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.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Surface Tension

A little more room to roam

2 posts in this topic

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  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Just drove down from the Brainerd area. Lots of snow up there but going fast. Saw 4 young guys in a ditch south of there with not much snow and one sled with hood up smoking bad. Their still learning you need snow to cool your liquid sleds!
    • What a fun election cycle, first Trump dismantles the Republican party and may take them to even lower lows by winning. Then even more surprising is the Democrats totally imploding all on their own and losing to Trump in the process. No hollywood script can compete with this kind of crazyness, just happy to be alive to witness all of this mess and hope there is much much more to come. Something tells me I won't be disappointed, I am almost excited for the next one, 4 years ago I never would have thought that in my wildest dreams.
    • If this crazy weather keeps up a guy might have to go to the mountains to have enough snow to ride.
    • I purchased a 20v 986 Dewalt brushless and used it with my Nils 8" and could not believe how fast it cut. Very close to my Tanaka motor as far as speed. My plan is to use it with my 6" Nils but wanted to give it a good test and it passed with flying colors. 
    • Pretty sure Bernie had that figured out. After the primaries I voted for "not Trump" You guys haven't picked up that liberals are still going for not Trump, even if that means Mike Pence (who from a political position standpoint is worse for liberals).   Instead you have Trump, a man incapable of taking any form of criticism regardless of how irrelevant it is to anything. Why do I post the crowd sizes? Because Trump, in a speech given only to members of the CIA, thought it was important enough to mention, as well as to have a team of his own people there to applaud when he mentioned the size of the crowds.
    • Here's the exact reason why I encourage everyone to buy the digital readout.  After getting holes drilled and everything setup, I always run my bathroom roof fan/vent to get rid of the moisture as the slush on the floor gets melted.  Yesterday I cranked the fan on max which moves some serious air, but I forgot to crack a window, which caused it to actually suction the CO from my water heater back into the house through a propane line pass through.  I looked up and saw 30ppm on the CO detector, which isn't high, but an indicator that something wasn't right.  All it took was cracking a window and turning down the fan for a minute and it was back to 0.  
    • You do realize the person you wanted to be president couldn't even understand the proper protocol for setting up a cabinet level email account don't you?    
    • I looked into fiberglass a few years back for a build.  I decided against it as it needed a wood backer.  Not sure if there is a different product out there now.  
    • finally got out Friday, put on 75 miles in the heavy drizzle, not the first time I have riden in the rain. the trails were OK, I rode in aitkin co. that doubles the miles I put on in the last two years.
    • they load tested the battery and said it was bad, everything else they said was fine, they put in a new battery. tried it today after sitting since Tuesday, and it started up fine, problem fixed.   I have a 2002 grizz carbed, and that sat for close to 3 months, went to start it this weekend, and it cranked for at least a minute (very cold blooded machine) and it started, it has the same battery that's in the Polaris.
  • Our Sponsors