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Discussion Starter #1
We were heading up to a cabin near Ely, MN (by the Boundary Waters), and decided to take the dirt bikes in case there were forest roads we could ride. Turned out there weren't, so one day we drove about 70 mins down to Gilbert, near Virginia/Eveleth, and went to the Iron Range OHV park run by the city and the DNR.

It is AWESOME!

This is an old abandoned open-pit iron mine that has had about 25 years of plant growth. The DNR and the city of Gilbert have created trails for motorcycles, ATVs and off-road trucks with ratings. There are all trails for all skill levels, ranging from hard-pack dirt, sandy loose stuff, to gravel and major rocks. There's a fair bit of hills and valleys, and plenty of puddles and mud, too. Here's a panorama pic from one of the hilltops:


We were there on a Monday, and we literally had the entire park to ourselves. We rented some ATVs for the rest of our group (only have two dirt bikes, had 5 people), and we bombed around some of the 1200 acres of trails. There's one area that's pretty wide open with soft sandy stuff that has a low mound and some 'moguls' which were a blast to ride on the dirt bikes. Both my son and I got a lot more confidence riding on poor surfaces here. Don't know that I'd bring the V-Strom (although there are several trails where it would be reasonable to ride - but more where it'd be crazy to), but it's worth the long trip from the Twin Cities (about 4 hours).

Here's a link to the DNR page:
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ohv/iron_range/index.html

A couple of trail photos:

The hill to the left is much steeper than it appears - took this after my son attempted going up it and lost it in the big, loose rocks (no injuries other than pride).


I'd consider taking the V-Strom on trails like this (for practice) - but I'd want to really scout out the trail system and map out a route first. Some trails turn ugly pretty quickly, and there isn't necessarily a convenient turn-around point. Much easier to get the 250-pound dirt bike turned around...
 

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Thanks for this post. I don't own a dirtbike anymore. Do they rent bikes up there too? It would be great to ride the Vstrom up there and rent a bike for the day to explore the trails.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for this post. I don't own a dirtbike anymore. Do they rent bikes up there too? It would be great to ride the Vstrom up there and rent a bike for the day to explore the trails.
I didn't specifically look for dirt bikes to rent, as two of our party don't ride. FunTime Rentals did not have bikes, only ATVs.
 

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I'll have to check it out when I get up there, thanks.
 
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