Strap in for a bumpy ride: OHV parks offer all kinds of fun

The Appleton OHV park includes 10 miles of truck trails, 15 miles of ATV/OHM trails, a 1.5-mile OHM practice track and three enduro tracks.

Rock crawling
Jeff Thompson of Cologne stands in front of a 5-ton military vehicle used at the new Freedom Ridge park being constructed for rock crawling south of Atwater.
Jacob Belgum / West Central Tribune file photo
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The Appleton Area Recreation Park has a total of 315 acres to accommodate off-highway vehicle riders — all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles and four-wheel drive trucks — from all over the state.

There is no admission fee to the park, but vehicle registration or out-of-state trail passes are required.

The park is located two miles northeast of Appleton on U.S. Highway 59. Hours are from sunrise to sunset.

The OHV park includes 10 miles of truck trails, 15 miles of ATV/OHM trails, a 1.5-mile OHM practice track and three enduro tracks.

It also offers several technical areas for Off Road Vehicles (trucks) including rock crawls, stair steps, trails and hill climbs.


The park also includes a youth ATV training course and a youth OHM practice track, jumps, play areas, sand dunes and a shelter and picnic area.

There is an additional hiking and cross-country ski trail around the perimeter.

There is no camping within the park.

A map is posted in the picnic shelter at the start of the trails and offers different levels of difficulty for different levels of riders. There is also a list of rules and regulations to make people aware of the laws that need to be followed for their safety. The park is open to all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and trucks and snowmobiles.

All OHVs must be registered with license plates visible, and all riders under 16 must have the appropriate safety certificate.

The park was created with funds from the National Recreation Trails Program and Minnesota Grant-in-Aid. Most of the trail development work was done by the Swift County Department of Parks, Drainage and Wetlands with leased equipment and volunteer ATV enthusiasts.

Some areas of the park are closed periodically due to high water conditions; watch for postings at the park or call for more information about the OHV park and updates at 320-843-5341. Information is also available at by clicking on the County Parks option and then on Appleton OHV park option.

Freedom Ridge

Jeep climbing and 4×4 off-roading is available at Freedom Ridge, south of Atwater. Located at 1130 195th Street Southeast, off Kandiyohi County Road 2, the area is an old gravel pit, and offers hours of off-road fun, camping and more. The site allows all vehicles with a steering wheel, but ATVs and dirt bikes are not allowed at this time.


For more information, email or check them out at .

Donna Middleton started working at the West Central Tribune in 1975 and has been the news assistant since 1992. She compiles the arts, health, farm and community page calendars, as well as rewrites and works on the special sections.
She can be contacted at or phone 320-214-4341.
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