Keywords; Snowmobiling, winter, ski-doo, polaris, arctic cat, yamaha, crow wing county, trail, snow conditions, crosby, ironton, deerwood, brainerd,
TRAILS DON'T JUST HAPPEN !
I've been riding snowmobiles for longer than I care to remember; it definitely dates me as my first snowmobile was a new 1966 Ski-doo. Many of you are veryfamiliar in the early days of riding when we had very limited locations to ride and enjoy the sport. We rode many roadside ditch areas but we always seemed to be spending more time getting our sleds "unstuck" in these locations. As the sport grew, trails "appeared" and the riding just got better. It seemed that every year new trails grew and we were able to venture farther each time we went out. For many years I enjoyed these great trails without giving much thought to how they "appeared". I received a real wake-up while I was discussing snowmobiles and trails with another rider at a small eating establishment along a trail. He was a snowmobile club member and was responsible for grooming along the trails I was riding on. He informed me of the number of volunteers his club had and how instrumental they were in establishing, clearing, marking and maintaining every mile of the trails I was enjoying. How most of the trails were on private property that those landowners graciously granted permission to establish those trails on their property. I was always under the assumption that those trails were put in by the DNR of Minnesota and all of us taxpayers paid for them...boy was I wrong! A short time after having the trail system of Minnesota "explained" to me by this groomer, I contacted the president of our local snowmobile club and told him that I had been enjoying the local trails for many years and thought it was time for me to volunteer to help out in any way I could. I asked him if their club was looking for any new members and was immediately informed that they are always looking for new members to help with trails, share ideas and enjoy snowmobiling with other local riders. I joined the club at the next meeting!
A few things I have learned since joining a club is that Minnesota is nearing 23,000 miles of groomed trails within the state! Of those 23,000 miles, only about 900 miles are groomed by Minnesota's DNR. All remainder is done by local clubs. Minnesota is one of the only snow covered states that you can get on your snowmobile and travel anywhere in the state via a snowmobile trail. I've also learned that if a club purchases a new groomer and drag they will have approximately $200,000 invested! I am amazed at the dedication by the individuals in local clubs have in regard to their trails. I am extremely proud of the fact that our local clubs within Crow Wing County have been recognized as having the best groomed and scenic trails within the state! This is only accomplished by those dedicated individuals that I speak of. Another important often overlooked item that clubs offer is Snowmobile safety training for the youth of our sport. Dedicated volunteers at it again!
In closing I would like to ask you to do a few things for the sport; first and foremost, join a local club. Even if you can't offer any help at the moment, your ideas and comments are always needed. Buy a raffle ticket; those fundraisers are needed to support those clubs and trails. Keep your registration current, this is where the clubs get their funds to groom those trails, this sport is self-supporting using registration funds and donations to keep those trails in such great shape!
KEEP SAFE OUT THERE, ROB ;)
Hi to all;
I'm sitting at my desk (wishing it was a snowmobile) and looking outside and wondering how soon we will receive some additional snow to really improve our trails out there. Hopefully it will be very soon. I know everyone of us is very eager to get some extended riding. Despite the limited snowfall we are facing I am really encouraging each of you to join the Sno Serpents snowmobile club and if not our club at least join MNUSA. MNUSA is the voice for all of us at the state level. For only $20.00 you can become a member of MNUSA and by joining you will also receive eight issues of Minnesota Snowmobile magazine. For only $30.00 you get the membership in MNUSA and also in Sno Serpents Snowmobile Club. What a great deal! It takes all of us to keep our sport alive and well. Trails don't happen by themselves! Keep thinking SNOW!!!
Thanks again, ride safe!