The Zumbro Endurance Run 100MI, 50MI and 17MI trail races take place within the Zumbro River Bottoms Management Unit in Southeastern Minnesota’s Bluff Country – just outside of the tiny village of Theilman, MN. The races start and finish at the West Assembly / Horse Campground Area. Generally speaking the Zumbro River Bottoms Management Unit lies within a portion of the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood Forest – an expansive 1.7 million acre tract of Minnesota hardwood forest.
THE ZUMBRO BOTTOMS MANAGEMENT UNIT / RICHARD J. DORER MEMORIAL HARDWOOD (STATE) FOREST IS NOT A STATE PARK, INSTEAD IS DESIGNATED AS STATE FOREST. THERE ARE SOME KEY DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN STATE PARKS AND STATE FORESTS THAT USERS SHOULD FULLY UNDERSTAND, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING:
• More often than not, State Forests do not have the infrastructure, amenities, parking, on-site staff, comprehensive signage etc. that State Parks have. They generally feel more remote and are significantly quieter.
• State forests do contain private holdings within their boundaries, many of which are signed “no hunting” or “no trespassing”, all State Forest users are required to respect and not enter private property.
• A short portion of the Zumbro race course is on private property, which we have permission to use for the race only. DO NOT use this portion of the course when training at Zumbro.
• State forest lands are generally open for hunting, trapping, and fishing during the appropriate season and with the correct license.
• Although state forest land is open to all users during hunting seasons, the Zumbro Endurance Run strongly discourages running the trails at Zumbro during the Turkey and Deer Hunting Seasons, especially during the Gun Hunt periods (as opposed to archery or muzzeloader).
• As a reminder, anytime you are venturing into State Forest land during or adjacent to any hunting season or if you are unsure if you are in a hunting season you should wear blaze orange clothing so you are visible to hunters.
• For your reference we have published MNDNR links below with important dates and information regarding hunting seasons…
Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Seasons:
Minnesota State Deer Hunting Map:
Deer Permit Area 342 (Zumbro Bottoms) Detail:
• The Zumbro Bottoms Management Unit is one of the most highly used horse-back riding areas in the entire state. Horse back riding opens May 1 and closes November 1. While the area remains open to all trail users during this time, weekends will be very busy with horseback riders and may not be conducive to the most pleasant trail running experience – during the Summer months mid-week is probably the best time to visit.
• When you encounter horse back riders on the trail please give them the right of way by moving 10 feet or more off of the trail so that you do not scare the horses and they may safely pass.
TRAINING AT ZUMBRO – A FEW TIPS:
• Be sure to print a map before you go and bring it with you. Use of a GPS unit and / or compass may not be a bad idea either for those unfamiliar with the area it can be quite confusing.
• Besides a couple of the high peaks, cell reception at Zumbro is pretty poor so you cannot rely on it.
• Bringing a friend / running partner for safety is strongly advised
• In the Summer months the trails at Zumbro are primarily maintained for Horseback Riders, so while the lower and encroaching brush on the narrower trails may not bother a horse, it will almost certainly bother you!
• We feel that the best time to visit and train at Zumbro is as follows…
1.) In the early Spring, prior to the race. Keep in mind that there may still be snow, standing water and ice on the trail so the use of snowshoes, traction devices or waterproof shoes may be helpful.
2.) In the late Fall, after Deer Hunting has concluded but before we get deep snow. Keep in mind that there maybe snow, standing water and ice on the trail so the use of snowshoes, traction devices or waterproof shoes may be helpful.
3.) In the Winter. The trails receive very little use in the winter so you will almost certainly will want snowshoes and may find yourself doing a lot of walking which is good training too! None of the parking lots are plowed in the Winter so a 4-Wheel Drive vehicle with high clearance may be necessary.
* Note: When in the area, should you see something that may be illegal, dangerous, or important information to pass along to Zumbro Bottoms Management unit managers please contact the DNR INFO center who will then communicate to the necessary persons at 888-MINNDNR (888-646-6367)
We are lucky to live in a state with so much public land that caters to all user groups including hikers, runners, skiers, horseback riders, hunters, ATV’ers and so on. We ask that you please respect all other public land and trail users right to pursue their chosen activities, hobbies, passions and interests just as we hope and assume they will do for us.