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Hunter walking trails provide access to public hunting in northern Minnesota

Web posted October 13, 2020
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources maintains hunter walking trails as easy ways to travel by foot through wildlife management areas, state and federal forests, and other public hunting lands. Some trails may be unmowed this year; however, they still remain open for use and wind through prime habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock, wild turkey and white-tailed deer.

“These trails are easy to navigate and offer excellent opportunities for the novice hunter, including kids just learning to hunt, to see birds and enjoy the outdoors,” said Blane Klemek, DNR northwest region assistant wildlife manager. “Hunters can expect routes that may follow old logging roads, or pass through forest openings that attract a variety of wildlife.”

There are more than 600 miles of hunter walking trails meandering throughout the northern half of the state. Many of the trails are gated, allowing foot traffic only, and offer easy access to parking lots.

The DNR offers a hunter walking trail tool that provides information on trail locations by name and county. Hunters can also call area wildlife offices for information about the trails or hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities and tips.

Which Rules and Regulations apply on HWT?
Since Hunter Walking Trails fall on multiple public land ownerships, hunters need to be aware that the rules and regulations may vary for the specific trail locations and even trail segments they are visiting. For example, camping at a HWT trailhead that falls on a Wildlife Management Area is NOT allowed but if that trailhead is under different ownership camping may be allowed. Hunters should be mindful not to block access to Hunter Waking Trails for other hunters while camping or parking, where allowed.

WMT = Wildlife Management Areas
HWT = Hunter Walking Trails

Crow Wing County

Birchdale WMA HWT 1.1 mi
Duck Lake WMA HWT 2.0 mi
Hay Lake HWT 1.9 mi
Hesitation WMA HWT 1.2 mi
Indian Jack Lake WMAHWT0.6 mi
Little Nokasippi River WMA HWT 3.1 mi
Maple Ridge HWT 1.6 mi
Poor Farm WMA HWT 2.0 mi
Uppgaard WMA HWT 1.5 mi

Cass County
Big Rice HWT 1.9 mi
Goose Lake 2 HWT 3.8 mi
Meadow Brook WMA HWT 16.6 mi
Mud Lake HWT 8.7 mi
Mule Lake WMA HWT 2.5 mi
Oak Ridge HWT 1.9 mi
Pine Tree HWT 2.6 mi
Tank Lake HWT 4.3 mi

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