snowmobile

ATV Use Would Compromise Silent Sports Funding
6:37 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Conover Delays Action on Bike Trail Project

A push for ATV access in Vilas County is prompting the town of Conover to reconsider construction of a bike trail.
Credit Robert Thigpen

Conover hasn’t yet decided whether to change course on its plan for a federally-funded bike and snowmobile trial.

The Conover Town Center was packed and tempers flared last night during a special town board meeting called to discuss allowing ATVs on part of the trail route.

An ATV trail in Conover would connect trails between Eagle River and Phelps. But silent sport enthusiasts were concerned that motorizing the trail would be a danger to bikers, pedestrians, and equestrians alike.

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Safety Week Observance
6:40 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Eddy: Most Snowmobile Crashes Preventable

Credit commons.wikimedia.org

With the World Championship Snowmobile Derby ending Sunday in Eagle River, many enthusiasts are in the Northwoods to enjoy some of the best snowmobiling in years. This is also International Snowmobile Safety Week.

DNR Snowmobile Administrator Warden Gary Eddy says with busy trails, always keep in mind safety...

 

"....some of the traditional complaints we have out there when it is busy are snowmobilers cutting corners, not staying on the right side of the trail, speeding and just overall reckless operation...."

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Faster Than Ever
4:00 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Not Your Parents' Sled: Vintage Racing in the 21st Century

Vintage snowmobiles come in all stripes.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

This weekend is the snowmobile World Championship, expected to draw tens of thousands.  But last weekend was the World Championship for vintage racing.  

Vintage cars, vintage records…but vintage snowmobiles?  That I had not heard of before moving to the Northwoods. I was curious about what draws people to the sport, so I headed to the offices of the Eagle River derby track for the weekend of the vintage racing championship. 

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Arts & Life
5:55 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Vintage Racers Hit the Track

Vintage snowmobiles race in the qualifying rounds at the Eagle River Derby Track.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Vintage snowmobile racers compete this weekend in Eagle River in the world championship.  

The world championship may be a week away…but spectators at the vintage race are all about the here and now.  The qualifying rounds for the vintage championship are filled with sleds from the 70s and 80s…or older.  They’re smaller and more antique looking than today’s ultrafast monsters.  And though next weekend’s races will draw a bigger crowd, more people enter the vintage categories.  Elmer Jensen is a longtime volunteer at the derby. 

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More than two feet of snow
4:11 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Ski Conditions: Like February in December

Cross country ski trails are in great shape this winter.
Credit Tim Gillin

The frigid weather may have kept skiers indoors for a few days…but otherwise this season’s conditions have been prime for cross country skiing. 

Tim Collins, Director of Minocqua Winter Park says the park had its biggest day ever the Saturday after Christmas. 

“We had over a thousand people out at Winter Park, on Saturday December 28.  And the numbers before and after were very close.  So all of our trails, 100 kilometers of ski and snowshoe trails have been groomed to perfection this season.”

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Annual Winter Tradition
4:51 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Ice Castle Rises Again After Two-Year Hiatus

Eagle River's 25-foot ice castle is complete.
Credit Eagle River Fire Department

Eagle River’s legendary ice castle has been built once again by the area fire department.  

The design is new every year, but the method isn’t:  Eagle River deputy fire chief Jim Bonson says the ice harvesting saws and other tools date back more than 80 years.   

 “We’ve been doing it since 1933 as a community and it just has become a tradition.  When we don’t have it, like the last two years due to weather conditions, people get excited when all of a sudden it appears.”

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Good Snow Means Tourists
2:56 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Holiday Snowmobile Traffic Brings Good Tidings for Businesses

This weekend, snowmobile riders can hit the trails in most of Vilas, Oneida and Forest counties.
Credit Manfred Werner

Snowmobile trails are opening across the Northwoods.  Phelps trails open Thursday, and Forest County trails open Friday.

Most Oneida County trails opened Wednesday.  Minocqua Chamber of Commerce Director Kim Baltus says wintry conditions this early in the year is a big deal.

“It’s been several years since the trails have been open before the holidays, and a very long time since we’ve been able to really invite tourists to come and spend their holiday vacation hopefully between Christmas and New Years in the Northwoods.”

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Highly Anticipated Winter Recreation
4:52 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Vilas County Snowmobile Trails to Open Early

Snowmobilers can hit the trails in Vilas County as of this Friday evening.
Credit Joe Ross

An early opening for Vilas County trails has snowmobile clubs and local businesses in good spirits.  The date was moved up from Tuesday December 17th to this Friday December 13th at 6 pm.

Vilas County Parks and Recreation Forester Dale Mayo says opening day usually happens after the four-day antlerless deer hunt ends.  But he says this year low temperatures and snow conditions seem to have discouraged many hunters.

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

Snowmobilers Wait for Snow, and Paperwork

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

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

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.”

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