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Section Line Rule


vman11

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I have a question about public access on MN section lines.

There is a public piece of property that borders what I call an "imaginary" section line. A section road comes in from the North but only goes in 1/2 mile and does not connect all the way South, through to the East/West line.

Is it legal for me to walk on the property after the road ends to the public land, as long as I stay on the "imaginary" line?

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Nope.

Are you sure there isnt a cartpath possibly extending to it?

If not, its landlocked 100% and you need permission from the private landowners to gain access to it.

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you could find out if the road extends all the way through the section by going to the courthouse or checking with the township. even if the road isn't physically there, the township/county may still have rights for a road access.

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you could find out if the road extends all the way through the section by going to the courthouse or checking with the township. even if the road isn't physically there, the township/county may still have rights for a road access.

Good point. That was my assumption in previous experiences with this. Sometimes farmers will plant right over the section line, making it seem like there shouldn't be a road there. I've always been told that if it is indeed a legal section line that you had the right to access it. There crop shouldn't legally be there. Never really tested it but that's what I've heard.

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Good point. That was my assumption in previous experiences with this. Sometimes farmers will plant right over the section line, making it seem like there shouldn't be a road there. I've always been told that if it is indeed a legal section line that you had the right to access it. There crop shouldn't legally be there. Never really tested it but that's what I've heard.

That would be the case in North Dakota (unless the public right of way is vacated), but Minnesota does not have a section line right-of-way rule. Access in Minnesota would be based on some sort of easement or platted road/access. A person can theoretically plant crops on an easement as they still own the land "subject to" that easement but the owner of the land is serviant to the easement holder, meaning the holder of the easement has the right to put in a road etc. in that area if they want/drive over the crops/etc.

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Northwoods is right...in MN...the landowner controls rights to the center of the road/or section line...although the landowner can't stop someone from traveling an established township or county road...he can deny other privliges like hunting the ditches, etc...personally, I prefer the way ND and SD have it where the road authority controls all access from the center of the road to the end of the right of way on either side of an established road...in essence....the "tax-payers" own the road and right of way....If what you are talking about is simply a section line that has no road...perhaps just a tree line, fenceline, or no visible line....in MN all the access is controlled by whoever owns the property on either side of that line...so, "if" it is legaly posted...Or, it is agricultural land...you need permission from one of the land owners...and if neither of the above apply, you could walk it, drive it...etc...but, if the landowner approaches you and asks you to leave...you have to oblige...it's always best to ask all landowners before you cross thier land...

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I ran into this two years ago. The family land is land locked by to other properties that block access to about 400 acres of public land. I talked to both landowners about crossing their property to get to the public land, neither had it posted but I asked anyways.

One land owner was a total jerkbait and the other landowner was awesome and even gave us a lift with his ATV's.

If you do look to gain permission to hunt the landlocked public land you may find that the landowners around it are already laying pseudo claim to it. That's the way it was in our case at least. The nice guy was willing to share and move over to give us room while the other landowner moved over in an attempt to claim more area and to cut us off.

Ironically both of the landowners I dealt with only own the land because my grandfather sold it to them years ago. And the public land that I wanted to access is old tax forfeited land my grandfather let go years and years ago.

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The only way to gain access to the public, if it is land locked is with permission. However, there is a small possibility that there is a road, or easement into the land. Check the plats at the local Court house. Now if this land was private, MN law would require one of the land owners to grant an easement to the land. Not the case with public though.

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Check with the county and find out how they access the land,and in some places the county will go ahead and gain easement to the public land so the public can use it.

In Minnesota you can travel most ditch right aways for travel purposes,which might mean gaining access to a lake if the ditch easement goes to the lake. You still could not fish off the shore standing on land.

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