MORRIS, Illinois — At about 3.79 million square miles, the United States is a vast nation – the world’s third largest by land area. The diversity of our people defines us, but our world-beating OHV trails are pretty magnificent, too. We American off-road riders have an all-you-can-eat buffet of terrain choices available for the taking – deserts and dunes of the southwest, towering peaks in the Rocky Mountains, dense forests and the countless lakes of the Midwest, stunning views from atop the Ozark Mountains and the colossal riding areas of the rolling Appalachians.
Our American history of conservation and outdoor adventure has preserved land for every purpose – wildlife refuges, plant conservation, camping, hiking, prairie restoration, city parks and National Forests comprising about 8.5 percent of our total land area.
As good as we have it, recent legislation like the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act has put a bull’s eye on drastically reducing lands available to human recreation. Our view is that getting out there on sustainable, properly managed trails is an essential way for people to explore and learn to appreciate our natural environment.
Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area. Funded and maintained by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Iron Range OHV park is about an hour south of the Canadian border near the town of Gilbert and located in northern Minnesota’s rugged mining country – the aptly named Iron Range.
Ride 200-foot-high piles of ore that stretch for 20 miles, and check out the scramble areas, training trails, hill climbs, 4×4 rock crawl and creatively named trails like Wayne’s World and Attitude Alley.
What makes it great? Abandoned mines like the Iron Range park often leave behind a labyrinth of narrow trails, unpredictable terrain, huge piles of jagged rocks and fields of silt-like tailings, a mining byproduct, which makes a great Midwestern substitute for sand dunes.
Contact: Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area, (218) 748-2207; Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area Website.
Article: ATV Magazine Online