As Minnesotans saddle up for the 2012 horseback riding season, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds riders to get a Horse Pass before hitting any state-managed horse trails. Riders without the pass are subject to fines.
The Horse Pass ($5 daily or $21 annually) can be purchased online, by phone, or from the same statewide vendors that sell fishing and hunting licenses. Since 2007, riders age 16 and older have been required to carry a signed pass on lands administered by the DNR, including state trails, Minnesota state parks, state forests and state recreation areas. The DNR manages more than 1,000 miles of horse trails and more than 500 horse campsites.
Funds from Horse Pass sales are used to address equestrian needs in the areas where the pass is required. Over the past five years, the pass has raised about $565,000 for projects such as trail rehabilitation, improved day-use parking areas and electric hookups at horse campsites. The DNR works with an Equestrian Advisory Group to implement the Horse Pass program.
For more information about horseback riding or to buy a Horse Pass, visit mndnr.gov/horseback_riding or call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 (TTY 651-296-5484) between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.