Minnesota Master Naturalist

Northwoods, Great Lakes

The official name for the ecological province called the North Woods, Great Lakes by the Minnesota Master Naturalist Program is the Laurentian Mixed Forest. It is the largest biome in the state covering approximately 23 million acres in the northeast portion of Minnesota. The region contains many lakes, and the landscape ranges from swamps and bogs to exposed bedrock.

The biome is a cold and wet area with an average annual rainfall of 21-32 inches across the biome. The average temperature ranges from 34 degrees along the northern edge to 40 degrees along the southernmost reaches of the North Woods, Great Lakes region. The biome contains a large variety of vegetation due to the large variation of growing degree days and the amount of snowfall that falls in a particular area.

Source: Minnesota DNR

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