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DNR and partners to host nine Border to Border Touring Route listening sessions across northern Minnesota

Feb 05, 2018 10:59AM ● Published by Editor

Photo from MN DNR

This listening session in Grand Marais will be held Tuesday, Feb. 20 from 6-8pm at the Cook County School. 101 W. Fifth St in Grand Marais.  From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - February 5, 2018


The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division, in conjunction with the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council and the Minnesota 4-Wheel Drive Association, will hold a series of listening sessions across the northern counties of Minnesota about the Border to Border (B2B) Touring Route. 

The route will connect the eastern and western borders of Minnesota across the northern third of the state using minimum maintenance and rugged roadways. The end product will be a signed, mapped route for highway-licensed, four-wheel drive vehicles, following routes that are already open for driving. The project is funded by the off-road vehicle account in Minnesota’s Natural Resources Fund.  Revenues for this fund come from registered off-road vehicle owners.

The purpose of the listening sessions is to gather feedback regarding a draft alignment for the B2B Touring Route. Last year at this time, similar meetings were held on this project to help determine the best location for this adventure route. That information was used to form the draft alignment that will be the topic of the listening sessions. The route is proposed to traverse the counties of Cook, Lake, St. Louis, Itasca, Beltrami, Clearwater, Polk, Red Lake, Pennington, Marshall, and Kittson.

The nine meetings will be between mid-February and early March near the proposed draft alignment for the B2B Touring Route. All meetings will be from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information about the project, and to verify the dates, times and locations of the listening sessions (subject to change in the event of bad weather) visit the DNR website.

Listening Session Schedule
Tuesday, Feb. 20
Cook County School
101 W. Fifth St.
Grand Marais, MN 55604

Wednesday, Feb. 21
Mountain Iron Community Center
Wacootah Room
8586 Enterprise Drive S.
Mountain Iron MN 55768

Thursday, Feb. 22
Beaver Bay Community Center
711 MacDonald Ave.
Beaver Bay, MN 55601

Monday, Feb. 26
Squaw Lake Community Center
52201 MN-46
Squaw Lake, MN 56681

Tuesday, Feb. 27
Black Duck School Library
156 First St. NW
Blackduck, MN 56630

Wednesday, Feb. 28
Clearbrook Gonvick School Library
16770 Clearwater Lake Rd.
Clearbrook, MN 56634

Monday, March 5
Newfolden City Office
145 E. First St.
Newfolden, MN 56738

Tuesday, March 6
Hallock City Hall
163 3rd St SE
Hallock, MN 56728

Wednesday, March 7
Red Lake Falls Lafayette High School Cafeteria
404 Champagne Ave.
Red Lake Falls, MN  56750

The DNR will also accept written comments on the touring route proposal from Feb. 21 through March 25. Written comments will be accepted by email to mary.straka@state.mn.us or should be sent by mail to Mary Straka, Minnesota DNR, Parks and Trails Division, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155.

For more information, or to request a printed copy of the proposal, call Mary Straka, at 218-203-4445, or email mary.straka@state.mn.us.

What is the Border to Border Touring Route?
  • The touring route is for highway licensed vehicles on roads already open to drive on.
  • Similar to a back country scenic byway, it provides a meadering, signed, mapped touring route on low volume natural surface and gravel roads.
  • Connects communities and travelers with food, gas, lodging, museums, etc.
  • No new construction will occur since the touring route follows roads already open to drive on.
  • The project is still in the early planning stage and a full touring route hasn't been identified.
How will the touring route be put on the ground?
  • By Minnesota's Grant-In-Aid program and other agreements or permits with local road authorities.
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will provide wayfinding signs for roads on the touring route.
  • Being part of the touring route will not supplant or replace any existing uses.

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