News release: Spring thaw ushers in start of temporary state forest road, trail closures

March 21, 2022

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will begin temporarily closing some state forest roads and trails as seasonal melting makes them too soft to support vehicle traffic without causing damage. Depending on weather and local site conditions, the temporary closures are expected to begin at southern Minnesota locations in mid-March. Closures could remain in effect until May.

“The annual spring thaw creates wet, unstable road and trail conditions,” said Matt Huseby, roads program coordinator for the DNR Forestry Division. “Seasonal closures protect roads and trails from damage and costly repairs.”

After a lengthy winter, the warmer weather inspires people to head to Minnesota’s state forests to enjoy the recreational opportunities they provide.

“Before heading out, people should check the DNR website for updates, obey the closures where they exist, and use good judgment wherever they ride or drive,” Huseby said. “If the road cannot support your truck, car or off-highway vehicle (OHV), then it likely won’t support a tow vehicle to get you unstuck.”

For information on road and trail closures, visit the DNR’s road closure page. Calling the local number listed for each OHV trail and state forest is the best way to learn about specific trail and road closures. Temporary road and trail closure information is updated weekly on Thursdays by 2 p.m. Temporary closure signs also will be posted at entry points and parking lots. Roads that can handle vehicle traffic during the spring thaw will remain open but might have vehicle weight restrictions.