Minnesota Off-Highway Motorcycling Master Plan Frequently Asked Questions
What is an OHM?
An OHM is an off-highway motorcycle. OHMs are motorcycles designed to be used on either a natural surface (usually called a dirt bike) or a combination of natural surfaces and pavement (usually called a dual sport bike).
Who is working on the OHM Master Plan?
The Master Plan is being developed by UP! Outside, a national off-highway vehicle (OHV) trail planning and design firm based out of Minnesota. UP! Outside is working closely with the Minnesota DNR Parks and Trails Division (MN DNR) and the Amateur Riders Motorcycle Association/District 23 (ARMCA/D23)
What is the purpose of the Master Plan?
The master plan will be used by the MN DNR and stakeholders as a strategic tool to guide the department’s future management of OHM recreation. As part of the process, the partners will look at current trends, the desires of the riders, current and proposed opportunities, and potential additional opportunities.
What type of area would be needed?
The master plan will focus on trail riding opportunities, but will also consider information regarding dual sport riding opportunities. Trail riding will ideally take place on public land or private land open for the public. The size of the area will be dependent upon several factors including the difficulty of the terrain, the difficulty level of the trails, the distance from population centers, and the amount of time a rider can spend on the trails.
Are you taking public comments?
Yes, there will be several opportunities for the public to weigh in on the project. The first opportunity will be through surveys. There will be a survey specific to local units of government. And there will also be a survey for the general public to voice their opinion. In addition, there will be meetings open to the public, either in-person or via web conferencing; dependent upon the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions. Comments can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Will every suggested area be built out?
No. There is a process in the State for any motorized trail to be implemented. The process looks at the need for the opportunity, the ability for the trail to be sustainable, any potential impacts on nearby residents, flora, or fauna, support of the local community, etc. The master plan does not bypass any steps in the process. The plan will assist the MN DNR and its partners to make the best decisions regarding future opportunities for OHM recreation.
Where would the money come from for more OHM opportunities?
There are several potential areas where funding can be used for additional motorized trails. The Federal recreational trails program (RTP) uses funding collected from the fuel used by motorized vehicles and delivers funding to all of the States. There is a dedicated fund for OHMs in the State which distributes the funds and fees collected from OHM registration and use within the State and is administered by the MN DNR. There are other funding opportunities within the State open to all kinds of trail projects.
There is no plan to fund any potential trail system from the State general fund.
How would the new trails or opportunities be built or maintained?
Any new trail opportunity will be created as a partnership between the MN DNR, the local units of government, and the OHM riders. OHM trails are typically maintained by OHM clubs through the Grant-in-Aid (GIA) program. GIA is a cost share program between the MN DNR, a local unit of government and a club to build and maintain superior OHM opportunities throughout the state. Additional information about the GIA program can be found on the DNR website. Each opportunity will be different, but the partnerships are critical to the success of any project.
Aren't OHMs dangerous?
OHMs are no more dangerous than any physically demanding sporting activity, and in many cases are less dangerous. The OHM riding culture includes full safety gear that generally includes a helmet, eye protection, long sleeved jersey, chest protector, elbow pads, gloves, riding pants, knee pads or braces, and over-the-ankle boots.
What if there are other uses in the area already?
This master plan is looking at additional opportunities for OHM recreation. Any potential additional trail opportunity will go through a process mandated by the State which includes investigating the current use of the area and the compatibility of the uses. The MN DNR, ARMCA/D23, local unit of government and local club will work with existing users to reduce potential user conflict.
Will any trail users be displaced from their current trail use?
There is currently no plan to displace any current trail use in an area. Any new opportunities will evaluate the of uses currently in place. Specifically, for equestrian use, there are currently no plans to include OHM recreation on a trail that was specifically created for equestrian use.
Will there be any opportunities considered other than additional trails?
There are many types of OHM recreation including recreation and competition opportunities on public and private land as well as dual sport activities. The master plan will consider comments for other types of recreational activities for OHMs. However, the focus of the master plan will be for trail riding on public lands.
For more information about the OHM Master Plan, see the OHM Master Plan page on this site.