ATV riding throughout the state of Minnesota is a very popular pastime for us Upper-Midwesterners. This is something my family and a host of close friends have been partaking in for a number of years. Although I’m past the age of ATV riding, that doesn’t stop family and friends from still doing it. There are a number of very good trails and parks statewide for ATV and other off road riding. I will give you a guide to some of the best trails and parks that we have either rode ourselves or other family and friends have used for this fun outdoor activity.
1. Minnesota Iron Range OHVRA, Gilbert,Mn.: This popular off-road park has about 30 miles of OHV trails. It has rock crawling sections, hill climbs and scenic forest and lake views. The trails are marked and there is no fee to ride them unless a special event is scheduled. Nearby attractions include the childhood home of singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan. This state park is located about 60 miles north of Duluth, Mn., in Minnesota’s Iron Range area. There are no fees to set up camp here, which is a big plus in my book.
2. Appleton Area Recreation OHV Park, Appleton, Mn.: This park was once an old railroad gravel mine known as Appleton Lake Park. The park covers about 100 acres of narrow technical trails plus a motorcross practice track. The rolling terrain makes it excellent riding for the entire family. This OHV park is described by visitors as awesome. with lots of variety for the ATV riders. It’s free and offers lots of stuff for everyone. It’s not that far of a drive for the Twin Cities metropolitan ATV crowd.
3. Minnesota Tri County ATV Park, Fairbault, Mn.: This ATV park has a scramble area that can be enjoyed year around. The 25 acres of trails to explore are ideal for the beginners as well as the more advanced riders. The soft sand, water holes and hills to climb make it a fun place for all those OHV riders. It has a sheltered cookout area to enjoy an evening dinner under the stars if you wish. It’s only open to ATV’s making it very ideal for your recreation.
4. Big Aspen Recreation Area, Virginia, Mn.: This multi use recreation area offers about 21 miles of easy to moderate trails. The trails consist of railroad grades and old forest roads that wind through scenic pine and hardwood forest. ATV use is allowed from May through Nov. It’s a good area for the amateurs.
Some other areas in Minnesota that have excellent OHV trails are the Chengwatana State Forest, Pine City, Mn., Fond du Lac State Forest, Cromwell, Mn., Nemadji State Forest, Nickerson, Mn., Snake Creek OHV Trails, Kellogg, Mn., Soo Pitts OHV Trails, Moose Lake, Mn., and Spider Lake OHV area, Pine River,Mn. These trails each have their own unique features such as ruts, rocks, roots, rolling hills scattered swamps, numerous creek and stream crossings etc. for the OHV fanatic to enjoy.
For more information on these or any other ATV/OHV parks and trails throughout the state of Minnesota go to www.dnr.state.mn.us/ATV parks.