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6 Best Off-roading Trails in Minnesota

Updated: Feb 12, 2023

tire tracks on a sandy off-road trail

Minnesota is known as the North Star State and the Land of 10,000 lakes. It has lots of exciting winter activities and is a popular destination for adventure junkies, nature enthusiasts, and off-roaders of different skill levels. If you want to enjoy the great outdoors and put your vehicle and driving skills to the test, Minnesota has some of the best-kept secret trails for you to try out.

Minnesota offers many routes for beginners and expert off-roaders with terrain for every skill level, whether you’re looking for flat roads and hill climbs or winding trails and water crossings.

This blog lists the best off-road trails in Minnesota. Make sure you add these trails to your bucket list.

Top 6 Off-road Trails in Minnesota

Snake Creek Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

This 11.8-mile loop trail is located near Kellogg, Minnesota, and takes an average of 4.5 hours to finish. The route climbs 300 feet along the Snake Creek Valley, giving you stunning views of its surroundings. Its marked trails offer a wide range of terrain, from hard-packed dirt and gravel to muddy hill routes. You’ll come across a variety of rock formations and cobblestone pavements as you go along the trail, making the trip a little more exciting.

The Snake Creek Trail is also open to mountain bikes, dirt bikes, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). It is also a popular spot for bird watching, hiking, and trail walking. The area has various amenities like picnic tables, BBQ grills, and informational kiosks around the venue to make the visit worthwhile.

Spider Lake OHV Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Located near Bungo, Minnesota, this 22.4-mile point-to-point trail is perfect for off-road driving. It’s unlikely you’ll encounter people while you explore, making it easier to drive freely without worrying about other hikers. The Spider Lake Trail will take an average of ten hours to accomplish from end to end.

This off-highway vehicle trail is full of different terrain, from smooth and sandy pavements to rough and rocky trails. It is a popular site for adventurers looking for a more challenging trail. You’ll see different lakes and ponds as you drive up several hills and slopes and trail through narrow ridges.

Spider Lake OHV Trail is open year-round, even during the winter season, but is closed to public vehicles during deer hunting season and spring thaw. Some amenities include several campsites, nearby beach areas, and a boat ramp. There is also plenty of room for RVs for those who want to stay.

Soo Line North OHV Trail

Difficulty: Beginner

If you’re looking for a long drive, the Soo Line North OHV Trail is for you. Its lengthy 105-mile point-to-point trail will take an average of 42 hours and 45 minutes to complete.

Soo Line North OHV trail is actually an old railroad bed. It has lots of flat and straight paths and varying elevation totalling 682 feet. The trails are marked and well-maintained, providing a safe and enjoyable driving experience for all riders.

The route runs through different sites, such as the Hill River State Forest, Bowstring State Forest, and Chippewa National Forest. The trail eventually connects with the Soo Line South Trail near the City of Moose Lake. You’ll see different forests, farmlands, and other landscapes that showcase Minnesota’s natural beauty.

Iron Range OHV Loop

Difficulty: Beginner

Consider the Iron Range OHV Loop if you seek rugged 4x4 trails, technical rock gardens, and shallow water crossings. There are also challenging hills that have 308-foot elevations.

While it’s not as long compared to the other locations on the list, this 8.5-mile trail still provides an enjoyable journey for all vehicle drivers with its marked trails. In fact, Iron Range OHV Loop holds the distinction of being the first off-road park in the state.

Make your way to this loop trail located near Eveleth, Minnesota. It suits both beginners and expert drivers. The Iron Range trail is open year-round, but it’s best to check their website for their schedules. While there are no available areas for camping, the Sherwood Forest Campground is just a few miles away.

Blue Ox Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

This 73.9-mile trail is located in northern Minnesota. Like the Soo Line Trail, the Blue Ox Trail follows an abandoned railroad, so you can expect a relatively straightforward journey. Despite the lack of twists and turns, this trail can be as enjoyable as any other destination.

Blue Ox Trail’s stretch will take you through subalpine forests, swamps, marshes, and aspen trees. While some areas of the trail can be muddy, it will still give you the most scenic landscapes in the state.

Only a little of the trail is maintained, so expect a challenging trail ahead. For instance, some parts of the trail are under a foot of water, which isn’t recommended for smaller vehicles. Most of the route may be overgrown with grass, making it difficult to tell where the path is. However, it’s the perfect opportunity to let your natural off-road instincts shine.

Emily Outing Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Tucked away in central Minnesota, the Emily Outing Trail offers a scenic trail for drivers of various skill levels. This 55.9-mile trail will put your vehicle to the ringer, as you’ll encounter different hills and open terrain that will push your ride to its limit.

We guarantee you’ll enjoy this route, whether you’re a beginner who likes leisurely drives or an experienced off-roader who prefers more intense trips. Its trails range from rocky and hilly to flat and open, with some portions shared with vehicle traffic.

Explore the Off-road Trails of Minnesota

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and experience what the great outdoors offers. Put your vehicle to the test with these off-road trails in Minnesota ideal for your Jeep. There are various trails to choose from, whether you are used to the challenging terrain or prefer to take it nice and easy behind the wheel.

Visit the Joiiio blog for more content for your off-road adventure needs.

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