Minnesota Horse Pass

Horse pass logo

Your Horse Pass fee goes directly toward the maintenance and improvement of horse trails and horse facilities!


If you are 16 or older, you must have a Horse Pass to ride or drive on any DNR-managed horse trails in Minnesota state parks or state forests, or on state trails. Sign your Horse Pass and be sure to carry it with you every time you use the trail. (If you prefer, take a photo of both sides of your pass and carry it on your phone.)

Pass fees

  • One-day: $5
  • One-year: $21 (Effective January 1 to December 31, regardless of purchase date.)

Buy a Horse Pass




Buy a Horse Pass online

  • You'll need a driver's license or state ID, the last four digits of your social security number (for additional online authentication), and a credit card.
  • Additional 3% convenience fee.
  • You'll get a PDF of your Horse Pass right away. Print and sign it, and carry it with you -- this is your final document, you will not receive anything additional in the mail.

By phone

Call 1-888-MN-LICENSE (1-888-665-4236).

  • You'll need a driver's license or state ID, and a credit card.
  • Additional 3% convenience fee.
  • Your Horse Pass will arrive in the mail in about two weeks. You can still hit the trails right away, though -- the selling agent will give you a purchase confirmation number. Write it down and carry it with you until your Horse Pass arrives. If you are stopped, the enforcement officer can verify your Horse Pass purchase using that number.

In person

At the front desk in most Minnesota state parks. Be sure to confirm that somebody will be in the office when you arrive, if you need to buy a pass at the park. If you are riding in a state forest, you must buy your Horse Pass in advance.

At any of the 1750 locations around the state that sell DNR permits and licenses. Find one » 

  • You can use cash or a credit card.
  • You'll need a driver's license or state ID.

Don't want to carry a paper Horse Pass? Sign it and take a clear photo of both the front and back sides, and just carry it in your phone! 

Horse Pass goes with the person, not with the horse

Each person needs to have their own signed Horse Pass and must carry it with them on the trail. The pass is valid only for the individual whose name is on it - only commercial Horse Passes are transferable.

Some examples:

  • If two people are riding the same horse, they both need to have their own Horse Pass.
  • Someone driving a horse and buggy must have a Horse Pass, but their passengers do not.
  • Someone who is riding one horse while leading a second, riderless horse - or while leading a second horse with a rider under the age of 16 - needs only one Horse Pass. If the horse being led has a rider over the age of 16, both people need a pass.
  • If a stable puts different riders on a horse throughout the day, each rider needs their own pass. In this case each rider may buy their own individual Horse Pass, or the stable owner may buy a commercial pass.

Mules and donkeys also require a Horse Pass

You need a Horse Pass to ride or drive any hooved animal on a DNR-managed trail.

In this context, MN Statute 6100.0500 Subp. 5h defines "horse" to also include any mule, donkey, llama, alpaca or other hooved animal that transports people or equipment.

Commercial Horse Pass for business owners

The commercial Horse Pass allows riding facility owners to buy annual passes that can be issued to riders who hire or rent horses from their stable throughout the season.

  • $21 for a single commercial pass ($20 plus $1 issuing fee)
  • $201 for 15 commercial passes ($200 plus $1 issuing fee)

The commercial Horse Pass is only sold to business owners through the DNR central office License Bureau.

Download a commercial Horse Pass application

Projects funded by the Horse Pass

Money raised from Horse Pass sales goes into a dedicated fund and is used directly for the maintenance and improvement of horse trails and horse facilities around Minnesota:

  • Acquisition of new horse trails;
  • Development of horse trails and facilities; and
  • Maintenance, enforcement and rehabilitation of trails that allow horse riding, leading or driving.

Map of Horse Pass-funded projects 

An Equestrian Advisory Group made up of horse community representatives advises the DNR on project priorities.

From 2007 through 2023, the Horse Pass  generated $1,623,590 for equestrian projects to improve trails, parking, bridges and more.

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