Minnesota Snowmobilers Sit Idle as Trails Open for the Season
UNDATED (WJON News) -- As the start of December arrives, snowmobilers would typically be getting ready to head out onto the trails, but with no snow to speak of in Minnesota, riders will need to wait.
Wade Miller is the Minnesota DNR's state trails and snowmobile program consultant. He says they are having flashbacks to 2012 in what they refer to as the "brown out" year. But, he says there is a silver lining...
When you have a year like this when you don't have snow, we tend to focus on some of the positive things. For example, we are having cold so it's really allowing wetlands and waters to freeze up and harden. If we get snow before we get a good cold ground and base and water, sometimes it can prolong the grooming operations because it is so well insulated with heavy snow.
Miller says there needs to be about 12 inches of snow before local clubs can start packing the trails...
Twelve inches is a reasonable base for most trails because you know there certainly can be rocks and ruts and everything else. Once we get 12 inches of snow, some users are already out, but certainly the clubs are out just on snowmobiles driving the trails and trying to pack it to create that base.
But, Miller says that's just the beginning. He says more fresh snow is then needed on top of that base to really improve riding conditions...
Once we get the 12 inches and start packing, then we wait for another 2-3 inches of fresh snow before they may go out with an actual groomer and either pan it or actually have enough of a base to actually manipulate the snow via the groomer, the drag.
Miller says as always, snowmobilers need to stay on marked trails and avoid trespassing to help keep the trails from closing.
The DNR has a snowpack map and trail conditions on its website so riders can see where there is enough snow to ride.
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