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:
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
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 Trails (PDF) : Located off of Mission Road in Sawyer by the south shore of Big Lake is a 2 Kilometre ski/snowshoe trail that is groomed in the winter when snow conditions permit. An unpaved parking/pull-off area is maintained throughout the year.
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.
The Land Department manages two portions of county owned Soo Line Trail.
Here are a few things to remember when traversing either portion of the Soo Line Trail through Carlton County:
- The two trails are limited to ATV, motorcycle and snowmobile use.
- Observe posted speed limits.
- Carlton County Ordinance Number 14 sets forth provisions for use of these two trails.
Soo Pits - ATV Trails & Open Ride
Located off of Highway 27 and Halgren Road is a system of ATV trails and played-out gravel pits. An unpaved parking lot is provided but not maintained during the winter months. The Soo Pits are open year-round to the public. View the Carlton County Soo Pits Ordinance #35 July 2020 (PDF) for more detailed information
For more information, navigate to our interactive and mobile friendly Soo Pits mapping application.
Use this Soo Pits GeoPDF Map to know your location while in the pits without having cell service!
To view the Soo Pits GeoPDF Map, follow the below instructions for setup:
- Make sure your mobile device is connected to the internet while downloading the application & map.
- Download the free Avenza Maps app for your IOS or Android mobile device. The app is used to read GeoPDFs and display your location.
- Download the Soo Pits GeoPDF Map to your IOS or Android mobile device.
Once the GeoPDF and Avenza maps have been downloaded to your device, you do not need cellular connection anymore.
Use the below instructions to view your GeoPDF map:
- Open Avenza Maps
- Tap the Add button
- Tap "download or import a map"
- Tap "From Device Storage"
- Navigate to the recently downloaded Soo Pits GeoPDF.
- The map will then open in Avenza Maps
- Open the downloaded Soo Pits GeoPDF Map on your device.
- Tap the Upload button.
- Scroll and tap on Avenza Maps
- The map will then open in Avenza Maps.
A cabin lease site on Carlton County managed lands
A new Soo Line Trail sign indicating multiple use
The forester grooms the Maple Ridge Ski Trails
Open riding areas at the Soo Pits