The weather has chanced drastically since March arrived and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has reacted accordingly with winter ATV trail access.

The DNR has suspended winter ATV use on 99 miles of groomed, shared-use trails in the Nemadji and St. Croix state forests, including the Matthew Lourey State Trail, due to recent warming temperatures across the state.

According to the DNR, when the temperature is warmer than 30 degrees, ATVs and fat tire/mountain bicycles need to stay off the trail to help preserve the base snow cover until colder temperatures return. If outdoor enthusiasts honor this policy, the winter riding season can be extended for as long as possible for everyone. .

“Wheeled vehicles and bikes do not have the same weight distribution as a snowmobile and can quickly damage trails with a soft or melting base,” said Moose Lake area trails supervisor, Mary Straka. “Even when trail restrictions are not in place, it’s always a good idea to occasionally look behind you to ensure you aren’t leaving a path of damage.”

The DNR notes that the Gandy Dancer State Trail, forest roads and nongroomed trails currently remain open.

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It's the time of year when the weather be very unpredictable. In fact, the National Weather Service predicts March will be especially warm compared to years past, which means trail conditions across the state can change quickly. Therefore, all riders are encouraged to check for ATV and OHV trail status heading out to the trails.

You can click the button below to access the status of trails across the state.

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