Eastern Region Viewing Area

LOCATION and PHOTOS

bunchberry.
Bunchberry. Photo by Erin Heep.

stemless ladyslipper.
Stemless ladyslipper. Photo by Erin Heep.

Canada mayflower.
Canada mayflower. Photo by Erin Heep.

Echo Lake Campground Hiking Trail

Forest: Superior National Forest

District: LaCroix Ranger District

Description: The hiking trail at the Echo Lake Campground on the Superior National Forest provides a great opportunity for viewing North Woods wildflowers from spring to mid-summer. The 1.5 mile long walking trail meanders across impressive Canadian Shield bedrock outcrops and passes by some enormous glacial erratics, huge boulders that glaciers left behind thousands of years ago.

The red oak woodland that grows on these outcrops is not very dense, so lots of sunlight reaches the understory of these dry habitats. In the spring, small pockets of soil on the rock outcrops sport blooms of bunchberry, juneberry, wood anemone, strawberry, Canada mayflower, pale corydalis, sand cherry, and blueberry. Some parts of the bare rock are covered with carpets of red, grey, and white lichen. A profusion of the ferns common polypody and rusty woodsia adorns the glacial erratics. If you are lucky, you will run into some moccasin flower or stemless lady’s slippers. Later in the summer, harebells and three toothed cinquefoil can be found.

Directions: The Echo Lake Campground is on the Echo Trail, 22 miles east of Orr, Minnesota. From Orr, Minnesota, take St. Louis County 23 to Buyck, Minnesota (16 miles). At Buyck, Minnesota, County 23 turns into County 24. Continue on County 24 for four miles to the Echo Trail (County Road 116). Turn right onto the Echo Trail, and go 0.8 miles to the campground entrance road and turn left. Look for signs for the hiking trail.

Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Superior National Forest. For more information contact the LaCroix Ranger District at (218) 666-0020 (voice and TTY).

Closest Town: Buyck, Minnesota.