Spring thaw and saturated soils from heavy rainfall last fall are negatively impacting road and trail conditions on state lands, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

This may affect Minnesotans who live near these areas and use these roads for essential travel or to get outdoors near their homes. Several roads and trails in state forests, state parks, recreation areas, and wildlife management areas are closed temporarily because they are not firm enough to support vehicle traffic without causing damage.

Depending on weather conditions, the temporary closures could remain in effect until sometime in May. Details about road and trail closures are available on the DNR Web site.

“We ask that people use good judgment, obey the closures, and check the DNR Web site for updates,” said Dave Schuller, state land programs supervisor for the DNR’s forestry division.

Users should pay particular attention to state forest road closures. Forest roads and trails are listed individually, rather than listing a general road closure for the whole forest.

Roads that can handle vehicle traffic will remain open but may be restricted by vehicle weight. Signs will be posted at entry points and parking lots.

Closure information is updated on the website every Thursday by 2 p.m.

However, closure signs may be in place before the website is updated.

Users should also be aware that the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many DNR operations.

While there have not been any road or trail closures due to COVID-19 at this time, users should regularly consult the DNR Web site for the latest information.

Road and trail closure information is also available by contacting the DNR information center at info.dnr@state.mn.us, 888-646-6367 or (651) 296-6157, (8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday). 

For information on roads and trails on county land, contact the county directly.

Learn more at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

– Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Web site