Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area Snapshot Tour

Welcome to the Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area virtual tour! Explore the many trails carved into mine tailings, many which offer views of the iron range lakes, hills and distant mining towns. Once the site of an active iron mine, the recreation area has trails for all ages and abilities. We hope it prompts you to visit the park in person sometime soon.


Photo of the facility that visitors check-in area at the main office when they enter the recreation area.
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Office/Check-in Area

The Iron Range Off Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area is located near Gilbert, MN and offers 36 miles of OHV (Off Highway Vehicle) trails. Visitors will immediately see the check-in area at the main office as they enter the recreation area. Every vehicle needs to stop here to check-in and receive a pass for the day. You are free to ride the trails as long as your OHV is properly registered and meets the state sound emissions requirement and the operator is legal.


Photo of an all-terrain vehicle driver entering the recreation area’s Red Valley by trail.
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Entrance to Red Valley

Several ATVs use one of the entrance trails into the recreation area’s Red Valley. Users have many options with varying degrees of difficulty when entering this location.


Photo of an all-terrain vehicle, the red tires coated with iron saturated soil, traveling up a hill area with different lengths and steepness to each hill.
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Red Valley Play Area

The Red Valley Area is open to ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) and OHMs (Off Highway Motorcycles). It is a multiple hill area with different lengths and steepness to each hill. On the top of the hills is a nice view looking to the northeast horizon. An ATV runs up a hill of red dirt in this scene.


Photo of a trail called Hug the Bank.
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Hug the Bank

This trail is named Hug the Bank for a reason. The trail is carved into the side of an old mine dump and certainly isn't the widest trail in the park. Hug the Bank is open to all types of OHVs and offers a great view of other trails in the recreation area.


Photo of an overlook offering a great view of the City of Gilbert and other trails within the recreation area.
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Tailings Overlook

An overlook from one of the core roads allows users to see an old tailings basin from the mine, as well as a great view of the City of Gilbert and other trails within the recreation area.


Photo of the hill climb play area for all-terrain vehicles and off-highway motorcycles with different levels of vertical difficulty.
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Red Hills East

Red dirt paths bordered by trees stretch in all directions at this hill climb play area for ATVs and OHMs.  There are multiple hills with different difficulty levels that come from different directions to the top of this hill.


Photo of a driver traveling up the High Voltage Off Road Vehicle trail.
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High Voltage

High Voltage is an ORV (Off Road Vehicle) trail that has obstacles similar to the stair climb. Large logs are spread out just enough in the rocky red dirt to give users a hard time as they try to reach the top.


Photo of an off-road vehicle hill climbing a trail called the Ski Jump.
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Ski Jump

Ski Jump is an ORV hill climb that connects one core road to another. It is signed as difficult because of the rocks encountered as you climb the hill. Vehicles traverse a rocky path set through birch trees in this scene.


Photo of the Mud Run Area, open to all types of off-highway rehicles willing to give it a try.
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Mud Run Area

The Mud Run Area is open to all types of OHVs and offers several deep holes carved into an old gravel pit. Watch out though! The depth and muddiness of these holes can be deceiving and many a truck and ATV have been towed out of this area.


Photo of an off-highway motorcycle rider traveling on the Littlefoot Trail.
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Littlefoot Trail

Littlefoot Trail is one of the single track OHM trails through the scenic woods on the southeast end of the recreation area. OHMs maneuver around rocks and trees on this section of trail.


Photo of the Ely Lake Lookout, that allows a wooded view over beautiful Ely Lake.
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Ely Lake Lookout

Ely Lake Lookout is located along the southern core road and allows you to sit at a picnic table and look for miles at the southern horizon over beautiful Ely Lake.


Photo of an off-road vehicle tackling the Tabletop Rock Crawl as the driver maneuvers over massive rocks laid down during the mining days.
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Tabletop Rock Crawl

This ORV rock crawl is made up of massive rocks that were laid here back in the mining days. You really have to be able to technically maneuver your ORV to make it all the way through this area.


Photo of an overlook located off one of the core roads, of woodlands and many trails below.
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The View

The View is an overlook off one of the core roads. There is plenty of room to pull over and relax at a picnic table and enjoy a view of the recreation area. You can see many of the other trails and play areas from here.


Photo of the Lone Pine overlook, featuring beautiful Lake Ore-Be-Gone and the City of Gilbert on the Laurentian Divide.
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Lone Pine

Lone Pine is another overlook with a picnic table and room to stop and stretch the legs. From this overlook, you can see beautiful Lake Ore-Be-Gone and the City of Gilbert on the Laurentian Divide.


Photo the trail called Ted’s Revenge.
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Ted’s Revenge

This unique ORV (Off Road Vehicle) rock crawl area got its name when a crew clearing the trail found an old miner’s helmet that said “Ted.” The helmet was eventually mounted onto a log and a face added to it. Over the years, visitors have come by and added their own touches to “Ted.”


Photo of the training building and picnic shelter located near the entrance of the facility.
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Training Building Picnic Shelter

A training building with an attached picnic shelter is found near the Iron Range OHV State Recreation Area’s entrance. This is a great spot for people to take a break and sit at one of several picnic tables under the shelter. One of the recreation area’s two solar energy arrays can also be seen here. These arrays collect energy that is used at the nearby training building and office.


Photo of the railroad bridge, which is a popular spot for people to take photos and watch trains go by during the summer.
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Entrance Bridge

Visitors cross this railroad bridge as they enter into the recreation area. Trains pass under the bridge multiple times a day as they haul taconite pellets from the local mines and then head to the north shore to unload. This is a popular spot for people to take photos and watch trains go by during the summer.


Photo of a modern vehicle wash station, which helps prevent users from accidentally spreading invasive species from trail to trail throughout the state.
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Wash Station

The recreation area provides a wash station for all users to hose off after a long day of riding the red dirt and mud. Washing also helps prevent users from accidentally spreading invasive species from trail to trail throughout the state.


Virtual Tours

Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area home page

Legacy Amendment logo

This program is made possible by funds from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.