Minnesota named 'Best Trail State'


Minnesota has been named the “Best Trails State” by a nationwide recreation advocacy group. The award is presented every two years by American Trails, a nonprofit that promotes trail construction and maintenance for all types of outdoor recreation including ATVs, dirt bikes, snowmobiles and PWC.

Mark Holsten, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), led a group in announcing the award, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

"Active partnerships with all trail users and support groups are the cornerstone of this successful trails system," Holsten said in prepared remarks. "The DNR would like to thank all of our partners - including all trail providers, trail advisory groups, and trail users - for supporting Minnesota trails." American Trails also recognized two Minnesotans with individual awards:

  • Ron Potter, recreation systems manager for the DNR, received a State Trail Advocacy Award for his work amid budget restrictions.

  • David Halsey, president of the Woodtick Wheelers ATV/OHM Club, received a State Trail Worker Award. He organized the club to reopen ATV areas in the Chippewa National Forest, and became a volunteer with the U.S. Forest Service to help the two groups cooperate.

Trails under DNR management include more than 600 miles of paved trails for biking, 1,000 miles of equestrian trails, 1,300 miles of cross-country skiing trails, 1,000 miles of off-highway vehicle trails, 4,400 miles of water trails, 1,000 miles of snowmobile trails, and several thousand miles of hiking trails, the newspaper reported.

Trails managed through a grant-in-aid system by local units of government and local clubs include more than 21,000 miles of snowmobile trails, 700 miles of cross-country ski trails, and 1,300 miles of off-highway vehicle trails.

Posted by Holly Wagner