Minnesota’s ATV Trails Cater to All Riders

By Joe Albert

ATV in Thief River Falls_Credit Arctic Cat Inc.
Photo courtesy of Arctic Cat Inc.

Getting on the trail and squeezing the throttle, ATV riders can leave civilization behind and witness wild places—not to mention the birds, deer and other creatures that call these areas home.

Minnesota boasts dozens of trails for all-terrain vehicle riders. Opportunities exist for riders throughout Minnesota, with the majority of trails clustered in the northern part of the state. There are trails to match every skill level, from flat and open trails that cater to beginners, to narrow, winding trails that will challenge even the most experienced riders.

Listed in alphabetical order, here are some of the state’s most notable spots to ride ATVs:

  • Appleton Area Recreational Park: This park near Appleton features 20 miles of trails that cater to riders of all skill levels.
  • Forest Riders Trail: This 100-mile trail begins near Park Rapids and takes riders through several state forests. Some parts of the trail are level, while others are hilly and more challenging.
  • Fourtown-Grygla Trail: Riders can access this trail in a variety of locations, including at Grygla. At 170 miles, it’s among the state’s longest and offers generally flat and easy riding.
  • Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area: Located in Gilbert, Minnesota’s premier ATV park features 36 miles of trails for riders of every skill level.
  • Nemadji State Forest Trails: These trails near Moose Lake wind through the state forest. There are connections to the Matthew Lourey State Trail and the Gandy Dancer Trail, affording riders more than 100 miles of trail-riding options.
  • Soo Line North Trail: The 52-mile trail, much of which is in the scenic Bowstring State Forest, begins in Remer and ends near Cass Lake. It’s common for riders on this trail to see a variety of forest wildlife species.
  • Spider Lake Trails: Located near Pine River, the 29-mile trail is in the Foot Hills State Forest and includes a variety of terrain.
  • Trout Valley Trails: Situated in the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest near Winona, this 9-mile trail culminates with stunning views of the Mississippi River, and Trout and Whitewater valleys.

Find ATV trails and view or order a free copy of the Minnesota ATVentures guide.