HomeTrailsThe Best ATV Trails In Minnesota

The Best ATV Trails In Minnesota

Spider Lake ATV Trails

  • Location: Pine River MN
  • Trail Miles: 29 miles
  • Skill Level: Varied
  • Fees: MN trail pass required for out of state riders
  • Usage: Heavy
  • Open: Year round (except firearm deer season and on groomed snowmobile trails)
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS, dirt bikes, 4×4, ORV

Spider Lake Trails are located in the Foot Hills State Forest and are managed by the MN Department of Natural Resources.

29 miles of trails wind through the forest and around the many several small ponds that dot the region. Trails are rated as easy to difficult with a range of surface conditions.

The region has a wide range of camping opportunities from free dispersed camping to private campgrounds/resorts with more amenities.

These trails are open almost all year to off roading all year, but for safety, they’re closed during deer gun hunting season.

When the main trail (Snoway One) running down the middle becomes a groomed snowmobile trail it is then closed to offroading. You can cross the groomed snowmobile trail to access other ATV trails, but you can’t drive on the trail.

Spider Lake ATV Trails

Spider Lake ATV Trail Map

Foot Hills State Forest Brochure



Nemadji State Forest

ATV Trails In Minnesota
  • Location: Nickerson MN
  • Trail Miles: 100 miles
  • Skill Level: Varied
  • Fees: MN trail pass required for out of state riders
  • Usage: Heavy
  • Open: Year round
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, UTV, SxS, ORV, motorcycles

One of the best ATV trail systems in Minnesota. And definitely a great riding opportunity for dirt bikers.

Nemadji State Forest includes the Straight Arrows Trails with 35 miles of single track open to OHM only. In addition to the 35 miles, Straight Arrows also includes an additional 18 miles of multi-use trails.

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OHM riders will be challenged with steep hill climbs, tight turns and some straight runs to open it up. Trails in this section are rated as easy to moderate.

For more riding, there are trail connectors to Matthew Lourey State Trail and Gandy Dancer Trail.

In the winter, the OHV trails are open – some are shared use with snowmobiles. If the temperatures rises above 30 degrees, ATVers are asked to stay off the groomed trails in order to minimize damage.

The Matthew Lourey State Trail (MLST) within the forest at Granzow Road is open to shared snowmobile and ATV use.

There are no plowed parking lots. 

MN DNR: Straight Arrows Trails

MN DNR: Nemadji State Forest


Timber Trails System

  • Location: Hines / Blackduck MN
  • Trail Miles: 128 miles
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Fees: MN trail pass required for out of state riders
  • Usage: Moderate
  • Open: May 1 to November 1
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, UTV, SxS, ORV

The Timber Trails System is made up of 5 different trail sections that are interconnected. With 128 miles and several loops, you’ll find plenty of  family friendly riding. The trails are rated as easy on primarily packed dirt through forested area.

One loop circles Blackduck Lake which at just over 3 miles wide is one of the larger lakes on the trails. Tons of other small ponds and lakes are also easily accessible from the trails.

Timber Trails connects to Alvwood-Squaw Lake Trail (159 miles) and the Blue Ox Trail (73 miles). The Blue Ox Trail is a straight trail that takes you to International Falls at the Canadian Border.

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Northern Minnesota is rich with wildlife, so you may get lucky and see bear, wolves, deer, foxes and many wild birds.

Timber Trails System

Timber Trails ATV Map


Photo By Explore Minnesota Tourism

Alvwood-Squaw Lake Trail / Blue Ox Trail

  • Location: Littlefork, International Falls, Northome
  • Trail Miles: 232 miles
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Fees: MN trail pass required for out of state riders
  • Usage: Moderate
  • Alvwood-Squaw Open: Closed for mud season 3/15 to 5/15
  • Blue Ox Open: 4/1 to 11/30
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS, dirt bikes (not allowed on Blue Ox), 4×4, ORV

Alvwood-Squaw Lake Trail (159 miles) and the Blue Ox Trail (73 miles) connect with the Timber Trails System (128 miles) for a combined 360 miles of riding.

