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State Forest Question

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I would like to know if it is leagal to set up a tent and stay over night in any of the area state forests-- in some of the small openings along the trails. I have seen many people do it before for hunting and ATVing and such.

Thanks for any info. smile.gif

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This is from the MN DNR web site:

Q. Do designated campgrounds have to be used in state forests? Can camp be made anywhere in the woods?

A. DNR Forestry asks all overnight campers to help protect state forests by only using designated campsites. Designated campsites have fire rings to contain flames and litter containers that prompt campers to dispose of garbage properly. However, dispersed camping is allowed in state forests. Please practice the "leave no trace" camping ethic if you camp outside of designated areas. Overnight camping is not allowed at developed day-use areas.


Subpart 1. Dispersed camping. Dispersed camping is permitted on forest lands. A person who dispersed camps may not:

A. dig or trench around tents or other camping shelters;

B. camp on forest lands that are posted or designated to prohibit camping;

C. collect firewood, unless it is dead and laying on the ground. Wood collected and used for campfires may not be removed from state land;

D. camp on forest lands within one mile of a fee campground without paying a fee, unless in a designated remote campsite;

E. construct permanent camping structures; or

F. place wood, nails, screws, or other fasteners in a living tree at a campsite.

Subp. 2. Waste disposal.

A. Areas used for dispersed camping must be kept in a neat, clean, sanitary condition. All litter must be removed from the site and disposed of according to state law.

B. Disposal of human wastes in areas used for dispersed camping where no latrine or holding tank is available shall be accomplished by burying wastes in the immediate vicinity, at least 150 feet from a water body, in a manner that does not endanger a water supply, pollute a surface water, create a nuisance, or otherwise constitute a hazard to the public health and safety.

C. No person shall discharge sewage on the ground from a camping vehicle or trailer in areas used for dispersed camping. Holding tanks or other containers must be used and properly emptied at a trailer sanitation station or other suitable facility, except that liquid wastes from cooking and washing may be disposed of on the surface of the ground in a manner that does not endanger a water supply, pollute a surface water, create a nuisance, or otherwise constitute a hazard to the public health and safety.

Subp. 3. Occupancy limited. Dispersed camping on forest lands shall be limited to a total period of 14 days in any one section, township, and range from the first Saturday in May to the second Sunday in September, or 21 days the rest of the year. If a camp location is changed during a calendar year, the new camp shall be established at least 15 miles from the previous camp.

Subp. 4. Occupation; abandonment. Dispersed camps set up on forest lands must be occupied by a responsible person of the camping party during the time the equipment is left on state land. A tent or other camping structure unoccupied for more than 14 days shall be removed by a forest officer, stored for 30 days to allow the owner time to claim it, and then deemed abandoned and transferred to the custody of the commissioner of administration for disposal in accordance with state law.

As for the ATV and Hunting I'd make sure of the area restrictions and use.

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Wow, that sums it up and answers my question.

Thanks for doing the research bwtrout.

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I went to check out a state campground marked on the maps this summer. When I showed up it was all grown over and all the out buildings were gone. The access and picnic area (day use) were still there. I had heard of the "dispersed camping" and did some research. I still was confused and emailed the DNR, they gave me the above info and told me to enjoy my visit. The next time I arrived at the abandon campground to camp it was full. I ended up staying at the next closest state campground. I guess this was public knowledge to some. shocked.gif

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