Brightsdale Unit, R.J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood Forest Professional Review and Guide
"Easy interpretive trail that drops to the root River and climbs again to give an educational tour of the woods. The Brightsdale is a 900-acre management unit of the Dorer Hardwood State Forest located along the north branch of the Root River. At the heart of the unit is also the Southeastern Minnesota Forest Resource Center, a non-profit organization who’s main goal is promoting reforestation of the neighboring hillsides. The center has other activities, such as seminars on growing Shittake mushrooms, brunches with a naturalist, and even tests of daring with rope bridges that cross ravines.
The state’s forest demonstration plot might be one of the best, since it showcases trees common in the warmer south, as well as cold weather northern species. For just a sampling, black ash, wild grape, and walnuts, as well as several species of oaks and pines can be found here. There are two interconnected trail loops in the unit; this is the shorter one, which goes through the forest and alongside the river. Stationary ecological plaques identify the trees and interesting features. Special attractions: Overlook, Forest Resource Center (on private land in the heart of the unit), and a forest interpretive trail."