Iron Range OHV State Recreation Area Master Plan Amendment
The Iron Range OHV State Recreation Area is Minnesota's only (and one of the Nation's first) recreation areas catering primarily to off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts. The master plan was completed in 1998 and amended once in 2010 to accommodate the 2,700-acre expansion site. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has rerouted US Highway 53 near the State Recreation Area to accommodate mining. This reroute gives the DNR the opportunity to provide additional access to the site.
Specific changes to the master plan include:
- Site access: As part of the US Highway 53 reroute, MnDOT constructed a multi-use lane across the bridge. This lane provides addition access to the state recreation area, a feature that was not foreseen in the 1998 plan or 2010 amendment. In addition, additional access points to the Iron Range OHV SRA will allow it to become part of a wider regional network of trails.
- Fencing: To create a more esthetically pleasing experience, DNR is planning to use natural material where appropriate for fencing.
- Amenities provided to visitors: The original plan identifies several features that for various reasons were not completed. These include a short-term storage facility, a pro shop and a concessions area. Since the time of the master plan, these facilities have either been determined to be not needed or not feasible. The DNR also would like to encourage visitors to utilize local businesses for their needs during visits to the State Recreation Area.
- Noise abatement and sound testing: The DNR has received no noise complaints since opening. The DNR has slowly scaled back sound checks at the contact station. In addition, some sound buffers in less developed area may now be available to trail opportunities. If the DNR starts to receive noise complaints, they may review and reinstate the buffer.
- Mileage of trail and user zones: The 2010 amendment called for 75 miles of OHV trail and segregated user zones within the expansion area. With the help of an outside design firm, the DNR plans to intermingle use to allow for additional opportunities for all users as well as provide an appropriate mileage of trail for the site.
- Non-motorized use: The principal purpose of the state recreation area will remain motorized. The DNR will not provide non-motorized facilities within the SRA, but does support the Mesabi Regional trail, which crosses the SRA.
- Adherence to state OHV rules and regulations: As state statute changes, rules and regulations identified in the 1998 master plan have become outdated. State statute, rules and regulations will serve as a minimum for the rules and regulations of the IROHVSRA, but the DNR may enact more stringent rules and regulations if deemed appropriate, but specific rules and regulations are not outlined in the plan amendment.
- Iron Range OHV State Recreation Area Draft Plan Amendment, (22 pages, 6.8 MB)
- Iron Range OHV State Recreation Area Master Plan Amendment Project Background, (2 pages, 585 KB)
- Iron Range OHV State Recreation Area Master Plan, (1998, 184 pages, 9.7 MB)
- Expansion Site Master Plan Amendment, (2010, 47 pages, 4 MB)
The Department of Natural Resources, Parks and Trails Division will hold a public meeting from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM on December 14, 2017 where you may review the plan amendment, ask questions and comment on the proposed changes. The meeting will be held at:
Iron Range OHV State Recreation Area
7196 Pettit Road
Gilbert, MN 55741
The DNR will also accept comments on the plan amendment between November 30, 2017 and January 2, 2018. You may contact by using the online comment form, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing Joe Unger, MN DNR, Parks and Trails Division, 500 Lafayette Rd., St. Paul, MN 55155.
For more information, please contact Allan Larsen, IROHVSRA Site Manager at (218) 735-3833 or email@example.com.