Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
52.00 ft (15.85 m)
Trail type
2.90 mi (4.67 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Mahnomen National Recreation Trail is a 2.9-mile loop located in the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, near Zimmerman, Minnesota.  This trail features woodland and prairie habitats. The trail also passes by wetlands. The parking for this trail is located 5 miles west of U.S. Highway 169 on the south side of 289th Avenue NW. The parking lot is paved and can accommodate at least a dozen vehicles. There is a vault toilet and an informational display board near the trailhead. The Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge is open from one half hour before sunrise until one half hour after sunset. There are no fees to visit the refuge. Dogs are allowed on the trail but must be on a leash.

The Mahnomen Trail is a wide mowed path that is generally flat and is well marked. Look and listen for song birds while hiking this trail. The trail begins in an open prairie setting; after a short distance the trail splits into a loop. Taking the trail to the right takes the hiker into a wooded area of deciduous trees and near the wetlands of Rice Lake. After about two thirds of a mile there is a trail to the left that can be taken shorten the hike. The trail continues in woods and there is another cutoff trail after another two tenths of a mile. Shortly after the second cutoff, the trail exits the woods and follows an open area used by a pipeline. The trail then heads back into the woods and loops back and passes by a small lake. The trail continues through a lightly wooded oak savanna habitat as hikers make their way back to the trailhead.

For visitors to the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, the Mahnomen Trail provides pleasant hike through a variety of habitats.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)


Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Nice mix of prairie. Woods, and oak savanna.


Bugs can be an annoyance at times.

Trailhead Elevation

963.00 ft (293.52 m)

Highest point

988.00 ft (301.14 m)


Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Family friendly
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, Minnesota
Rum River Central Regional Park, Minnesota


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