Rough trail conditions reminder to ride safely

Monday, January 4th, 2010 at 6:06 am

Minnesota snowmobilers are reminded to ride safely and check conditions frequently in light of the current challenging trail conditions.

”We encourage snowmobilers to get out there and enjoy the weather, but this sudden blanket of new snow is both a blessing and a curse,” said Les Ollila, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Northeast trails manager.  “In some areas, there is barely enough snow to groom.  In other areas, there is too much snow, which insulates the frozen ground and thaws out the swamps and creeks.”

Also, the first grooming runs are very slow and don’t set a firm base, Ollila, adds, and heavy grooming equipment is difficult to navigate in the current wet conditions.

To check current snow depths and state snowmobile (and ski) trail conditions, visit the DNR Web site at  At the bottom of the left column, click on Snow Conditions. Trail data is updated as conditions change. The majority of snowmobile trails are local club trails and this trail information is not on the DNR Web site.

Local contact information is available at, or on the back of the DNR Snowmobile Trails maps (one for each quadrant of the state – Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest).  Quad maps are available at DNR regional and area offices, the DNR headquarters in St. Paul, or by calling the DNR Information Center at 1-888-MINNDNR.

Reminder: Safety Recommendations

* Don’t drink.
* Slow down (particularly at night, on rough or icy surfaces, and when approaching high snow banks) and stay right.
* Be prepared for emergencies.
* Stay alert – heed caution and hazard signs.
* Avoid traveling across bodies of water when uncertain of ice thickness and strength.
* Dress in layers, wear a helmet and face covering, avoid loose scarves.
* Watch the weather and check conditions before riding.
* Bring a buddy.
* Report accidents right away.

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