County Forest Roads & Trails

Becker County Natural Resources Management oversees forest management projects on tax forfeited forest lands. To access these lands, the county maintains approximately 44 miles of "forest system" roads and another 32 miles of "minimum maintenance" roads. The main purpose of these roads is forest management access to county managed lands. They were initially built as logging roads and are maintained based on planned level of use. They are not officially public roads, meaning that these roads are not regularly maintained with the expectation of daily public travel, nor do they provide legal access to any private lands that may be intermingled with county owned/managed parcels. However, the public may use these roads for access to county managed lands for outdoor recreation activities.

Maintenance and Use Expectations:

  • Forest System Roads

    These are our main arteries of access. Management activities regularly use these routes year round. Most have a road name or sign at their entrance from true public roads. Planned maintenance level is one to two gradings annually with periodic re-gravelling. They are not plowed in the winter unless they are being used to access a specific project. Many are used as grant-in-aid snowmobile trails during the winter. They are open to all motorized traffic during the snow free seasons but may be closed temporarily during spring break-up or during unseasonably wet periods.

  • Minimum Maintenance Roads

    These roads branch off of our system roads or may enter the forest directly off of public roads. They are used for projects less often than system roads and may have some soft areas depending on seasonal moisture. They may appear well maintained, somewhat rutted, or partially grassed over depending on how often they get used. They may have some very bad rutted holes in places. Planned maintenance is to repair holes and ruts as we can, and grade them when needed for a project or as we are able to get to them. They are open to all motorized vehicles, but users travel at their own risk.

  • Forest Access Routes

    There are approximately 100 miles of access routes that are not in one of the two classes above. They were created as one time access to logging sites, but have been used by ATVs, hunters, hikers, and other recreational users of forest areas. 4 wheel drive trucks have run on some. Most would be recognized as grassy two track roads, a grassy or brushed over road route through the trees. Some are regularly brushed as they are part of the winter grant-in-aid snowmobile trail system. No maintenance is done on these routes by the county. We are currently evaluating all of these routes for the type of use they can sustain. Currently county board resolution allows motorized traffic on these routes. However, many of these cross wetlands and other ownerships. Minnesota Statutes prohibit motorized travel across wetlands that causes rutting. The presence of the wetlands and other ownerships is likely to result in the closing of some of these routes to any non-winter motorized use. Users travel on these routes totally at their own risk.

  • Trails

    Trails are officially designated routes for planned recreational uses. Examples include the North Country Trail and the Winter Wonderland snowmobile trail system. Trails are signed at entry points and along the way with route markers. They are maintained by local volunteer clubs. Motorized uses other than those specified are prohibited.