DNR invites input on plan for Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host an open house Tuesday, June 20, to provide information about possible changes to the master plan for the Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area in Gilbert. Drop in anytime between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to ask questions and submit comments at the recreation area’s training center, 7196 Pettit Road, Gilbert. 

The Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area was designated in 1996 as Minnesota’s first recreation area catering primarily to off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts. Originally a 1,200-acre site, it expanded to over 3,700 acres in 1999. It includes 36 miles of trails for all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and off-highway vehicles.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is in the process of rerouting US Highway 53 near the state recreation area to accommodate mining. This reroute gives the DNR the opportunity to provide additional access to the Virginia expansion site. Because this is different than what is currently in the master plan, the DNR must amend the plan. The DNR has also identified several other areas within the master plan that it would like to amend. Information about the proposed changes is available:

  • Online.
  • At the Gilbert City Hall, 16 South Broadway, Gilbert.
  • At the Iron Range OHV State Recreation Area office, 7196 Pettit Road, Gilbert.
  • By contacting Allan Larsen, Iron Range OHV recreation area site manager, allan.larsen@state.mn.us or 218-735-3833.

Anyone unable to attend the open house can submit written comments by email to joe.unger@state.mn.us or by mail to Joe Unger, DNR Parks and Trails at 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN, 55155-4039. The DNR will accept written comments through Wednesday, July 5.

For more information, including trail maps and virtual tours, visit the Iron Range OHV State Recreation Area webpage.