Most Minnesota hunters know about state Wildlife Management Areas and the access they offer for hunters — 1,440 different areas with nearly 1.3 million acres of public land. But the trail system maintained by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources includes more than just wildlife management areas. The DNR maintains 253 hunter walking trails across the northern tier of counties that offer more than 850 miles of trails open to public hunting.
It’s walking only, offering some quality chances at seeing ruffed grouse, woodcock, turkey and deer.
The trails offer some top-notch hunting opportunities, local wildlife managers say, but also open up areas just off the trails to roam for deer or other game. Outside of hunting seasons the trails make great spots for nature hikes to watch birds and other wildlife.
Most of the trails have parking areas, although some require parking on a roadside. Motorized vehicles are not allowed past the yellow gates on any state hunter walking trails.