Dirt bikes are allowed on the Alvwood-Squaw Trails and the Timber Trails, but unfortunately not on the Blue Ox Trail.

Alvwood-Squaw Lake Trail

159 miles of looped trails running through the Bowstring State Forest and the Chippewa National Forest. These beautiful easy trails travel through heavily forested areas with aspen and pine. This trail also lays claim to the longest ATV trail boardwalk in Itasca County.

Blue Ox Trail

The Blue Ox Trail is a straight trail that takes you to International Falls at the Canadian Border. This trail is on an abandoned railroad grade, so it’s level easy going.

The surface is primarily hard packed dirt with gravel, but there are occasional ruts. Water and mud are always possible especially after a rain.

The Blue Ox Trail does have some partial closures, but there are detours with signs that direct you around the closed areas.

You have to pass through the town of Littlefork MN on your way to International Falls. Littlefork does allow ATV travel through town in order to access the trail even though the map says “no legal route through town at this time”. You can verify this at MN DNR Blue Ox Trail.

Alvwood-Squaw ATV Trail

Alvwood-Squaw Lake Trail / Blue Ox Trail Map


Prospector Loop ATV Trail System

  • Location: Ely, Babbitt, Embarrass, Soudan, Tower
  • Trail Miles: 280 miles (when complete)
  • Skill Level: Varied
  • Fees: MN trail pass required for out of state riders  
  • Usage: Moderate
  • Open: N/A
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, dirt bikes, SxS

This trail is still a work in progress – only about 75% of it is currently up and running. But when it’s finished, the Prospector Loop will have some of the best ATV trails in Minnesota.

Several communities along with an ATV club have been working hard to make this trail system a reality. The plan is to create an ATV trail system that connects the north woods towns of Ely, Babbitt, Embarrass, Soudan and Tower and also includes Bear Head Lake State Park, Lake Vermilion State Park and Lake County Regional ATV Trail.

In it’s incomplete state, the best town for exploring the loop is Babbit. The larger loop trails that connect Ely, Embarrass, Soudan and Tower to the rest of the trail system are not currently open.

A smaller section of trail connecting Tower and Embarrass is open, but it doesn’t currently connect with the rest of the open trail.

The information on this trail is a bit scattered and incomplete, but hopefully once the trail is complete they’ll put together a more comprehensive trail guide.

Facebook: Prospector Loop ATV Trail System

Prospector Loop Big Map (scroll through the photos until you reach the map)


Off Roading In MN

Soo Line South Trail / Soo Line North Trail

  • Location: Genola, Hillman (south) / Cass Lake (north)
  • Trail Miles: 75 miles (one way)
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Fees: MN trail pass required for out of state riders
  • Usage: Heavy  
  • Open: 4/1 to 10/31 South / 4/1 to 11/30 North
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS, dirt bikes (allowed on North, but not South)

Soo Line South and Soo Line North connect in Moose Lake for a 75 mile long family friendly trail. Both trails are rated as easy.

The North Soo Trail follows an old railroad trail, so it is fairly level with hard pack dirt and gravel.

Off the North Soo Trail, is the Axtell Technical Riding Area with trails that have fun features to challenge your riding skills such as a bowl, whoops, hills and rock crawls. You can only reach this area by trail.

Many towns along this route are ATV friendly and allow you to travel by ATV on posted roads making it easy to get gas or stop for lunch.

The Soo Trails are located in Aitkin County and are part of the North Woods ATV Trail. As you ride along the Soo Trails, you’ll find many additional loops and off shoot trails. All told this region has 200+ interconnected, easy to access riding with some of the best ATV trails in Minnesota.

Soo Line South Trail / Soo Line North Trail

Soo Line South Map / Soo Line North Map

ATV Trails In Minnesota - Soo Line
Soo Line ATV Trail Brett Whaley | Flickr

Round River Drive Trail

  • Location: Nevis, Akeley MN
  • Trail Miles: 113 miles
  • Skill Level: Easy / More advanced
  • Fees: MN trail pass required for out of state riders
  • Usage: Moderate   
  • Open: 5/1 to 11/1
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS, dirt bikes

Located in the Paul Bunyan State Forest, this trail system is comprised of forest service roads and trails. The terrain is mostly easy with some more advanced sections, but not expert level or technical.

