12 Best Minnesota MN Snowmobile Trails

Snowmobile Tracks in Minnesota

Minnesota has over 22,000 miles of snowmobile trails to offer, making it a top destination to ride throughout the winter. With its acres of forests, hillsides, and rivers, you can find some of the most beautiful trail systems in the US, many of which are maintained by volunteers and local clubs.

Minnesota winters are long. They usually start mid-November and go through to April, making it an ideal season for riding. Are you wondering where the best snowmobile trails are in Minnesota?

Here are our top picks:

  1. Voyageur Trails
  2. The Paul Bunyan Trail
  3. The Blue Ox Trail
  4. The C.J. Ramstad/North Shore State Trail
  5. Arrowhead Trails
  6. The Iron Ore Trails
  7. Chisholm-Side Lake Trail
  8. Taconite State Trail
  9. Willard Munger Trail
  10. Le Sueur County Snow Trails
  11. Goodhue Pioneer State Trail
  12. Matthew Lourey State Trail

12 Best Minnesota MN Snowmobile Trails

Three Snowmobiles in Minnesota

1. Voyageur Trails

The Voyageur Trails is one of the most breathtaking and best-groomed trail systems in Minnesota. This iconic system connects to hundreds of miles of well-marked snowmobile trails. From the north, it takes riders past Carlson Lake and into the town of Buyck. You can then continue on to the Kabetogama State Forest, and then you will be into the vast unknown!

From then on, enjoy exploring the Voyageurs National Park and loop back eventually to Buyck.

You can access detailed information from the DNR on all Minnesota snowmobile trails with this interactive map.

2. The Paul Bunyan Trail

If you’re looking for a high-quality 100-mile snowmobile trail in Minnesota, the Paul Bunyan trail is an excellent choice for riders of all skills – from beginner to advanced. This well-groomed trail stretches for miles and miles, from Bemidji on the north end all the way to Brainerd on the south end.

Normally a multi-use trail that’s popular all year round, the Paul Bunyan offers many options for lodging on the trail and trail towns that are very friendly to passing traffic.

3. The Blue Ox Trail

Close to the Paul Bunyan Trail is the aptly named Blue Ox Trail. It stretches for 74 miles, following an abandoned railroad grade. This is an excellent trail for beginners because you’re bound to have an easy scenic ride. Besides aspen and black spruce trees, you’ll find wildlife such as eagles, moose, beavers, bobcats, and wolves.

4. The C.J. Ramstad / North Shore State Trail

The C.J. Ramstad / North Shore State Trail is a rugged natural surface trail that runs through St. Louis through the forests overlooking Lake Superior. Named in honor of journalist and photographer C.J. Ramstad, the trail gives you a spectacular view of Minnesota’s beautiful scenery.

A large section of the 146 miles of trail is in a remote and undeveloped area where you can enjoy the marvelous sights of nature as you pass by lakes, rivers, and valleys. It also gives you an opportunity to encounter wild animals such as deer, fox, timber wolves, bears, moose, and songbirds.

Person in Blue Jacket Riding Red Snowmobile

5. Arrowhead Trails

The Arrowhead State Trail is also a natural surface trail. It spans 135 miles from the intersection with the Taconite State Trail to three miles south of International Falls.

This trail is intended primarily for winter use, particularly snowmobiling, so it’s a great destination for riding through the snow season.

Some areas of the path become too wet during the summer months. It features rolling hills, lakes, and streams in its southern part and aspen, spruce, and ash trees in the north.

The autumn comes with an explosion of colors in the area because of the trees, so it’s worth returning here in the fall as well.

6. The Iron Ore Trails

The Iron Trail is mainly used for snowmobiling. It runs along an old railroad corridor for 15 miles between the towns of Tower and Embarrass. Snowmobilers traverse through a picturesque landscape of lush forests, wetlands, and ponds. Definitely worth a try!

