East Central Group Trail Designation Process

The East Central Group Trail Designation Process is a cooperative effort between the public, Cass and several other counties, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to determine which forest roads and trails should be used for Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) travel. 

Notices were published in local newspapers and on DNR’s website in July of 2007, and public meetings were held in Pillager and Emily in August of 2007.  Many comments were provided by the public at the meetings and also later by mail. 

Cass County and DNR prepared recommendations for roads and trails on county and state land within the East Central project area, and held a public review and comment period from  July 21 to October 3 of 2008.

About Trail Designations

Generally, trails were considered appropriate for OHV travel if they were not in excessively wet areas or if they were not in an existing non-motorized area (e.g., hunter / walking trails).  That said, many of the trails proposed for OHV use have issues that need to be resolved, such as acquiring easements from other land owners, or constructing water crossings.  It will also take time to print maps, have the signs made, and put the signs in place.   As a result, not all trails that become designated for OHV use will be available immediately after this process is completed. 

About Areas with Limitations 

Minnesota Statute 84.926, subdivisions 2 and 4, allow OHVs to travel off-trail and on closed trails during the big game hunting seasons.  This is often referred to as the “big game hunting exception.”  Areas with Limitations are areas where the big game exception would not apply.  In other words, off-trail travel and travel on closed trails would not be allowed during the big game seasons.  

Areas with Limitation are proposed for areas that have traditionally been closed to motorized use (e.g., hunter / walking trails), or areas that are susceptible to damage because they are low and wet. 

For Questions or to Request Further Information: 

Phone:   (218) 947-3338
Mail:   Cass County Land Department 
P.O. Box  25 
Backus  MN  56435