The Cloquet Forestry Center (CFC) was established in 1909 as a 2,700 acre experimental forest designed to initiate salient forest research, convey findings, and offer a variety of hands-on educational opportunities to students, natural resource professionals, and the public. The CFC has been a designated game refuge since 1924 and is dissected by Otter Creek, a designated trout stream. Recreational use of the forest is currently open on designated trails to on-trail, on-foot traffic. Active forest management and planning has been critical throughout CFC’s history in order to balance its variety of uses and demands.

The bulk of CFC acreage (3,388 acres) is located near Cloquet, MN on a sandy outwash plain. Local climate is moderated by Lake Superior resulting in relatively cool and wet growing seasons when compared to other portions of Minnesota. The growing season length is rather short, spanning mid-May to mid- September. CFC’s forests are sub-boreal in composition. A majority of the upland forests are dominated by red pine, jack pine, paper birch, and trembling aspen (MN DNR Native Plant Communities: FDn32, FDn33, and FDn43). We also have a great deal of black spruce and tamarack lowland forests (APn80, APn81, FPn62, and FPn63), and a small amount of white cedar and black ash wet forests (WFn55 and WFn64).

Several smaller CFC properties are scattered around northeastern Minnesota. The Hubacheck Wilderness Research Center (365 acres), adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Ely, MN, supports a variety of boreal forest communities (primarily FDn32 and FPn62) on shallow soils over ledge rock. The Boone property (200 acres) contains northern hardwoods communities (primarily MHn35) on rich morainal features on the Iron Range. To learn more about CFC history and proposed forest management actions please consult the current forest management plan .

If you are interested in initiating research at CFC, or have other questions related to research and support resources available to researchers, please contact the CFC Forest Manager or write us at cfc@umn.edu.