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Sand Dunes State Forest




Acres: 11,040

State Forest Map

Motor Vehicle/OHV Classification: Closed

Approved Firewood Vendors

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• The DNR has created a stakeholder advisory group to increase communication and collaboration with the public about management in the Sand Dunes State Forest. Please visit the Sand Dunes State Forest Stakeholder Advisory Group Web page for more information.

• Sand Dunes State Forest is located in central Sherburne County, about three miles west of Zimmerman and 5 miles north of Big Lake. The forest can be reached by taking Sherburne County five north from Big Lake, off U.S. 10, or following Sherburne County Highway 4 west from Zimmerman off U.S. 169.

• Sand Dunes has something for everyone. The 225-acre Bob Dunn Recreation Area, nestled within the forest, holds a 36-unit Ann Lake Campground and Day-Use including the Sand Dunes Horse Camp which is busy on summer weekends.

• Sand Dunes consists of oak savanna forest and prairie and 2,700 acres of pine plantation on rolling terrain. It provides beautiful areas for many recreational activities, such as horseback riding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, hunting, swimming, panfish fishing on Ann Lake, camping and hiking.

More about this forest


The tornado that hit Zimmerman on March 6 caused significant damage to the Ann Lake Campground and Day Use Area within the Sand Dunes State Forest. The Ann Lake Campground and Day Use Area will remain closed until the clean-up is completed and the area is safe. There are numerous hazard trees, so please avoid these areas while the clean-up crews do their jobs. The remainder of the state forest outside of the Ann Lake Campground and Day Use Area was largely undamaged and remains open.

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.

Forest Notes

There is no target shooting allowed within Sand Dunes State Forest. All other state forest are open. Check out the firearms and shooting ranges information on the state forest rules page.

Sand Dunes State Forest at a glance...


Boat Ramp Nearby

Dispersed Camping

Canoe / Kayak




Picnic Area




4 Miles Cross-Country Skiing

4 Miles Hiking

29 Miles Horseback

4 Miles Mountain Biking

23 Miles Snowmobiling

Attention Trail Users:

• This area is very sandy, which may make mountain biking difficult.

Notice: Groomed snowmobile trails, as signed, are closed Dec. 1 to off-highway vehicles (OHVs) and highway licensed vehicles (HLV's).

• State forest roads are open to highway-licensed vehicles. There are no off-highway vehicle riding opportunities in this forest.

Temp Forest Road / OHV Closures


Ann Lake Campground & Day-Use Area
Bob Dunn Horse Campground

Special features

• Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge
• Uncas Dunes SNA

Other destinations

Freemont WMA
Lake Maria State Park