News release: Warm winter causes temporary road, trail closures

February 13, 2024

Unusually mild weather in February is impacting road and trail conditions in several parts of the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Several roads and motorized trails in state forests, state parks, recreation areas, and wildlife management areas are likely to close earlier than usual because they’re too soft and muddy to support vehicle traffic without causing damage, and some have closed already. The duration of the temporary closures depends on local weather and surface conditions, which are difficult to predict in this unusual winter.

“These spring-like thaws create wet, unstable road and trail conditions. Closures protect our roads and trails from damage and costly repair, and also keep people and equipment safe, too,” said Matt Huseby, roads coordinator for the DNR’s Forestry Division. “Be sure to know before you go. Check the DNR website for updates, obey the closures, and use good judgement wherever you ride.”

Many recreationists are heading to the woods with this warmer weather and are unaware that their usual routes might be restricted or closed. To prevent an unwelcome surprise, check the DNR website before heading out. Pay particular attention to state forest roads and trails closures, which are listed individually on the website, rather than listing a general closure for the whole forest. Roads that can handle vehicle traffic will remain open but might be restricted by vehicle weight.

Road and trail information is updated on Thursdays by 2 p.m. and includes closure information on every OHV trail in Minnesota. Signs will also be posted at entry points and parking lots and may be in place before the website is updated.

Road and trail closure information is also available by contacting the DNR Information Center at [email protected], 888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157, (8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday).

For information on roads and trails on county land, contact the county directly.

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