line of trail riders

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Lake ViewAbout the Paul Bunyan State Forest of Minnesota:

105,000 acres, covering 164 sq. miles, making up part of northern Minnesota’s north woods. Created in 1935, it started small in the early 1900s primarily for the millions of board feet of timber. The logging days lasted 20 years, with its peak creat-ing 8-10 major logging camps and 4-5,000 men on the payroll. The central hub of all the lumber processing was on Eleventh Crow-Wing Lake and the City of Akeley.

 Motor vehicle usage in Minnesota State Forests are classified:

Paul Bunyan State Forest is classified as “Limited” for motor vehicle usage, meaning:

  • Highway licensed vehicles MAY OPERATE on signed forest roads.>
  • Off-highway vehicles, [OHV’s] defined as ATV’s, [ATVs or UTVs] off highway motorcycles [OHMs], and off-road Vehi-cles [ORVs] MAY OPERATE on signed roads and on trails that are designated and signed for their specific use. No off- trail travel is allowed, except noted in hunting regulations.
  • Reminders of such are posted at many of the forest en-trances.
  • Please enjoy! tolerant and be respectful to all.


The Term, Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV), includes All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s & UTV’s), Off-Highway Motorcycles (OHM’s) and Off-Road Vehicles (ORV’s).

For complete details of Off-Highway Vehicle regulations please ref-erence:

This site is the MASTER to all things OHV in MN.

  • Finding OHV trails: A-Z list of trails, Maps, Trail/Road closures & GPS Garmin data.
  • Safety & Regulations: ATV Safety Education, Trail Ambassador Program, Youth Rider Information, Rules & Regulations, fees, and Non-resident Trail Pass information.

Some local Highlights of that information: 

Class 1 ATV: has a total width of 50 inches or less from outside of tire rims. 

Class 2 ATV: has total width of greater than 50 inches but not more than 65 inches from outside of tire rims. 

All the Paul Bunyan State Forest Trails are rated for both Class 1 & Class 2 Registration:

OHVs must be registered to operate in Minnesota. 

(There are exemptions: SEE OHV regulations) 

Non-Resident OHV Trail Passes are required for ATV, OHM and ORV’s. 

  • A trail pass is required for non-residents operating an ATV or OHM, or OHV that is not registered in MN, on State or Grant-Aid trails. 

Non-Resident ATV Trail Passes can be purchased for $31.00 at these local ELS agents. 

  • Akeley Cenex
  • T&M Express (Akeley, Nevis & Park Rapids)
  • Woodland Store - Lake George
  • Northwood Grocery & Cafe - Nevis
  • Emmaville Inn - CR 4
  • LaPorte Grocery
  • Holiday Station Stores
  • Benedict Outpost - Benedict
  • Smokey Hills Outdoor
  • Online or by phone 24 hrs/day or 888-665-4236

OHV trails in Minnesota are open from May 1st-October 31st annually, unless posted otherwise. 

Temporary closure information…things change fast so please check all appropriate location or call: 888-646-6367 for the latest information. 

General operations of ATVs that are commonly missed!

  • YOUTH: Anyone under the age of 16 must have permis-sion from their parent or guardian to operate an ATV.
  • Anyone under the age of 18 must wear a DOT approved helmet while operating or a passenger when riding on public lands, trails, frozen waters and when crossing road right-of-way.
  • As an operator 18 years or age or older, you may carry one pas-senger on a Class 1 ATV. For a Class 2 ATV you may carry a pas-senger, or up to the number of passengers for which the ATV was designed.
  • As an operator 12-17 years of age, you may carry one passen-ger on a Class 1 ATV only if the passenger is your parent or legal guardian.
  • If your ATV is equipped with a headlight and taillight, they must be ON at all times.
  • Equipment: Brakes and throttles must be in complete operating condition as designed by mfg. Mufflers: must have a federally ap-proved spark arrestor. MAY NOT exceed 99 decibels at a distance or 20 inches, MAY NOT be altered to increase motor noise.
trail through woods

Grant-in-Aid: These areas receive grants from the MN DNR to maintain ATV trails.

For ATV trail maintenance components: including trail footprint & surfaces, signage, and safety issues on ATV trails, Minimum Maintance Roads and specific compo-nents of Forest Roads related to ATV usage: 

  • East-side of State Hwy. 64 ATV Trails in PBSF are maintained by the Timberland Dirt Devils ATV Club.
  • ATV Trails between State Hwy 64 and CR 4 in PBSF &Hubbard Cnty are maintained by the Akeley Paul Bunyan ATV Trailriders.
    Contact: 218-652-2588 

Parks & Trails - Bemidji, MN

(218) 308-2372

Northwest Division:
Forestry Area Office - Park Rapids, MN

(218) 732-3309

CO Enforcement: Statewide

TIP: 800-652-9093

Page Sponsor:

LaPorte Grocery/Mack's Smoke House

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