The Round River Drive Trail is best for ATVs and SxS, but there are plenty of miles of forest roads that are part of the trail system that are open to bikes.

If you’re a dirt biker looking for single track, check out Martineau Recreational Trails. This riding area is linked to and accessible from Round River Drive Trail. Martineau has 97 miles of dedicated OHM track.

Round River Drive Trail

Round River Drive Trail Map



Agassiz Recreational Trail

  • Location: Crookston MN
  • Trail Miles: 52 miles
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Fees: MN trail pass required for out of state riders
  • Usage: Light
  • Open: 4/1 to 11/30
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS

This is a multi use trail also open to hikers, bicycles and horseback riders.

Located near the North Dakota border, this tree lined trail crosses several scenic bridges and has lovely views of Sand Hill and Wild Rice rivers.

The trail follows an old railroad route through wooded areas and farmland. About half the trail runs parallel to a busy road, so this isn’t a true wilderness experience, but it’s a nice area with 52 straight miles of uninterrupted trail.

Plus, this is one of the few ATV trails in this region, that alone makes it worthy of inclusion.

Agassiz Recreational Trail

Agassiz Recreational Trail Map


Wild Country / Moose Walk / Moose Run / Red Dot Trails

  • Location: Finland, Silver Bay
  • Trail Miles: 93.6 miles
  • Skill Level: Easy / More advanced
  • Fees: MN trail pass required for out of state riders
  • Usage: Moderate  
  • Open: 5/22 to 11/30 (6/1 to 11/30 Moose Run)
  • Vehicles Allowed: ATV, SxS

This ATV trail is actually 4 separate trails, but they all connect with one another. There are also several connected loops, so it’s seamless to ride from one trail to another.

Wild Country Trail and Moose Run Trail are both rated easy, while Moose Walk Trail and Red Dot Trail have both easy and more difficult rated trails.

These trails travel along converted railroad beds, Forest Service roads and trails.

There’s a lot of varied terrain including hills, woods, streams, rivers, bogs and rock outcropping. There are even a couple Lake Superior distant overlooks as you travel through the hills near Finland.

The Red Dot Trail takes you to the ATV friendly town of Silver Bay on the shores of Lake Superior where you can get gas and enjoy lunch.

Wild Country / Moose Walk / Moose Run / Red Dot

Overview Map


Wild ATV
  • MN law requires headlights on when riding
  • If your vehicle is not registered in MN, you will need to buy a Minnesota ATV trails pass to operate on public lands.
  • If your state does not require ATV registration, you will need a Minnesota registration. (unless you are in MN less than 30 days, then you do not need a MN registration.)
  • MN has special laws regarding youth operators.

MN Black Bear Off Roading

Non-Resident OHV State Trail Pass

  • If your vehicle is registered in Minnesota you do not need a trail pass.
  • If you are a non resident riding on public lands you will need to purchase a Minnesota ATV trails pass for your ATV, OHM or ORV. Non Resident OHV State Trail Permit.
  • ATV and OHM trail passes do not need to displayed but need to be carried at all times.
  • ORV trail passes do need to be displayed and visible.
  • If you lose your pass, you can purchase a copy for $2.50.
  • Passes can be purchased online or in person at Game and Fish License Agents and Deputy Registrar offices.

Non-resident OHV State Trail Passes


MN Youth Operator Laws

Children under 10: Not allowed to drive ATVs on public land.

Ages 10 – 11: Can operate ATV up to 90cc on public land. Must be accompanied by adult and wear helmet.

Ages 12 – 15: Must pass a safety course and have valid ATV valid safety certificate to operate on public lands and frozen waters. Must be accompanied by a licenced adult (18+ years old) on another ATV and also wear a helmet. Must be riding a properly sized ATV, so they can safely reach the hand controls and foot pegs.

Ages 16 – 17: Must pass an ATV study course, but an ATV safety certificate is not required. Must have a driver’s license to cross a roadway or operate on roads rights of way. Helmet required.

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