7. Chisholm-Side Lake Trail

The Chisholm Trail meanders through rolling hills and a forest. It connects to the Shannon Lake State Forest Road and then to Side Lake.

This trail is rated easy to moderately difficult with hills and hairpin corners to negotiate and maneuver.

8. Taconite State Trail

Extending 165 miles west from Ely to Grand Rapids, this is another one of the iconic snowmobile trails in Minnesota.

Always highly regarded on the MN Snowmobile Trails Map, the Taconite is well maintained by the Minnesota DNR and serves as a major snowmobile corridor, connecting lots of other trails maintained by local snowmobile clubs, as well as the Arrowhead State Trail.

Enjoy a winding route through forests of birch, aspen, and pine and the views of many isolated lakes and streams along the way.

Blue Sled on Snowmobile Trail

9. Willard Munger Trail

This is another iconic Minnesota snowmobile trail, often featured in the top-3 in the state. It spans 70 miles from the trailhead in Hinckley, north of Duluth in Lake Superior.

The great thing about this trail is that it is very easy to access, only an hour from the Twin Cities; however, it takes you deep into the woodlands for a real wilderness feel. Additionally, it connects to many well-maintained trails managed by local clubs for extra miles of riding.

On the Willard Munger, expect to have plenty of food and fuel stops, lots of wildlife, and gorgeous views throughout.

10. Le Sueur County Snow Trails 

These trails are maintained by the Le Sueur County Snowmobile Trail Association and span 180 miles kept up by volunteers. They are some of the best independently maintained snowmobile trails in Minnesota and a great way to visit this part of the state. Here is a detailed trail map.

11. Goodhue Pioneer State Trail

Another trail you can get to close from the Twin Cities region, the Goodhue Pioneer State Trail, offers a full day of riding through Minnesota farmlands and small towns.

This isn’t as popular as other snowmobiling destinations in the state, which means you could get the trail all to yourself and stumble upon some unique wildlife. There are only 47 miles, but they have tons of views and action. You’ll visit the town of Mazeppa, home of MotoProz and of great bars and delis with inviting menus.

Map out your ride with the help of the DNR interactive map, where you can also access the all-important MN DNR snowmobile trails conditions.

12. Matthew Lourey State Trail

This 80-mile trail explores forests linking St Croix State Park with Chengwatana, St Croix, and Nemadji state forests. It’s open for snowmobiling and hiking and honors the memory of Matthew Lourey, a Minnesota native who was killed in Iraq in 2005.

Expect to see whitetail deer, raccoons, red foxes, porcupines, beavers, and muskrats – all common in the area. If you’re lucky, you might see a black bear… but be careful!

Conclusion – 12 Best Minnesota MN Snowmobile Trails

Snowmobile in Minnesota

To review, here are our picks for the best snowmobile trails in Minnesota:

  1. Voyageur Trails
  2. The Paul Bunyan Trail
  3. The Blue Ox Trail
  4. The C.J. Ramstad/North Shore State Trail
  5. Arrowhead Trails
  6. The Iron Ore Trails
  7. Chisholm-Side Lake Trail
  8. Taconite State Trail
  9. Willard Munger Trail
  10. Le Sueur County Snow Trails
  11. Goodhue Pioneer State Trail
  12. Matthew Lourey State Trail

Whether you’re enjoying some lesser-known trails in the south of the state or heading for the northern MN snowmobile trails that all good riders know about, there’s something for every rider in the North Star State.

Thanks to the generous snowfall they encounter every year, Minnesota welcomes snowmobile riders with an excellent infrastructure supported by the DNR and supplemented with the help of numerous dedicated local clubs as well. You can find out information on the trail conditions and weather at all times through their interactive maps and apps, too.

If you’re a snow sports lover, you’ll absolutely adore the snowmobile trails in Minnesota!

Kris Peter

Adventure seeker and off-road enthusiast. I love the thrill of going off-road and taking on the elements.

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