O.k. -- here is the skinny.
I've spoken with the DNR regarding night time use of facilities.
It appears at the DNR Rec Areas, the following holds true:
You cannot use "day use" facilities between 10pm and 8am. The good news is, I am told that the trails we ride are NOT considered day use facilities. The bad news is that parking lots, mowed areas, infrastructure areas such as bathrooms, picnic areas, etc. ARE considered day use facilities.
So, the bottom line appears to be this...
You can ride on the trails between 10am and 8am, but you can't get into the park with your vehicle to "park n' ride" between those hours.
A few caveats...
Although I don't know of any, there may be instances of special "land use restrictions" at some Rec Areas during these hours that could make trails off limits.
Also, undoubtedly, everyone on the DNR Field Staff is not going to give you the same answer on whether trails are open to riding (without parking in DNR facilities) at night. This seems to just be the nature of things.
So, the bottom line is this:
Between 10pm and 8am, "ride in" but don't "park in".
If you encounter DNR Staff telling you that you can't ride on trails between 10pm and 8am, do the following:
1. comply with their request
2. ask them for their name and duty station (where they are assigned)
3. contact me with this information and I will look into the matter with the DNR in order to get clarification and official position
Jason Aric Jones
MMBA Advocacy Director