Trails, Parks & Campgrounds
MnDRA Trail Fund
MnDRA’s Trail Fund is available for MnDRA ride venues – parks, trails, and campgrounds. Funding comes in part from the member’s annual dues ($2/member). Also, funds come from donations and from approved allocations from the general fund. MnDRA donates to ride venue every other year (2021, 2023, 2025, etc).
MnDRA Ride venues currently include the following: St. Croix State Park, Governor Knowles State Park (Trade River Equestrian Campground), Maplewood State Park, Forestville Mystery Cave State Park, Three Rivers Parks Crow-Hassan, Pillager State Forest, Huntersville State Forest, Zumbro Bottoms State Forest.
The MnDRA Board added the role of “Trail Liaison” to the duties of MnDRA’s Vice President. The responsibilities of this position are to help facilitate grant requests for MnDRA ride venue parks, trails, and campgrounds for projects. This includes overseeing, administering, coordinating, and awarding grants. The Trail Liaison works with members, ride managers, park management, and may also partner with other organizations such as UMECRA (umecra.com) and the Minnesota Trail Riders Association (mntra.org) to improve Minnesota horse trails, parks, and campgrounds.
History of the MnDRA Trail Fund
The most recent venue to received monies from the MnDRA Trail Fund was Zumbro Bottoms State Forest. Prior years’ funding has been awarded to:
• St. Croix State Park
• Duluth Trails
• Pillsbury State Forest
• Three Rivers Park District
• Governor Knowles State Park (Wisconsin)
How to Request Funds
Members can submit request to the board (prior to April 1, 2023, 2025, 2027 etc.) for a MnDRA ride venue’s park, trail, or campground that they would like to see the donation go to. Members should check with the park’s management to determine their needs and best use of the funds. The attached form should be used to request funds. MnDRA Trail Fund Request Form
Horse Trail Etiquette
Trail Etiquette is fundamental for everyone using the trails. Whether it be motorized vehicles, bikers, hikers, or horse riders, safety for all parties is a top priority when out on the trails. Trail etiquette means you understand the rules and respect those who are using the trails alongside you. There is a priority list for trail use right of way explained in the hyperlinks below. Those who are operating on trails need to be cautious towards horse riders, especially those on motorized vehicles. If motorized vehicles do not follow trail etiquette it could cause the horse rider to lose control of their horse which creates a danger to everyone around them. The protection of everyone on the trail is essential. Those who are using trails without regard to etiquette create an unsafe situation for everyone. For more information on trail etiquette check out these hyperlinks:
Resource on Trail Etiquette #1
Trail User Resources
Essential Etiquette for Trail Riders
State Horse Trail Passes
• Minnesota: Your Horse Pass fee goes directly toward the maintenance and improvement of horse trails and horse facilities! If you are 16 or older, you must have a Horse Pass to ride or drive on any DNR-managed horse trails in Minnesota state parks or state forests, or on state trails. Go to https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/horseback_riding/horsepass.html
• Wisconsin: A state trail pass is required for all people age 16 or older for horseback riding on certain trails. Wisconsin state trail pass fees are the same for residents and non-residents. The annual pass is good for the calendar year and the daily pass is good for the day of purchase. Go to https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/parks/admission/trailpass
Trails, Parks, Campground Resource links
• Minnesota State Parks, Forests, and Recreational Trails: Minnesota State Horse trails are generally open May 1 to November 1, depending on weather conditions. Riders must carry a current Minnesota State Horse Trail Pass – https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/horseback_riding/horse-trails-z-list.html
Minnesota Regional Parks
• Three Rivers Parks Reserves: Horse trails include Baker, Carver, Crow-Hassan, Elm Creek, Lake Rebecca, Murphy-Hanrahan. Winter trails may be open at Crow-Hassan and Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserves. Group horse camping can be enjoyed at some Three Rivers Parks. For more info, go to https://www.threeriversparks.org/activity/horseback-riding
• Anoka County Parks: Bunker Hills Regional Park at the Bunker Park Stables offers visitors the opportunity to participate in a number of activities, including; trail rides, hay and sleigh rides, carriage rides, pony rides, and lessons. Rum River Central- 5 miles of trail in spring, summer, and fall; 1.5 miles of trail in winter. For more info, go to https://www.anokacountyparks.com/things-to-do, and click on the Horseback Riding link.
• Other Minnesota Trails Minnesota County, City, Federal, Private Trails and Camps.
Other Trails and Resource Links
• American Endurance Ride Conference aerc.org
• American Horse Council Discovery Trail Directory and Informative Riding trail links, information about land conservation, and trail etiquette. https://horsecouncil.org/national-trails-directory/
• Back Country Horsemen of Minnesota (BCH-MN) organization is made up of people who share a love for horses and advocate a combination of service and education to keep public lands open to equine use
• Minnesota Trail Riders Association mntra.org