Subscribe | E-Editions | River News 75 | Super Shopper - FREE | About Us | Contact Us | FREE Classified Items Under $50
The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Flanders Realty Group

home : outdoors : outdoor news
January 18, 2020

Dean hall/Lakeland TimesTwo area snowmobilers ride the fresh snowfall along Hwy. M in Vilas County on Nov. 30. The trails in Vilas and Oneida County, however, are still closed. Trails in Iron County opened earlier this week.
Dean hall/Lakeland Times


Two area snowmobilers ride the fresh snowfall along Hwy. M in Vilas County on Nov. 30. The trails in Vilas and Oneida County, however, are still closed. Trails in Iron County opened earlier this week.
12/7/2019 7:27:00 AM
Snowmobile update
Trails still closed in Vilas and Oneida counties
Jacob Friede
of the Lakeland Times

With two major snowstorms hitting the Northwoods over the last week, snowmobilers are no doubt chomping at the bit to fire up their sleds and hit the trails.

They do, however, have to pump the breaks a bit in Vilas and Oneida County, as the trail systems there are still closed.

But in Iron County, the trails opened at 8 a.m.Thursday.

"We received in the past week, depending where in the county, between 35 and 40 inches throughout the entire county," Iron County trail coordinator Tara Krall said. "This snow blanketed the whole county, so we're in good shape right now."

Since the snow fell, the White Thunder Riders and the Mercer Sno Goers, along with the Iron County Forestry Department, have been out packing the Iron County trails.

"Both clubs have been out rolling," Krall said on Tuesday. "They figured by tomorrow (Wednesday) evening everything will have been at least packed."

In Vilas County, due to the muzzleloader deer season, and a subsequent antlerless deer gun hunt, the trails are closed until at least Dec. 15, if the weather cooperates.

Trails are also currently closed in Oneida County.

While the trails are now full of snow, in some parts, conditions underneath all that weight are not yet ideal for riding, it was explained.

"We got a lot of snow. That's good," Vilas County Parks and Recreation administrator Dale Mayo said. "But it put a lot of weight on the swamps out there that were just freezing over and now we've got water coming up. I imagine we're going to have the same thing out on the lakes. So right now the clubs are going out there and they've got to pack the snow. Get the air out of it. To allow that to freeze underneath there. Otherwise it just insulates everything."

Because of the questionable status of the ice, Mayo recommends people stay off the lakes.

"We'd rather people didn't cross any lakes," he said, adding that once the ice is safe a marked trail will be established.

In addition to sketchy ice, there are also downed trees on the trails as a result of all the wet, heavy snow brought on by the recent storms.

Out working on the trails in Oneida County are the clubs of the Oneida County Snowmobile Council.

In Vilas County, they are maintained by the Vilas County Snowmobile Alliance.

Clubs are contracted by their counties to maintain the state funded trails in the system. Additionally, the clubs also maintain club trails which they support on their own through map ads and various fundraisers.

One of those clubs is the Cross Country Cruisers snowmobile club of the Minocqua-Woodruff-Arbor Vitae area.

Their president, Dave Assmann, said the club has already begun the packing process on the trails.

"We're going to start panning to get them packed down so that when the time comes to open, they'll be nice and packed and smooth," he said.

Assmann said the huge snow drifts will be no problem for the Cross Country Cruiser's equipment.

"We have a roller and our groomer drags that will knock them down," he explained.

Once the trails have a solid, thoroughly frozen base and they are opened up for snowmobile traffic, the Cross Country Cruisers will maintain them with a very diligent grooming schedule.

"Once the trails open, then we'll be grooming every night," Assmann said.

Such hard work, by volunteer clubs, is a huge reason the area's trail systems have such a fantastic reputation for good riding.

The breathtaking beauty, however, is courtesy of the Northwoods, and thousands travel here every winter to experience it.

"Snowmobiling is probably the most significant impact to the winter tourism economy up here," Mayo said. "The whole Vilas County area does a real good job of marketing. We've got excellent trails. We've got a lot of the amenities people are looking for out there, including 24-hour gas and motels and restaurants."

New to the Vilas County trail system this year is a bridge over the Wisconsin River in the Conover area, as a well a boardwalk in the Boulder Junction area.

"Those are two big improvements that we've made to our trail system," Mayo said.

It is yet undetermined when the trails will open in Vilas County and Oneida County, but it's expected a public announcement will be made when they're ready to ride.

Jacob Friede may be reached at jacob@lakelandtimes.com or outdoors@lakelandtimes.com.





Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, and meet the comment guidelines (see "Comment Guidelines" at right). There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search
search sponsored by



Subscription Login
LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE


Today's Circulars
Print-N-Save Coupons
Order photo reprints

Classifieds
Advertising Information

Community Connections
Submit to Newspaper...

Ced Vig's books for sale
Kris Gilbertson's 'I Recall...'

Twitter









Life
Facebook | All Things | Wisconsin Lottery | The Lakeland Times - affiliate | Winter Road Conditions | Snow/Trail Conditions


The Northwoods River News | Walker Communications, LLC
232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

Corporate billing office: The Lakeland Times / Lakeland Printing Inc. | P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548 | (715) 356-5236 | Fax (715) 358-2121
Members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Community Papers, Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce

Site Design and Content | Copyright 2020 1up!

Software © 1998-2020 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved