Big Aspen Recreation Area

This scenic trail system includes 20 miles of trails ideal for mountain biking and hiking. Using old logging roads and abandoned railroad grades, this trail system is also excellent for beginner and intermediate cross-country skiers. There is also a 26-mile trail system for ATV vehicles that winds through beautiful scenery of the Superior National Forest.

Diverse wildlife, and large pine and hardwood forests make this a popular scenic trail system. Find scenic overlooks over the Rice River Valley and a wide range of plant and animal species.

Watch for whitetail deer, black bear, fox, raccoon and moose, or view eagles, hawks and various birds. This trail system makes for a pleasant hike, ski or ATV ride in a remote wilderness area not far from Virginia. The Big Aspen Recreation Area provides many opportunities to witness the natural beauty of northeastern Minnesota. Individual maps are available by calling the Laurentian Ranger District Office. Riding is allowed May 1st through November 20th only.
Directions: Take US Highway 53 north of Virginia for eight miles to County (State Aid) Road 131. Turn right on 131, go north for one mile, and then turn left on County (State Aid) Road 68. Go west for .3 mile. Go straight on County Road 405 and go north for two miles. A parking area is located on the left side of the road. A second parking area is 1.3 miles north on Forest Road 257. Forest Road 257 is not maintained in the winter.
Click here to receive a free Big Aspen Recreation Area Brochure.
Click here for a FREE Iron Trail Birding & Wildlife or Cross-Country Skiing Brochure.
Big Aspen Recreation Area
Laurentian Ranger District
318 Forestry Road
Aurora, MN 55705