The State Department of Natural Resources is reminding anxious snowmobilers that trail openings are determined at a local level.
The recent snowfall has snowmobilers eager to hit the trails, but state officials caution that snow levels do vary greatly across the state and they urge people to stay off the trails until local officials declare the season open.
Conservation Warden Gary Eddy, who also is the Department of Natural Resources snowmobile safety administrator, says what little snow fell prior to the latest snowfall had mostly disappeared so there was not any base built up for the recent snowfall and that what ice has formed on lakes may not be safe enough to travel across.
Snowmobile enthusiasts must wait for the trail opening decision by the local units of government — usually counties. According to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism Snow conditions report only a few areas in far northern Wisconsin are open right now.
Eddy says, “Snowmobilers who ride on trails before they are declared open may unintentionally cause problems.” He also reminded riders to get prepared for the upcoming season by making sure that necessary snowmobile safety classes have been completed. A list of the upcoming classes can be found on the DNR website. Go to dnr.wi.gov and search keyword, snowmobile. There are a couple scheduled for later this month in Oneida County, and one in Merrill at the start of January.