State forest lands are available for a variety of recreational activities, including hunting, trapping, off-highway vehicle riding, camping, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and wildlife watching.
Before heading out on your next adventure, please review a few key rules. All Minnesota state forest users are responsible for obeying state forest rules and regulations in Minnesota Rules, part 6100.3000 through 6100.4300.
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There are two ways to camp in state forests: in designated campgrounds (preferred) and dispersed.
All campers must "leave no trace" no matter where you camp. Pack out what you pack in, do not damage trees, water, habitat, picnic tables, or anything else. Do not burn litter or garbage.
Always observe signs posted in campgrounds.
Camping fees are charged in campgrounds with developed facilities (drinking water, garbage containers, toilets). No fees are charged for other recreational uses of state forests. Learn more about camping in state forests.
When available, use fire rings or charcoal grills. Keep campfires no larger than 3 feet wide and 3 feet high. Do not burn household garbage. Attend the fire at all times. Completely extinguish your fire before leaving the area. It should be cold to the touch.
Do not allow personal property or vehicles to obstruct roads or trails.
Don't leave equipment unattended for more than 24 hours.
Fireworks are not allowed in state forests.
State forests and wildlife management areas are open to hunting, trapping, and fishing during the appropriate season and with the correct license.
State forests are open to target, trap, and recreational shooting except where prohibited by law, or posted or designated closed.
Exception:Shooting is not allowed in Sand Dunes State Forest.
State game refuges within state forests are closed to hunting unless listed as open.
Firearms must be unloaded and cased and bows unstrung when in or within 200 feet of any campground, picnic area, beach, parking lot, interpretive site, or trailhead.
For regulations about hunting, trapping, firearms, bows, limits, seasons, and deer stands go to the hunting and trapping regulations webpage.
Watch Out for Private Property
State forests contain private holdings within their boundaries. Watch for posted "No Trespassing" and "No Hunting" signs and stay off private property.
Trail users are responsible for obeying the rules and regulations in Minnesota Rules, part 6100.3000 through 6100.4300.
Moving firewood from one location to another may also move harmful pests. Only approved firewood may be brought into state parks, state forests, and other DNR facilities. Use Firewood Scout to see where you can purchase approved firewood.
This is only a summary of permitted and regulated activities. A complete copy of the rules is available; See Minnesota Rules Chapter 6100.0100 to 6100.1950 for details.