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NCT - Lake 21 Loop Trail

Easy/Intermediate

Trail

1.3 mile 2.1 kilometer loop
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 111' 34 m
Descent: -126' -38 m
High: 1,473' 449 m
Low: 1,428' 435 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)

Dogs

Off-leash
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Trail shared by Matthew Davis

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Hike around scenic Lake Twentyone on this family-friendly loop trail.

Matthew Davis

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Easy, gentle loop with nearby camping

Closed during deer rifle season in early November. Not accessible in the winter.

Need to Know

Information on the Gulch Lakes Campground can be found at dnr.state.mn.us/state_fores… (map: files.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/…)

Description

From the Lake Twentyone Day Use Area parking lot, head northeast from the Trail Shelter (no overnight camping), cross the entrance road, and then follow the northeast corner of the lakeshore climbing uphill. Look for wildflowers in the area recently clearcut. The trail passes by a spur trail leading east to the Gulch Lakes Campground (fee required) and then another staircase down to a fishing pier.

The trail continues along the lakeshore and then crosses an inlet channel on a bridge before turning west. The trail will reach the intersection with the Nelson Lake Loop Trail, cross a bridge, pass through a Campsite (fee required), and then head southwest. At an intersection, the Nelson Lake Loop Trail continues on south.

To follow the Lake Twentyone loop trailhead west, pass through an ironwood grove with a grassy forest floor, and then loop around a boggy bay of the lake. There is a view to the west of another boggy wetland. Notice the beaver's trail and its lodge? The trail continues heading northeast before reaching a wide trail, a picnic site, and then the restroom and parking area.

Flora & Fauna

The trail passes through a mixed hardwood forest with some remnant pines. There are old-growth Norway Pines located uphill from the Trailhead. There was a CCC camp in this vicinity back in the 1930s. Look for signs of wolves, deer, turkey, and bear in the vicinity.

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#11877

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#122

in Minnesota

#11,877

Overall
3 Views Last Month
172 Since Mar 12, 2018
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

The spot between Lake Twenty-one and Nelson Lake
Feb 28, 2018 near Walker, MN
A beautiful wetland view
Feb 28, 2018 near Walker, MN
The oak forest - can you spot the sign of beavers?
Feb 28, 2018 near Walker, MN
The warming shelter
Feb 28, 2018 near Walker, MN
Be sure to wear blaze orange in the fall during hunting season
Feb 28, 2018 near Walker, MN
The trail passes through a grassy ironwood stand
Feb 28, 2018 near Walker, MN

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