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KARE in the Air: Big Bog Recreation Area

The latest installment of our summer drone series takes us north to Waskish, MN, and the largest peat bog in the lower 48.

WASKISH, Minn. — Some call it Minnesota's last true wilderness, a 500-square mile peat bog in far northern Minnesota. 

The latest installment of our KARE in the Air summer drone series takes us to Big Bog State Recreation Area in Waskish, a state park that was established in 2000.  

The giant peat bog is the largest in the lower 48 states, and all but inaccessible to humans, with the exception of a mile-long boardwalk.

Big Bog features stunted Tamarac Spruce forests, which the Minnesota DNR explains look young but have actually been there for over 90 years.

The unusual wilderness also hosts amazing orchids, rare birds and carnivorous plants that eat insects. The bog is the starting point for the Tamarac River, a slow-moving river that eventually flows into Upper Red Lake.

Everyone is welcome to visit, but the DNR warns to stay on that boardwalk, as one single footprint in the fragile ecosystem can leave a scar that will last for years to come.