Hayes Lake on sunny fall day
February 28, 2019

Update on DNR’s planning process for OHV campground in NW MN

The DNR expects to release its final location recommendation for building an off-highway vehicle campground (OHVs, see definition) in northwestern Minnesota in late March. This extends the original anticipated timeline from February. The DNR received nearly 1,400 comments during the public-input period of Nov. 26 – Jan. 1, 2019. Currently a draft recommendation has been prepared by the planning staff and is being shared with the DNR Commissioner’s Office prior to completion.

Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota has expressed strong concerns about the inclusion of Hayes Lake State Park within the location options for the OHV campground. State Parks are defined in law as places where recreation is limited to that which does not cause “material disturbance of the natural features of the park or the introduction of undue artificiality.”

We will keep our members updated as we become aware of any progress in this planning process.

Meanwhile, at the Legislature a bill has been introduced that would re-designate portions of Hayes Lake and Lake Vermilion state parks to allow for OHVs. We are actively working to stop this bill from moving forward and will notify members if this progresses.

You can stay up to date on all relevant bills at our website’s bill tracker.

OHV stands for off-highway vehicle and is the umbrella term for a variety of vehicles designed for driving off road. OHVs come in all shapes and sizes with anywhere from 2 to 8 wheels, or even tracks. They include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), dirt bikes, off-road trucks. Various efforts have targeted different types of OHVs for use in state parks.

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