Carlton County tax-forfeited lands offer numerous and varied recreational opportunities such as nature viewing, hiking, non-commercial harvesting of non-protected plants, fruits, nuts and maple syrup tapping. Forest roads act as trails for both motorized and non-motorized uses. But, without a doubt, the greatest recreational use of the lands is for grouse and deer hunting. In conjunction with vast tracts of State land, County lands are a mecca for hunters.

County and State Parks

Within our boundaries lie the following parks, which each offer a variety of recreational opportunities:

Historical Sites/Museums

Local Fairs and Events

The Carlton County Fair happens once annually in August. It includes fun and entertainment for the entire family! Exhibits-Train, Blacksmith, Flower, Tractor, Settler’s Farmhouse, Schoolhouse; Animals- Livestock, rabbits, goats, poultry, sheep, horse, children’s barn. Rides on the Midway. Car races- Oval, Figure 8, Demo Derby. Business showcase. Entertainment under the big top. Great food!

Visit the Carlton County Area Chamber of Commerce for more local events

Deer Stands

Current policy does not allow for the construction or placement of permanent deer stands. Stands may be tied or strapped to trees or free standing. They must be portable. Screw-in pegs may be put in trees to access portable deer stands, but must be removed after hunting season.


The County has issued leases to individuals for the purpose of establishing hunting cabins. There is a detailed lease agreement governing these arrangements and the leases must be renewed annually. The Board has set a ceiling on the number of leases available. There are no cabin lease sites available at this time.

Cross Country Ski Trails

Maple Ridge Ski TrailsLocated off of Mission Road in Sawyer by the south shore of Big Lake. There is an unpaved parking/pull-off area that is maintained throughout the year. A 2K ski/snowshoe trail is groomed in the winter when snow conditions permit. During the Spring, Summer, and Fall these trails are a nice place to take a short hike or jog through a forest of Maples, Oak and White Pine over rolling topography.

The Cloquet Forestry Center (CFC) has a cross country ski trail network that is groomed regularly in the winter season and open for foot traffic year round. 

ATV and Snowmobile Use

Current policy allows for ATV, motorcycle and snowmobile traffic on County managed roads and trails except where expressly prohibited. Cars and trucks are allowed on forest roads when conditions permit. View the Carlton County ATV Ordinance and Soo Line Trail Ordinance #14.

The Land Department manages two County owned abandoned Soo Line Trails, see also Soo Line Trail FAQs. These two trails are limited to ATV, motorcycle and snowmobile  use. ATV dry weight may not exceed 1,500 pounds. All other motorized vehicles are prohibited. The consumption of alcoholic beverages or the possession of an opened bottle containing alcoholic beverages while operating a vehicle on the Soo Line Trail is prohibited. Carlton County Ordinance Number 14 sets forth provisions for use of these two trails.

Cabin Lease 103

A cabin lease site on Carlton County managed lands

Soo Line Trail

A new Soo Line Trail sign indicating multiple use

mark ski groom-0802

The forester grooms the Maple Ridge Ski Trails