North Dakota: Legendary. Follow the trail of legends

Public Access Information

Public Use Facts

School Trust Lands are generally open to non-vehicular public access, unless posted with signs furnished free of charge by the Department of Trust Lands. Following are some facts about access on school trust lands.

  • School trust lands are dedicated to producing income for the schools and designated trust funds of North Dakota.
  • Over 700,000 acres are managed by the Department of Trust Lands.
  • The current public access policy has been in effect since 1983. Public access is allowed provided it does not conflict with the constitutional mandate to produce income for the trusts.
  • Three signs are available from the Department of Trust Lands for posting, 1) Closed to Public Access, 2) Notify the Lessee Before Entering, and 3) Walking Access. Lands may be posted with these signs for management reasons.
  • More than 99% of all school trust lands are open for public access. Less than 1% of school trust lands are closed.
  • 99% of school trust lands are leased to farmers and ranchers.
  • You can use your GPS to locate school trust lands using these arial photographs with latitude and longitude of the section corners printed on the maps.
  • School trust lands are identified on 1/4 Scale County Atlas Set or Individual County selections, on the North Dakota Plots Guide , plat books and on maps available from various commercial sources.
  • The State does not guarantee that school trust lands are legally accessible. In some cases, terrain and other natural obstructions may make access difficult.
  • For a quick reference on your cell phone, please bookmark the mobile friendly public access and hunting app at

For the protection of the land and the natural resources that we all enjoy, access to school trust lands is strictly non-vehicular. You must park your vehicle and walk. Trails are used only for management purposes and may not be used by the public for vehicular travel.

Here you will find useful information and answers to common questions.

1707 North 9th Street | PO Box 5523 | Bismarck, ND 58506-5523 | Telephone: (701)328-2800 | Fax: (701)328-3650