St. Cloud Photographer Captures Stunning Fall Photos of MN’s Lost 40
A St. Cloud photographer's photos of the Lost 40 SNA reveal a magical wonderland of fall colors.
On Wednesday, a photographer Rick Pawlenty of St. Cloud shared a group of photos to the That's So Minnesota Facebook page.
"Visited the Lost 40 a couple days ago for the first time," he shared. "Did not know about these 40 acres, but my son was up there a couple weeks ago and said I needed to go." His photos -- several of them aerial shots -- reveal a stunning array of fall colors.
The Lost 40 Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) is a large parcel of land (various sources report anywhere between 40 acres and 200 acres) in Itasca County 50 miles northwest of Grand Rapids. As story goes, the section of untouched land earned its name due to a land survey error in 1882. Mapped as Coddington Lake by surveyors (the lake is actually half a mile south), loggers bypassed the area altogether -- leaving it untouched and uncut for decades. In 1960 the area was re-surveyed, the error corrected and the land later incorporated into Chippewa National Forest. Today the Lost 40 SNA is home to some of the oldest and tallest individual trees in the Midwest; Explore Minnesota reports that some of them are between 230-240 years old and stand 120 feet tall. The area remains untouched by loggers, though it is accessible; a one-mile trail offers great hiking, skiing and snowshoeing opportunities.
According to a post on Rick's personal Facebook page, he woke up at 3:00am and drove 3 1/2 hours to photograph the Lost 40 at sunrise. As the photos suggest, it was well worth the drive, he says.
"These are amazing!" praised one in the comments. "I love the aerial view from above! A whole new perspective that I haven't seen here."
"Beautiful," complimented another. "I had never heard of the Lost 40 before. Thanks for sharing."
"I’ve been there a few years ago during the summer! It’s very unique and fascinating place!" added a third. "Loved it!" See more of Rick Pawlenty's work here.