Parks and Recreation

Wilton Trails Northwest

Wilton Trails Northwest is a trail system that supports All-Terrain Vehicle (ATVs), Off-Highway Motorcycle (OHMs), and snowmobile use. Trail improvement, maintenance, and development is made possible through funding by local off-highway vehicle organizations as well as assistance from the Minnesota DNR through the Grant-In-Aid (GIA) trails program.

Wilton Trails Northwest begins west of Bemidji and travels 33 miles northwest through the towns of Wilton and Pinewood. The old Soo Line railroad grade serves as the trail system backbone with smaller looping trails diverging from it. Trailhead location is at “Pete’s Place West” in Wilton. This location provides parking and access to the trail system.

Because these trails are multiple-use, courtesy and respect amongst users will make the recreational experience more enjoyable for everyone. Pay attention to signs, stay to the right, and pass cautiously on the left. Yield to non-motorized trail users and stop and shut off vehicles when meeting horseback riders. Wait until the horse and rider have passed or have waved to proceed. Obey rules and regulations pertaining to ATV and OHM operation. Common courtesy helps keep the trails safe for everyone.

Permitted Vehicle Use

Class 1 All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are motorized vehicles with the following criteria:

1) Width: 50 inches or less
2) Tires: 3-6 low-pressure or non-pneumatic tires*
3) Engine displacement: less than 1,000 cubic centimeters
4) Dry weight: less than 1,200 pounds **

Class 2 All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are motorized vehicles with the following criteria:

1) Width: greater than 50 inches but not more than 65 inches
2) Tires: 3-6 low pressure or non-pneumatic tires *
3) Engine displacement: less than 1,000 cubic centimeters
4) Dry weight: between 1,200 to 1,800 pounds **

* A tire not filled with or containing compressed air.
** Dry weight is normally the weight of the vehicle without fluids.

Off-highway motorcycles (OHMs)

OHMs are motorized off-highway vehicles traveling on two wheels. OHMs have a seat or saddle designed to be straddled by the operator and have handlebars for steering control. Motorcycles may be legal for highway use and still considered to be OHMs if used for off‑highway operation on trails or natural terrain.

Non-Permitted Vehicle Use

Off-road vehicles (ORVs)

ORVs are motorized recreational vehicles capable of cross‑country travel on natural terrain. Vehicles NOT considered ORVs include snowmobiles, ATVs, OHMs, motorcycles, watercraft, or aircraft. Farm, logging, military, emergency, law enforcement, utility, trail grooming, and construction vehicles are not considered to be ORVs when used for their intended purpose.

On-Road vehicles
Are not permitted on the Soo Line Grade or other county forest roads restricting their access.

Related Links

MN DNR - OHV Riding

MN DNR - OHV Regulations