Minnesota has a ton of places to go riding your ATV, regardless of your skill level. Plus, Minnesota’s variety of different terrains and landscapes means that there are a lot of different experiences you can have.
Minnesota's got it whether you’re looking for rugged woodland ATV riding, easier trails, or trails through the hills.
Most of the trails and off-roading areas are in the Northern part of Minnesota since more wilderness areas are available there. But you can get a little bit of ATV riding further South. They’re just not as common and often a little smaller.
Let’s look at some of the best ATV trails in Minnesota and some of the top off-roading experiences in Minnesota!
The Best ATV Trails In Minnesota
We’ve chosen the best ATV trails and off-roading areas for a wide range of skill levels and preferences. That way, you can choose the trail riding experience you want while enjoying Minnesota’s natural beauty.
Blue Ox Trail
The Blue Ox Trail is a classic Minnesota trail and leads right up to the Canadian border. There are more than 70 miles of trails here, and the trail route itself was originally inspired by the story of Paul Bunyan.
This is a pleasure trail more than a technical option. It’s meant to be a relatively easy drive and follows an abandoned rail line. There are some one-way sections that are really only large enough for a single ATV, but none of the areas you’ll explore are difficult.
Better yet, this is a fantastic trail to bring younger operators and younger family members to get them some experience and help your kids see your love of ATVs.
For more experienced riders, this is a good relaxation and viewing trail, but it’s not going to be a challenge.
Snake Creek OHV Trails
Snake Creek trail systems are one of the smaller trails on this list. It’s a bit over 13 miles long. The good news, though, is that this is an incredibly variable trail with a ton of different terrain types and challenges over a relatively small trail length.
That actually makes this trail a fantastic option for more experienced riders. The variety will have you coming back for more, time and time again, while water crossings and mud pits give you a different experience with every pass.
This is one of the only trails in the Southeastern part of Minnesota, so if you’re visiting that part of the state, this might be the best ATV trail you can get. It’s also available for motorcyclists, dirtbikes, SXS, and UTV drivers.
Plus, local campgrounds and other amenities make this trail a great place to visit over a longer stay.
For something completely different, the Fourtown-Grygla trail is one of the longest ATV trails in Minnesota. It’s mostly an easy trail network, following mostly flat land, which can be expected since this is in Minnesota, but it’s far from a boring ATV trail.
You’ll be following old county roads, township roads, ditch banks, and other trails, often driving your ATV right next to active traffic lanes, which can add an element of excitement to the trail.
Spider Lake Trails
Heading back to the shorter side of the ATV trails in Minnesota, this is another example of the incredibly diverse terrain and beautiful landscapes you can find in Minnesota.
There are 29 miles of ATV trails here, and it’s a fantastic option for riders who want to increase their skills and test themselves without so much challenge that it’s dangerous for intermediate riders.
You probably don’t want to bring a true novice ATV rider on the Spider Lake Trails, but it’s a fun trip for anyone who has enough experience to handle basically every terrain type you can expect on an ATV.
Whether you love rocky trails, sand, dirt and mud, water crossings, or steep hills and turns, Spider Lake has it, at a level that’s safe and easy to navigate. You’ll probably want to bring a winch.
Soo Line OHV Trails
If you want an extended ATV trip, a place where you can explore a ton of different loops and trails, Soo Line is a great ATV trail network for you.
There are more than 200 miles of trails here, and the Soo Line Trails connect to 4 other trail systems for even more exploration.
Minnesota’s beautiful woodlands are on full display in this trail network, and is a fairly easy and enjoyable ATV ride. You can ride through five different counties in just the Southern route alone.
For people who love being out in nature as part of why they love riding an ATV, there aren’t many trails that get better than this one.
Northwoods ATV Trail
One of the best things about this trail is that the towns in Aitkin County are very friendly for ATV riders, from having a ton of connected and maintained trails to having the lodgings, amenities, and restaurants you want to see for an extended trip.
The trails themselves are gorgeous and go through enough woodland areas that you can expect to see some wildlife while you’re out and along the way.
The trails themselves are pretty relaxed and suitable for even novice riders but beautiful enough for even the most advanced riders to have fun riding.
There aren't really any off-roading experiences for ATV riders in this trail network, but there are places that almost feel like you have the freedom of off-roading just because of how beautiful it is and how easy it is to get lost in the woods while you're driving through.
Meeker County OHV Park
Meeker County OHV Park has one of the smaller day-trip trails you can find in Minnesota. It’s got 5 miles of designated ATV trails, with an additional 6 miles of motorcycle trails.
There's also a mud pit and some on-site youth training facilities, which help make this park a great option for families and people who are just starting to learn.
