiching, St. Louis, Itasca


Acres: 320,534

State Forest Map

Motor Vehicle/OHV Classification: Closed Limited Managed

Approved Firewood Vendors

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•George Washington State Forest is located in northeastern Itasca County. To get there, take U.S. 65, north of Nashwauk, State Highway 1 between Effie and Togo, and Scenic Hwy 7 east of Big Fork.

•This state forest boasts eight camping facilities. Two horse campgrounds, Togo and Stony Brook, have picket lines and pull-through sites. Bear Lake, Button Box, Larson Lake, Lost Lake, Owen Lake, and Thistledew Lake, campgrounds all feature boat launches and fishing opportunities.

•There are many recreational areas within the forest, most of them along a lake. Owen Lake, Thistledew Lake and Bear Lake all have day use areas with picnic tables and swimming beaches.

•Cross-country ski trails provide loops to challenge experienced skiers as well as those that suit the novice. Snowmobilers will find nearly 200 miles of groomed scenic trails.

More about this forest

Visitor Alert:

Due to wet and warm conditions, forest roads and trails are deteriorating rapidly this spring. Many roads and trails are not firm enough to support vehicle traffic without being damaged. The temporary closures could remain in effect until sometime in May, depending on weather conditions. Note: not all roads and trails in a particular forest may be closed. Check the forest roads closures and OHV trail closures web pages before venturing out. Signs may be posted before web pages are updated. Obey all signs.

Thistledew Trails,Little Moose Trail,

Forest Notes

Large wetland areas limit use of some roads and trails.

George Washington State Forest at a glance...



Boat Ramp Nearby

Dispersed Camping

Canoe / Kayak




Picnic Area

Picnic Shelters


Cross-Country Skiing


60 Miles Horseback

Mountain Biking

Class I ATV

Class II ATV

200 Miles Snowmobiling

Attention Trail Users:

Temp Forest Road / OHV Closures


Bear Lake Campground and Day-Use Area
Button Box Lake Campground and Day-Use Area
Larson Lake Campground
Lost Lake Campground
Owen Lake Campground and Day-Use Area
Stony Brook Horse Campground
Thistledew Campground and Day-Use Area
Togo Horse Campground

Special features

• Scenic State Park
• Taconite State Trail
• Peloquin WMA
• Ladies Tresses Swamp SNA
• Thistledew ATV Trail

Other destinations

Sturgeon River State Forest
Big Fork State Forest
Bowstring State Forest
McCarthy Beach State Park