The 53-mile long Agassiz Recreation Trail that runs between the towns of Ulen and Crookston in Minn. is actually an abandoned railroad grade now used by off-highway vehicle riders, mountain bikers, hikers and horse riders.
Because it is a multi-use trail, care must be taken while riding. The trail offers some impressive river crossings, but be forewarned that the trestles have been removed. A local club is working to get bridges rebuilt.
The trail passes through the towns of Twin Valley and Fertile. There are support facilities there for all trail users.
You can find restaurants, hotels and gas in Twin Valley, Fertile and Crookston.
In Minnesota, not all off-highway vehicles can be ridden on all trails. Make sure that the vehicle you are riding is allowed on the trail you are using. Check the signs.
Class 1 ATVs have a total dry weight of less than 900 pounds.
Class 2 ATVs have a total dry weight of between 900 and 1,500 pounds.
OHMs: Off-highway motorcycles.
ORVs: Off-road vehicles are motorized, recreational vehicles capable of cross-country travel on natural terrain, such as four-wheel-drive trucks or ATVs over 1,500 pounds.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources warns that you can't ride on the median of a four-lane highway; in the right-of-way of any interstate highway; at airports; in any state park, state recreation area, state historic site, Wildlife Management Area or state Scientific and Natural Area with the exception of posted trails and areas; on any frozen waters where you don't have legal access; in any areas restricted by local laws or municipalities, or in a tree nursery or planting area.
But you can ride on your own land, on private land with the landowner's permission, on frozen waters where you have legal access if not restricted by law; and on land posted with signs specifically permitting the use of OHVs.
A little planning will go a long way to ensure a safey and enjoyable ride. Wear appropriate protective gear, review the current Off-Highway-Vehicle regulations available from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and keep your vehicle in good operating condition.
Inexperienced riders should take a certified training course and understand the safety features of their vehicles before going out on trails.
For more information, contact the Department of Natural Resources Information Center at (651) 296-6157, (888) 646-6367, or go to www.dnr.state.mn.us.