Minnesota has been named “Best Trails State” in the country, according to a Department of Natural Resources news release. The award, presented to Minnesota by American Trails, recognizes a state which is facilitating an outstanding statewide system of trails.
The announcement comes on the heels of Minneapolis being named the #1 bicycling city in the U.S. (Bicycling Magazine, May 2010) and Minnesota being ranked the fourth most “bicycle friendly” state in the country (League of American Cyclists, May 2010).
“Active partnerships with all trail users and support groups are the cornerstone of this successful trails system,” DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten said. “The DNR would like to thank all of our partners – including all trail providers, trail advisory groups, and trail users – for supporting Minnesota trails.”
American Trails also recognized two Minnesotans with individual awards:
- Ron Potter, recreation systems manager for the DNR, received a State Trail Advocacy Award.
- David Halsey, president of the Woodtick Wheelers ATV/OHM Club, received a State Trail Worker Award. He organized the club to reopen ATV areas in the Chippewa National Forest, and became a volunteer with the Forest Service to help the two groups understand each other’s needs.
Trails managed by the DNR include more than 600 miles of paved trails for biking, 1,000 miles of equestrian trails, 1,300 miles of cross-country skiing trails, 1,000 miles of off-highway vehicle trails, 4,400 miles of water trails, 1,000 miles of snowmobile trails, and several thousand miles of hiking trails. Trails managed through a grant-in-aid system by local units of government and local clubs include more than 21,000 miles of snowmobile trails, 700 miles of cross-country ski trails, and 1,300 miles of off-highway vehicle trails.