This park is open all year, but occasional closures occur because of the weather.
The trails themselves are well-maintained, with a surface that’s a combination of dirt, sand, mud, and dusty areas depending on the most recent weather.
It’s not all flatland, though. There are hills, water crossings, and even some small jumps. So you can choose what level of skill you want to play with and work on getting used to the movement of an ATV in different conditions, all without getting too challenging for even a novice rider.
The Alborn Pengilly trail runs along an abandoned railroad, allowing you to see a bit of American history while you’re riding.
This trail is available for ATV, UTV, and SXS use from April 1st to late November. Like most other trails in Minnesota, there can be closures due to inclement weather or poor trail conditions, so it’s a good idea to check and ensure the trail is open before you head out.
Iron Range OHVRA
There are a lot of trails in Iron Range, and 20 of the 36 total trails are specifically for ATV use. The nice thing about this area is that you can choose the skill level of the trail you want, and all trails are well-maintained and clearly marked.
There are novice trails all the way up through truly advanced trails, the ones that are only really safe for people with a lot of skill.
Fond Du Lac State Forest Trails
If you are looking for a combination of trails and off-roading experiences in Minnesota, Fond Du Lac State Forest trails are a great option.
Fond Du Lac has 64,000 acres of land, with 37 miles of ATV trails. You can also explore terrains that are hard to find anywhere else, from peat bogs to lake-side beaches and conifer forests.
There’s even a gravel pit for practice before you take on a more challenging trail.
ATVs, UTVs, motorcycles, and dirt bikes are all allowed on the ATV trails, but larger vehicles like SUVs, jeeps, and 4X4s are prohibited, which can help to keep those of us riding smaller vehicles a bit safer on the trail.
Appleton Area Recreational Park
The Appleton Area Recreational Park is a good example of what a lot of the recreational areas in Minnesota are like. It’s a combination recreation area with a lot of different reserved areas and kinds of activities you can do here.
In addition to the 20 miles of ATV trails, there is also a motocross track, sand dunes, picnic areas, and plenty of play areas.
All OHV vehicles are allowed on the trail, assuming they have the permit required for ATV and OHV riders in Minnesota.
Forest Riders Trail
The Forest Riders Trail gives you 100 miles of trails through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the country. You’ll go through Paul Bunyan forest, Two Inlets, White Earth, and Smoky Hills.
You’ll see deep forest woodlands, rolling hills, and a few rocky areas.
There are also a ton of camping areas along the trail and resorts and hotels that cater to ATV riders and other people on the trails.
This trail is a fantastic option for people who are looking for a peaceful escape and getaway. It’s not a hugely challenging run, but it’s one of those runs that you’ll never forget, with vistas you’ll want to come back and see again and again. Maybe throw on some great music using the sound system in your ATV and cruise!
ATV Rules and Regulations For Riders In Minnesota
There are a few rules that are a little different in Minnesota. Riders need to be at least 15 to operate any class 2 vehicle, but youth riders can use class 1 ATVs. Riders aged 16 or 17 must have their own driver’s license and ATV Safety certification if they are going to be crossing any roads.
In many places in Minnesota, ATV riders are required to have OHV permits for a lot of the most popular trails.
It’s also important to wear protective gear, but often not a requirement.
Are There Beginner-Level Trails In Minnesota?
Yes! In fact, many Minnesota trails are suitable for novice riders. This is a great state to learn to operate an ATV, gradually improve your skills, and have a great time all at once.
Can I Rent ATVs for Trail Riding In Minnesota?
Yes, there are a lot of rental options in Minnesota. Your best bet for ATV rentals will be near the Northern side of the state, where there are more ATV trails and more towns that cater to ATV riders.
In the breathtaking landscapes of Minnesota, ATV enthusiasts are spoiled for choice, with a plethora of trails catering to all skill levels. Minnesota has it all, whether you're seeking the tranquillity of a leisurely ride or the thrill of challenging terrains. As you explore these top ATV trails in Minnesota, the diversity of experiences becomes evident, from the historical Blue Ox Trail to the versatile Snake Creek OHV Trails and the extensive Soo Line network that immerses you in the heart of nature.
However, no matter which trail you choose, ensuring your ATV is equipped with the best accessories is essential for a safe and enjoyable ride. That's where ThumperFab comes in. ThumperFab offers a wide range of top-quality ATV accessories designed to enhance your riding experience. From protective gear to performance upgrades, ThumperFab has you covered.
When it comes to outfitting your ATV for the trails in Minnesota, don't compromise on quality and safety. ThumperFab is your one-stop shop for all your ATV accessory needs. Your next off-roading experience is just a click away with ThumperFab!