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home : outdoors : outdoor news May 24, 2017

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The Willow Region Sportsmen’s Snowmobile Club recently received the Most Improved Snowmobile Trails award from the Oneida County Snowmobile Council.
Contributed photograph

The Willow Region Sportsmen’s Snowmobile Club recently received the Most Improved Snowmobile Trails award from the Oneida County Snowmobile Council.
5/13/2017 7:24:00 AM
Willow Region Sportsmen's Snowmobile Club receives award

Beckie Gaskill
Outdoors Writer


The Willow Region Sportsmen's Snowmobile Club was recently received the Most Improved Snowmobile Trail Award from the Oneida County Snowmobile Council.

"I think what people like about our trails is that we keep them rustic," club president Travis Behnke said. "Some clubs have big, wide trails like highways. But we keep ours rustic and that makes a nice ride through the woods and people like that."

The club tries to maintain trails with a more traditional look. To receive the award the club has continuously keep up and improve its trails. This includes not only grooming in the winter but brushing and creating re-routes around problematic and wet areas. The club has been around since the late '50s or early '60s, and membership was tracked starting in '61 or '62, but this is the first time the club has won the award, Behnke said.

The snowmobile side of the club has 30-35 members and takes care of 28.7 miles of trails in the Willow region. The Sportsmen side of the club has approximately 100 members. They focus on youth outdoor education. They host a trapper safety class in June and also are looking to host snowmobile safety and hunters safety classes for kids. There is also a trap club at times.

The club also tries to give back to the community. Behnke said the club would not be possible without the support of the five bars and restaurants in the area as well as the volunteers who do all of the work. For that reason, giving back to the community is important. They built a gazebo for the fire department in the town of Lynne for people to use any time and have also helped with fish stocking programs on the Willow. Every year the club holds a large fundraiser locals affectionately call the Willow Bash. It is a sportsmen's gathering open to the public. This helps the club raise funds to keep doing the things they do, which includes grooming beautiful trails in the Willow region.

The club is in the process of putting together a website and will also be launching a Facebook page soon. For more information, email WillowRegionSportsmenClub@gmail.com.

Beckie Gaskill may be reached at bjoki@lakelandtimes.com.





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