Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

  • RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
Surface Tension

A little more room to roam

Recommended Posts

By: Janna Goerdt , Duluth News Tribune

MOUNTAIN IRON — There was strong support at a public hearing tonight for a long-planned expansion of the Off-Highway Vehicle Park in Gilbert, an expansion that promoters say could transform the park into a national attraction.

The 2,500 new acres, located to the east of Virginia, would triple the size of the current Gilbert park. The project has been in the planning stages for more than eight years while the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources worked to secure land-use rights from multiple parties for the site.

The dozens of enthusiastic riders who attended the hearing in Mountain Iron were in favor of the park expansion, though several lamented the lack of legal trails around Gilbert, Virginia and other area cities.

Tom Roskoski of Virginia said he grew up riding dirt bikes out of his backyard. In more recent years, though, streets, roads and trails have been closed to off-highway vehicle traffic.

He and Kevin Chinn, also of Virginia, said they use the Gilbert park, but not as much as one might expect given the proximity and their love of the sport.

The Gilbert park gets a lot of use from metro-area riders who really have no other place to go, enthusiasts said.

But Mark Pucel and Andrea Whiting, who recently moved to Virginia from Ely, said they were excited to explore both parks on their four-wheelers.

“It’s getting harder to find places to ride,” Pucel said.

Public comments on the park’s design will be accepted until Feb. 15. Of the handful of comments the DNR has already received on the expansion, all have been positive, said Brian McCann, recreation planner for the DNR’s Trails and Waterways Division.

“We want to shake the tree one last time before going forward,” McCann said. The state must complete an environmental assessment worksheet on the project before permitting and trail construction can begin, possibly in late 2009.

The DNR is still seeking an appraisal for about 400 acres of land towards the north end of the proposed expansion, said Ron Potter, policy and program manager with the DNR’s Trails and Waterways division. The city of Virginia would buy the land, and in turn the state would lease it from the city for the park.

The plan calls for the expansion to be accessed only from a trail beginning in the portion of the park near Gilbert, with the park then spreading north through abandoned mine pits and around a county landfill. The area offers challenging terrain favored by all-terrain and off-highway vehicle users.

State Rep. Tom Rukavina, a member of the Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area Citizen’s Advisory Committee, explained that keeping the access in Gilbert was part of a promise made to the city long ago.

“We promised the Gilbert City Council that the Gilbert park would be like the hub of a wheel, and the spokes would go out from there,” Rukavina said.

r Copies of the proposal are available by contacting McCann at (651) 259-5627or Brian.McCann@dnr.state.mn.us

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  



  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • I just got back from a work trip to MI. I could not believe the difference in ground cover. We traveled all the way from Dearborn back to Bemidji heading through the U.P.  Most of MI had very little ground cover but WI was flush, green everywhere! I only got to check a few spots at rest areas but I never saw a thing. The ground was dry at most spots on the way home. I'm gonna go hit my spot tomorrow, hopefully it hasn't been picked yet!
    • love those when ya see them!!!
    • Took the kayak crappie fishing opening weekend and when calm always bring with the DSLR with. These turtles are glad the weather has finally consistently warmed up. I always find it funny seeing turtles stacked on top of each other and found a few along with multiple species which was nice.     
    • I was going to hunt wi this weekend but fishing musky with my fly rod is what I will do instead.  Good luck!!!!!!!
    • Anyone still at it?   not sure that i will get Isaac out anymore, will still ask these last few days.   Good luck everyone.
    • Haha, sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and great perspective, Borch.  Plus, I think it's good to be upset about missing!  It motivates a guy to take more selective shots and make better shots.  My shot selection was ok, but my execution was not good.  I made a good shot at a stationary target, but the target was walking.  D-U-M, dumb!!!  Such is life!  Next year Morgan and I will shoot turkeys (as long as I can still get her out there).  
    • From what I read the idiot did not tell anybody....was asked to play in the World's and declined saying his wrists hurt so they made him go in and found the torn tendons...what a duffus.
    • It reminds me if the first year I took my son turkey hunting.  He had several close calls but didn't get a bird.  He was upset.  I said, "Why are you upset?  We got to hunt together for several days and had several exciting encounters.  If you shot one the first day we would have missed all that fun together"  He thought about it for a while and he smiled.  The older I get, the less its about the kill.  Reframing what I thought success was has added to my hunts.  Now, if I could get less upset when I miss a bird I'd have it all figured out.  
    • Excellent.  Nicely done.