After a long winter, the off-highway vehicle riding season is upon us. Minnesota boasts more than 3,000 miles of trails for all types of OHVs and rider skill levels.
Before heading out on the trails, remember these key points:
Know before you go. Some trails might be opening later than normal due to late spring thaw, flooding, or trail maintenance work. Check the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ OHV Trail Closures webpage before leaving home.
Be trained. Safety should come first for all OHV riders, and safety training is required for some riders. Riders born after July 1, 1987, must complete online all-terrain vehicle safety training before riding an ATV on trails. Riders under age 16 must also complete a hands-on ATV safety training course. Online safety training for off-highway motorcycle operators under 16 is required before operating on OHM trails. Off-road vehicles may only be operated by individuals age 16 and older. The DNR offers training courses to everyone, even if they’re not required to take the training. Find information about upcoming trainings on the DNR education and safety training webpage.
Be registered. A valid OHV registration is required by law when riding on state and Grant-in-Aid trails. These registration fees support trail construction, trail maintenance and OHV safety. For more information on OHV registration procedures and fees, visit the DNR’s OHV registration webpage.
Riders who are interested in trying the trails but aren’t ready to commit to OHV registration, can participate in two upcoming no-registration riding opportunities. The first is May 20 for off-road vehicles at the Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area near Gilbert, Minnesota. The second is June 9-11 for ATVs statewide.
Help out. Most trails in Minnesota are built and maintained by clubs and funded through the Grant-in-Aid program. Consider joining a club to assist in maintaining trails.
For information on where to ride, regulations and safety training, visit the DNR’s OHV program webpage.