MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The forests of Northern Minnesota are serene and remote and the perfect place to kick up some dust.
There are 65 designated state trails for off-roading, but just one Best of Minnesota.
They are the Spider Lake Trails in Pine River.
“There are some easy trails and some difficult trails, so there’s a little variety for everybody,” said Dave Schotzko of the DNR.
There are 29 miles of unpaved roads that twist, turn, dip and dive — all meant for off-roading with your truck, motorcyle or ATV.
Kathy and Bill Laughton planned on covering all of it on Wednesday with their kids.
“Oh yeah, we are having fun,” said Kathy Laughton said.
It’s not a sport for those who want to stay clean.
“We love to hit the mud,” Laughton said. “If we find a mud puddle, we are going back and forth and back and forth and just making it fly.”
Or you can take it slow, and take in the the terrain.
“You get to get out there and see the nature,” Laughton said. “We don’t go flying through the woods. We like to go slower and look around. We’ve seen deer and turkeys. You just see that when you are out there. You’re in touch with nature. That’s it.”
Take it from Kathy Laughton, this is not just for the boys.
“This is what we are,” she said. “We hunt and fish and drink with the boys. You name it and we can do it.”
Spider Lake Trails welcome all ages, levels and speeds — from smooth and sandy to rough and rocky, the trails let you traverse the land like it’s your own giant playground.
“Basically, it gives people a place to go where they can feel safe and the trails will be maintained,” Schotzko said. “We remove trees and rocks that are a concern. It gives people a secure feeling that, ‘Hey, I’m not going to get a ticket. As long as I stay on the trail, I’ll be fine.”
The Spider Lake Trails and camping are free to use as long as your vehicle is registered.
And they are open almost the whole year, which is different from other trails.
They close for deer season and a few weeks in the spring, so check with the DNR before you go.