When it comes to the sport of ATV, anyone who has traveled the vast trails, wetlands and wooded areas of the United States are in it to enjoy every bumpy, grinding inch of it. Some of the best and most complicated trail parks are in Minnesota. Yes, you read right, Minnesota. Minnesota boasts thousands of miles of ATV trails in parks. Here are just a few.
In the Bigfork area, there are one thousand of the ten thousand lakes in a very small vicinity. Along with those thousand lakes are densely populated pine and birch woods that overlay trails with a tarmac of greenery that rivals the rain forest of South America. Often times the ATV’er doesn’t even see daylight until they return their vehicle to their trailer. And the chance of coming back dry is slim to none. Here in lies the Blue Ox ATV Trail.
One trail on this run, some mere eighteen miles down a long and curvy dusty, dirt road, reaches far back into such unpopulated areas, that deer, moose, raccoon, and yes, every once in awhile, bear, meet the unwary traveler. Back, way back, traveling over an hour on this trail, is a lake called Potato Lake. (Actually many of the locals really don’t know if it was ever classified or named.) If you can pull traveling the trail with an inflatable boat and your fishing gear packed on your ATV, the fishing in that lake is historic. Large Northern, Pike have been caught there amongst the thousands of Crappies and Sunnies. It’s still populated to this day, well because basically it is only known by the locals.
Narrow top grade with the trail often below ground level due to the spruce bogs, the beauty of the landscape and wildlife is unforgettable. 900 miles of ATV (OHV) trails awaits you! The hours of trail riding will challenge your skills to the max. Just head up north to Highway One and hop on the Blue Ox Trail in one of the many towns along the way. Along the route are International Falls, Little Fork, Big Falls, and Northome.
Further south is one of the more famous ATV trails, the SOO Line. Although not an official park, the Soo Line is broken up into two sections, the southern, starting in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin heading north through the northern segment, it stops just south of Superior, Wisconsin. Most of the trail travels through Minnesota. Starting on the south side of the trail and heading north, you immediately have a two mile climb out of the St. Croix River Valley. It’s grueling, heart pounding and breathtaking all at once. After the two mile climb, the Soo Line becomes just that, a line. The trail was built over an old rail road. Large gravel and endless dirt, there is little left to the imagination, except the scenery. One of the saving graces of the Soo Line trail are the small towns. Coming and going about every five to six miles along the way, some of the best eateries are found in these small towns. Wonderful burgers, fries, onion rings and of course beverages area available lending the ride to some of the best local cuisine in the United States. Cruising at 15 to 20 miles per hour, over 268 miles of trail, you can make a good day of riding the Soo Line.
If you haven’t planned your fall trip yet, you might want to check out the Nemadji State Forest in east central Minnesota. You anxiously wait the meteorologists fall peak color forecasts and pack your breakfast, lunch and dinner just to make the trail ride every year during fall. Nemadji Trail is one of the fall’s must travels for ATV riders.
Winter riding, which you wouldn’t think about on an ATV, is just as popular on this trail. The trail is well maintained by a local ATV club and is open year round making a winter ride a must! Think you know this trail by the back of your hand, you just might be fooled in the winter. The trail is 45 miles of mostly singletrack travel. It is endearing though as it travels through a forest of rolling hills intermingled with stream and swamp crossings and many winding twists and turns. Easily a trail to get lost on. Need to have your GPS with you! The trail is rated for everyone from novice to expert, although the expert part of the trails are little and far between, it still makes for an interesting ride to the more advanced.
If you are an avid ATV Trail rider, you need to make plans to head to Minnesota. As we have ten thousand lakes, so to, we have ten thousand trails (well almost!).