A grand opening celebration for the new Meeker County Off-Highway Vehicle Park will take place Saturday, June 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Amenities of the 40-acre wooded park include five miles of ATV trails and six miles of OHM trails, a picnic shelter with tables, a wheelchair-accessible portable toilet, parking, a youth ATV training area, and a mudding area. OHVs must have current registration to ride in the park.
During the grand opening celebration, club members will demonstrate the basics of ATV safety with a simulator that allows kids and other beginners to experience what it feels like to ride an ATV. The Crow River Wheelers Club will serve complimentary hot dogs at noon and lead trail rides throughout the day to help familiarize visitors with the park.
The club was established in 1993 to promote ATV riding by educating its members and the public about the positive aspects of ATV use. Part of its mission has been to provide an area where people could ride their ATVs and off-highway motorcycles. To raise funds for such an area, the club has been hosting annual motocross races at the McLeod County Fair since 1995. In 2001, the club was able to purchase the land in Meeker County, where members have been building and riding on trails ever since.
By 2009 the club was ready to start the process of opening the trails to the public so that club members could share their passion for the sport of ATVing with more people. They submitted a project proposal to the DNR.
“With the DNR’s help and the help of Meeker County, this park is now open for everyone to enjoy,” said Kerry Hansen, club president. “The club would like to extend its sincere appreciation to everyone that has helped make this day possible.”
Meeker County OHV Park is located south of Darwin and north of Hutchinson at 18738 CSAH 9 Darwin, MN 55324. From Darwin, go west on Hwy. 12, then turn south onto Co. Rd. 9 and continue for approximately 6 miles. The entrance to the park is on the east side of the road.
For information about the condition of Meeker County OHV Park and other public off-highway vehicle trails, visit www.mndnr.gov and click “Current Conditions.” Updates are also available by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.