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    dog friendly hiking

    Dog Friendly Fall Hiking in Northern Minnesota

    Fall is our favorite time of the year to hike in Grand Rapid, Minnesota. The Grand Rapids forests have a high concentration of hardwood trees that show their brilliance color in the fall time of year. Below are highlights the Grand Rapids, MN area hiking options that are dog-friendly. Dogs are required to be on a leash while on the trails.

    Grand Rapids, Minnesota is the perfect Fall Vacation Destination because of our communities position located in the middle of the Northwoods of Minnesota. We are surrounded by nature, and we LOVE it and think you will too. There are many places to hike in the fall around Grand Rapids. There are short distances that are a couple of minutes from downtown and places that are well worth the hour drive north where you can experience some of the most breathtaking views.

    dog friendly hiking COLOR VARIATION: Yellow to Gold Colors
    TYPES OF TREES: Basswood, Birch, Oak,

    COLOR VARIATION: Khaki Green to Yellow
    TYPES OF TREES: Balsam Poplar

    COLOR VARIATION: Brown, Orange & Red
    TYPES OF TREES: Oaks, Maples

    *Note: After mid-October, it is still a good time to hike in the forests, just be mindful that rifle season will start beginning of November 6, 2021. Be safety smart and wear bright orange when walking in the forests during these seasons.



    The Chippewa National Forest is one of the best places to hike, but there are other trails that we will highlight for you in this section.  Depending on the difficulty level of the hike that you are looking for, we are ranking our Top 5 Places to Hike with dogs in the Grand Rapids, MN area:

    dog friendly hiking 1. Golden Anniversary State Forest – (LEVEL: EASY TO INTERMEDIATE) Located 15 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids on the Great River Road. This forest was established in 1961. The terrain includes flat ground to gently rolling hills. The forest is made up of hardwoods and pines that are used to produce timber, create wildlife habitat and opportunities for hunting. Trees that you will see in this forest: Aspen, maple, ash, oak, and balsam fir cover much of the forest. White, red, and jack pine grows on sandier soils. Other conifers include spruce, cedar, and tamarack. Wildlife that you can expect to see is white-tailed deer, black bear, ruffed grouse, woodcock, waterfowl, gray wolf, bobcat, beaver, fisher, pine marten, snowshoe hare, otter, mink, muskrat, trumpeter swan, and eagle. *Note: the signs that state no dogs is for the cross country skiing season.

    dog friendly hiking 2. Simpson Creek – (LEVEL: EASY TO INTERMEDIATE) Located 40 minutes northwest of Grand Rapids on County Road 46. This forest was established in 1907 by Sam Simpson. Located in the Chippewa National Forest, this trail is located next to the Cut Foot Visitor’s Center. This 13-mile trail is all non-motorized. The trees along this trail are very old and tall pine trees that This trail is a great place to view birds like bald eagles, osprey, and loons. Enjoy rolling topography through pines and along glacial eskers, with overlooks onto Cut Foot Sioux Lake and journeys into the cedar swamp. This is also a great trail to snowshoe in the winter because it is not groomed for cross country skiing. *Note: the signs that state no dogs is for the cross country skiing season.

    dog friendly hiking 3. Suomi Hills Trail – (LEVEL: EASY TO INTERMEDIATE)  Located 14 miles north of Grand Rapids, in the Chippewa National Forest. The remote and stunning Suomi Hills has 19 miles of hiking, biking, and ski trails and is part of a semi-primitive non-motorized area. This is the trail is well known for cross country skiing, but this is a fabulous place to hike. Suomi is located on the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway, which is the oldest scenic byway in the state of Minnesota. *Note: the signs that state no dogs is for the cross country skiing season.



    dog friendly hiking 4. Lost Forty – (LEVEL: EASY) Located one hour twenty minutes northwest of Grand Rapids. Lost 40 Scientific Nature Area (SNA) owes its old-growth pine forest to a surveying error that occurred during the Public Land Survey in 1882. In this forest, you will find over 200-year-old pine trees that take three people to connect their hands together to wrap around. The easy-to-hike trails are perfect for a 1/2 day trip up north with the family. There are public restrooms and picnic tables at this location, so pack a lunch to enjoy before or after your hike.

    dog friendly hiking 5. Joyce Estates – (LEVEL: EASY) Located 32 minutes north of Grand Rapids. The trails to the Joyce Estates are kept mowed by the Chippewa National Forest, so it is a great place for hiking, mountain biking, and snowshoeing. The Joyce family created a beautiful private resort area that at one time had 40 building sites and covered over 4,000 acres. Today there are only a couple of buildings that remain standing. This hike is approximately 4 miles in front of the entrance kiosk. The Joyce Estates is located on Trout Lake. It is a beautiful area that has a lot of history.

    Click HERE for more information about hiking in the Grand Rapids, MN area.

    Click HERE for additional hiking trails located within Itasca County.

    Dog Friendly Hiking Pet-Friendly Lodging – Grand Rapids, Minnesota is dog friendly. Grand Rapids is a perfect place to get away in the fall and find dog-friendly lodging. You can search Pets Allowed in the amenities search tab located on the left side of our STAY page. You will find a wide variety of lodging properties that are pet friendly, from conveniently located in town Hotels & Motels, Minnesota Resorts that are located on beautiful lakes, and Vacation Rentals that allow you flexibility.

    Please Share Your Images: Visit Grand Rapids would love to see images of you, your family, and your dog on hiking trails while in the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area. Please feel free to email images to:, and we will share them on our social media pages and tag you. Also, use the following hashtags when you share your images on your social media pages: #GrandRapidsMN. Thank you!