Border to Border Touring Route

Family touring together in a highway licensed vehicle.
Family touring together in a highway licensed vehicle.

 

What is the Border to Border Touring Route?

A scenic driving route on roads that will connect across the state from the North Dakota border to the shores of Lake Superior that will:

  • minimize asphalt;
  • provide for connections to communities for lodging, camping, museums, food, fuel and scenic stops;
  • create an opportunity for a community to enhance the visitor’s experience such as marketing and promoting festivals or cultural events and activities like nature or bird watching.

Who is it being planned for?

  • It is not being planned for all-terrain-vehicles (ATVs). If a road is open to ATVs now it stays that way. If it is not open to ATVs it will still be illegal to ride ATVs on that road.
  • It is for drivers in vehicles with current license through the Department of Public Safety, Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS). No other registration or license or pass is required.
  • A seasonal promotion period was one of the recommendations from the 2018 listening sessions that would likely be from the time road restrictions are lifted in the spring to November 1.
  • Vehicle must meet State and Federal requirements and meet DOT for road use. This includes meeting thresholds for overall noise emissions.
  • All existing regulations, responsibilities, precautions and courtesies stay in place for all vehicle drivers, bicyclists, truck drivers, farm equipment operators, horseback riders, walkers, etc. that are on the roads.

How will the touring route be put on the ground?

  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will provide wayfinding signs for roads on the touring route, and work with local authorities.
  • Being part of the touring route will not supplant or replace any existing uses.

More information

The Department of Natural Resources, Parks and Trails Division was given oversight of this project and hired the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC)  to manage the project with the cooperation of the Minnesota 4-Wheel Drive Association

"The Border-to-Border Touring Route is an opportunity to provide a quality adventure touring and Off-Road Vehicle riding opportunity while assisting smaller, rural communities in northern Minnesota with a positive economic influx," said Rick Langness, president of the Minnesota 4-Wheel Drive Association (MN4WDA). "In order to accomplish both those goals, as well as to be sustainable, input from people and communities is important to planning where it will be located."

Who is working on the touring route? The project players:

  • The MN DNR is the administrator of the project.
  • The MN DNR hired NOHVCC to manage the project.
  • The MN4WDA is a partner in the project.

DNR contracted with the National Off-highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC). DNR is working with them on this project in conjunction with MN4WDA to plan and implement a “Border to Border Touring Route."

What has happened to date?

Listening sessions were held Jan. – Feb. 2017 to help develop a draft alignment. Last summer was spent reviewing that draft alignment on the ground and modifications were made to improve the alignment. DNR interdisciplinary field review was completed on the modified alignment. The Ecological and Water Resources Division Environmental Review (ER) unit were consulted.

Once again, Feb. – Mar. 2018 public listening sessions were held to review this modified draft alignment across the state.

The DNR is taking all of the feedback from the listening session meetings, County Township Association meetings, County board meetings and input from Townships as the proposed road alignment is drafted.

Some of the common themes of comments were that many confused this with ATV use which is not included in the route planning. It is for highway-licensed vehicles.

What will be happening?

The proposal continues to be modified based on feedback.

May 2018

  • Receive final report from NOHVCC with alignment.
  • Finalized draft alignment submitted to Ecological and Water Resources Division ER for Environmental Assessment Worksheet analysis.

June – September 2018

  • Parks and Trails Division leadership and managers updated.
  • Implementation depends on Ecological and Water Resources Division analysis and partnerships.

September 2018 – future

  • Implement, in cooperation with partners, by putting up signs, providing maps and a web page.
  • Assist communities who have developed itineraries, history of routes or locations to connect to web page or print visitor information.
  • Monitor the route. Visitors using the Border to Border touring route may generate increased traffic. The exact amount of increase is unknown and will require monitoring once the route is in place.
  • Provide maintenance assistance for Border to Border touring route visitor traffic.

Image of the Border to Border Touring Route, located in northern Minnesota.

Touring route draft maps

Draft Alignment Maps

Description

Map size

Draft Alignment Map Overview

Map segments 1-7 located in the northern part of Minnesota.

36" X 48"

Draft Alignment Map 1

Kittson, Marshall counties.

36" X 48"

Draft Alignment Map 2

Marshall, Polk, Pennington, Red Lake, Clearwater counties.

36" X 48"

Draft Alignment Map 3

Clearwater, Beltrami, Itasca Counties.

36" X 48"

Draft Alignment Map 4

Itasca County

36" X 48"

Draft Alignment Map 5

St. Louis County

36" X 48"

Draft Alignment Map 6

Lake, Cook Counties

36" X 48"

Draft Alignment Map 7

Cook County

36" X 48"

Suggestions for searching and printing PDF files.

For more information, or to request a printed copy of the proposal, call Mary Straka, at 218-203-4445, or email [email protected].

Mary Straka
Division of Parks and Trails
651-259-5644
[email protected]

Ron Potter
NOHVCC Management Solutions
[email protected]

Other resources

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