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Hubbard County ATV trail proposals out for public review

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites public review and comment on two pending Grant-in-Aid (GIA) trail proposals. Both involve officially designating some existing roads and trails located on public forestlands in Hubbard County as recreational vehicle trails. Written comments will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14.

The first, the Heritage ATV Trail Proposal, involves the construction of a three-mile ATV spur trail located along an existing Hubbard County forest road, just west of Park Rapids in southwestern Hubbard County. This proposal, by the Forest Rider's ATV Club, is intended to link to the approximately 101-miles of ATV trails already administered by the ATV club in Becker and Hubbard counties in northwestern Minnesota.

The entire three-mile segment is already open to ATV traffic. Hubbard County has signed the trail at both ends to permit both highway licensed vehicles and ATV traffic. The route is also a designated GIA snowmobile trail in winter. If approved, this trail would be open for ATV use from May 1 thru Nov. 1, then closed to both highway licensed vehicles and ATVs from Dec. 1 to April 1 to accommodate winter snowmobile traffic.

The second, the Schoolcraft ATV Trail Proposal, was submitted by the Northwoods Rider's OHV Club and seeks GIA trail status for 29.2 miles of routes inside the Paul Bunyan State Forest. This route, which would be designated for ATV/OHM use, is just north of the community of Lake George. The majority of this planned route lies within public road rights-of-way, and all but 5.25 miles is already open to legal ATV use. However GIA status would make OHM operation legal, for the first time, within the county and township road rights-of-way.

This trail will be open to Class I & Class II ATVs and OHMs from May 1 to Nov. 1, subject to temporary closure should conditions warrant. This same route also serves as a designated GIA snowmobile trail (i.e., the 'Schoolcraft Trail') from Dec. 1 to April 1 each year.

To request for printed copies of the proposals, or to comment on the proposals, contact Dave Schotzko, Bemidji Area Parks & Trails supervisor, 6603 Bemidji Avenue North, Bemidji, MN 56601, 218-308-2367 or toll free 888-646-6367.