State trails

Matthew Lourey State Trail

hiking Hiking

Snowmobiling Snowmobiling

Horseback riding Horseback riding

Mountain biking Mountain biking

ATV riding All-terrain vehicle

Off highway motorcycle Off-highway motorcycle


Trail features

Matthew Lourey State Trail Locationcheck boxRest area

Matthew Lourey State Trail

The Matthew Lourey State Trail is a multi-use, natural and gravel surfaced trail that spans approximately 80 miles and passes through forests linking St. Croix State Park with Chengwatana, St. Croix, and Nemadji state forests.

The entire trail is open to hiking and snowmobiling. The trail is also open to horseback riding and mountain biking; however, only sections in St. Croix State Park are managed for those uses.

Some areas may be impassable in summer.

Map This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Photos taken on the Matthew Lourey State Trail

Minnesota State Parks and Trails on Facebook Minnesota State Parks Twitter feed    Share your own trail photos!

About Matthew Lourey

Photo of helicopter pilot Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Lourey, 41, who flew Kiowa Warrior helicopters with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.The Matthew Lourey State Trail honors the memory and service of Matthew Lourey, who grew up in Kerrick, Minnesota and graduated from Askov High School in 1982. Matt was an accomplished helicopter pilot as well as an avid long distance runner.

Matt was killed in action May 26, 2005, when his helicopter was shot down over Iraq. While serving first in the Marines, his career spanned 21 years in the United States military. Matt and his family enjoyed using this trail throughout the years.

Landscape

The trail travels through remote forests and is primarily located on DNR-administered lands, including Nemadji, St. Croix, and Chengwatana state forests, and St. Croix State Park.

Common mammals noticed along the trail include whitetail deer, raccoon, red fox, porcupine, beaver, and muskrat. The observant trail user may also spot coyote, timber wolf, weasel, mink, bobcat or black bear.

Primary trail uses

Primary uses of the developed trail include hiking and snowmobiling, and the entire 80 mile corridor is open to these uses. During winter, ATV use is permitted from Harlis Road in the Nemadji State Forest to County Road 173 in the St. Croix State Forest, and in the Chengwatana State Forest as shown on the map.

Portions of the trail are also open to horseback riding, mountain biking, all terrain vehicle (ATV), and off highway motorcycle (OHM) riding. Trail segments that are open to ATV and OHM use occur where the trail coincides with other trails designated for motorized use, including approximately 11 miles in the Nemadji and 5 miles in the St. Croix state forests.

The trail is generally level but is entirely unpaved, and therefore not ideally suited to wheelchair use.


Events

view a printable version

There are currently no event listings.

Find more events.

Permits

You will need a horse pass if you will be horseback riding, and a snowmobile state trail sticker for snowmobiling. Non-residents must have the correct ATV or off-road vehicle pass.

No other fees or passes are required to use the trail, although parking in the state parks does require a daily or annual pass.

 

  • Parking
  • Restrooms
  • In the area
  • Etiquette
  • Winter

Parking

Do not leave valuables in your vehicle!

Parking is available at the following trail accesses:

Nemadji State Forest:

  • Gafvert Campground and Day Use Area.

St. Croix State Forest:

  • Tamarack Forest Road.
  • County Road 173.
  • Across the MN/WI border in Danbury, WI.

St. Croix State Park:

  • Township Road 277.
  • Township Road 1394.

Chengwatana State Forest:

  • Chengwatana Road - Redhorse Lot.
  • Chengwatana Spur A - Gravel Pit Lot.
  • County Road 118 (snowmobiles only).

Restrooms

Restroom facilities are provided along the trail at the points below. None of these facilities have running water for hand washing, but there is water available at pumps at the Gaffert and Boulder campgrounds, as well as at the Tamarack horse camp.

  • Grace's Lake parking lot in St. Croix State Forest *
  • Boulder Campground in St. Croix State Forest *
  • Tamarack Horse Campground in St. Croix State Forest *
  • Mallard Lake lot in St. Croix State Forest **
  • Net Lake Road in Nemadji State Forest *
  • Gaffert Campground in Nemadji State Forest *
  • Shelter north of the Harlis Road in Nemadji State Forest **
  • Shelter at the Yellow Birch and Gandy Dancer Trail junction in Nemadji State Forest **
  • Trail junction with the Continental Divide Trail **
  • Trail junction with the Kingsdale Trail **

* These are ADA accessible "vault toilets" on a 6'x8' concrete pad. They are not closed in the winter, but they are not plowed or shoveled out in winter months.

** These are one-hole "pit toilets," basically a one-hole classic outhouse. Most are not accessible. They are not closed in the winter, but they are not plowed or shoveled out.

In the area

Nearby DNR recreational areas include:

State Trails and OHV Trails

State Park

State Water Trail

State Forests

Other nearby recreational opportunities

The following links will take you off the DNR website.

Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park This link leads to an external site.


Explore Minnesota Tourism This link leads to an external site.

This link leads to Explore Minnesota Tourism's website.

Trail etiquette

All users must yield to horses. Stop and dismount if requested.

  • Stay on the trail.
  • Keep to the right.
  • All pets must be on a leash.
  • Clean up all pet waste.
  • Obey traffic signs and rules.
  • Respect private property adjacent to the trail.
  • Camping and campfires are not permitted on the Matthew Lourey State Trail.
  • Enjoy the beauty of wild plants and animals, but leave them undisturbed for all to enjoy.
  • Minnesota Rules, 6100.3000 apply on the Matthew Lourey State Trail.

Winter use

Primary uses of the developed trail include hiking and snowmobiling, and the entire 80 mile corridor is open to these uses. During winter, ATV use is permitted from Harliss Road in the Nemadji State Forest to Co. Rd. 173 in the St. Croix State Forest, and in the Chengwatana State Forest as shown on the map.

You will need a ski pass if you will be cross-country skiing. Your snowmobile will need the proper registration, as does your off-highway vehicle.