Big Winter Business
2:53 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Snowmobilers Wait for Snow, and Paperwork

Snow has started to pile up here in the Northwoods, and that’s good news for snowmobilers. 

Snowmobile trails need frozen ground and the permission of landowners in order to open.
Snowmobile trails need frozen ground and the permission of landowners in order to open.
Credit Manfred Werner

Oneida County Forest Director John Bilogan says conditions could be frozen enough in a few days.  But he’s guessing it will be about two weeks before the state-funded trails actually open. 

“It’s all the paperwork side of things – the insurance policies, private land easements, land-use agreements, all have to be in place from the snowmobile clubs and on file in our forestry office.”

Bilogan says many private landowners don’t open their land for snowmobile use until a certain date.   

Vilas County trails are at a similar point.  Eagle River Chamber of Commerce Director Conrad Heeg says crews have been busy clearing and preparing trails for what he’s hoping will be a December 17th opening.

“We hope that’s the case because the 17th – it’s just huge if we can get them open before the Christmas season.  If we have our trails open between Christmas and New Years, it’s one of the busiest weeks of the whole entire year.”

Heeg says hotel and lodging bookings are already coming in.  This year will be the first that snowmobiles are allowed in some parts of downtown Eagle River.