Want to learn more about the offroading landscape in Minnesota? Well, you have come to the right place. Where2Wheel can help you find Jeep trails, truck/SUV trails, fourwheeling trails, OHV trails, and all other offroad trails for 4WD vehicles.
This blog will cover a brief overview of the offroad trails and offroading landscape in MN. To find more information and for full trail descriptions visit W2W's Trails Map.
When you think about the mid-west, miles of land and rolling hills come to mind, so you would think there would be plenty of places to go offroading out there. Unfortunately most of that land is used for precious farming, so you basically end up with the same issues that the East Coast runs into - where there are a few legal 4x4 trails, option of friends/family land, otherwise you are out of luck. Where2Wheel is here to help solve problems like these by creating a national trails database so offroaders all over the nation can find local wheeling spots and hit the trails. As of this writing the W2W Map has 7 spots to go wheeling at in MN. Now that isnt a whole lot obviously, but some is better than none so we will briefly cover a few of these 4x4 trails in MN and if you would like to see a quick snapshot of the offroad landscape in Minnesota or look at the trails yourself then you can visit the W2W Map Here.
To kick it off we will start with the two offroad ohv areas that are located in MN. One is up North and one is down South. Up north we have the Iron Range OHV State Recreation Area located in Gilbert, MN and it is said to be Minnesota's premier off-highway vehicle recreation area. There are hundreds of miles of offroad trails located in Iron Range consisting of lots of mudding opportunities as well as hill climbs, water crossings, and obstacles. Iron Range also hosts the state's only OHV park for ATV's, OHV's, and Dirt Bikes and only cost the fee for a license, which you can find more about on their website. They also have separate OHV trails for Jeepers, so Jeep owners in Minnesota will definitely want to check this place out. Which leads us into the other must visit trail in Northern MN, Mesabi Mountain Trail. Mesabi is only about 10 minutes away from Iron Range but take note that it is a more difficult and very rocky trail - minimum of 35 inch tires, lockers, and a winch (like this one here) are recommended. This offroad trail consist of four miles of a narrow, winding trail that follows the rocky ridges and outcroppings of the Laurentian Divide. This is definitely the offroad trail in Minnesota to test for your rig for rockcrawling and obstacles! You can learn more about Mesabi here before heading out to test your skills.
The other ohv park area is Appleton Area Recreational Park located in Appleton, MN. Fun Fact: Appleton was once an old gravel mine which created tons of rolling terrain and fun for us offroad enthusiasts. The Appleton Area Recreational Park covers 330 acres, including 20 miles of trails. Appleton is a great location for full size vehicles and offers trails for every skill level. You can find out more about the Appleton Recreational Area here.
To wrap up this brief overview of the offroad trails in MN, we will cover one of the more popular trails that sits on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin, the Gandy Dancer Trail. Gandy Dancer is a 30-mile trail that travels along an abandoned railroad grade and begins in Danbury, Wis., and travels north through Minnesota before looping back east. This trail also has different connections off of it to OHV trails in the St. Croix and Nemadji state forests. The connections along with the different terrain changes and views make Gandy Dancer another must hit offroad trail in Minnesota.
Once again this was just a quick overview of some of the offroad trails in Minnesota that are listed on Where2Wheel. To view the other 4x4 locations in MN you can either visit the Where2Wheel Map or glance at the screenshot below. As mentioned earlier, W2W is here to help the offroad community by building the best national trails map. If you know of any trails that are not listed on the map for MN or any other state, then please feel free to help us out and add them to the W2W Map Here. Hope this information helps you hit the trails and happy wheeling!
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