The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Trails Division is amending the master plan for the Matthew Lourey State Trail to add all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and off-highway motorcycle (OHM) use to four separate segments of the trail located within the Nemadji and St. Croix state forests.
DNR staff will discuss the plan amendment, answer questions and accept comments at an informal open house Thursday, March 8, between 6 and 8 p.m. at the Rutledge Community Center, 7369 Highway 61, Rutledge (about 95 miles north of the Twin Cities and about 60 miles south of Duluth).
The Matthew Lourey State Trail Master Plan Amendment proposes to:
- Add Class I and Class II ATV and OHM use to four separate segments of the trail (approximately 23 miles) in the Nemadji and St. Croix state forests to connect with other segments already open for such uses, resulting in a combined total of approximately 47 miles of continuous ATV/OHM trail.
- Allow winter ATV use on the trail, which would involve ATVs sharing the groomed trail corridor with snowmobiles in the Nemadji and St. Croix state forests; there is potential to create an 80-mile winter ATV loop trail by connecting with the Gandy Dancer Trail to the east, where winter ATV and snowmobile use is allowed.
“The proposed changes will provide sustainable, high-quality motorized recreational opportunities along the existing trail corridor, and provide additional connectivity to other motorized trails within the Nemadji and St. Croix state forests,” said Joe Alberio, district supervisor, DNR Parks and Trails Division.
No ATV or OHM use is proposed for Matthew Lourey State Trail segments within St. Croix State Park, and no new trail segments are proposed for development as part of this amendment.
The Matthew Lourey State Trail (formerly known as the Willard Munger State Trail – East and Boundary Trail segment) is a multi-use trail with natural and gravel surfaces. It is developed for approximately 80 miles, from Holyoke Township in southern Carlton County to Chengwatana Township in southern Pine County. It is located primarily on DNR lands, with a few county and township segments. At its northern end, the trail enters Nemadji State Forest just east of Holyoke, and passes through St. Croix State Forest and St. Croix State Park en route to Chengwatana State Forest at its southern end. The entire trail is open to snowmobiling, with some short segments open for ATVs and OHMs.
The Matthew Lourey State Trail Amendment Draft is available online.
Comments will be accepted through March 30.
For more information or to comment on the proposed plan amendment, contact: Diane Anderson, principal planner, DNR Parks and Trails Division, 651-259-5614, firstname.lastname@example.org or Joe Alberio, district supervisor, DNR Parks and Trails Division, 218-485-5410, email@example.com. Written comments may also be mailed to Diane Anderson, DNR Parks and Trails, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4039.