In Time For Holiday Visitors
11:47 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Conditions Improve: Oneida County Snowmobile Trails Open Tuesday

Snowmobile riders will have more options to choose from after Oneida County trails open Tuesday.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

After a few inches of fresh snowfall, Oneida County is opening snowmobile trails Tuesday at 5 pm. 

Oneida County Snowmobile Council President Steve Moran says there are some rough spots on the trails. 

“Well, we could use more snow.  Hopefully we’re gonna get the snow they’re predicting.  Mostly they’re white, there’s gonna be some wet spots, that’s the biggest concern we have.  Swamps are not frozen with all the warm weather we’ve had, and the insulating snow we had earlier in November.” 

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9:10 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Muskego Man Dies in Forest Co. Snowmobile Crash

A 22 year old Muskego man has died in a Forest county snowmobile crash.The Sheriff's Department reports the man was snowmobiling along the shoreline of Roberts Lake in the town of Freedom.Deputies were called about 1:30 a.m Saturday morning. When they arrived they found the man had crashed the snowmobile into a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Forest County Medical Examiner.The investigation into the crash continues and the man's name will be released when all relatives are notified.

Melting Snow and Bare Ground
4:30 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Snowmobile Trails Thin After Warm Weekend Temps

Snowmobile riders are being advised to wait until conditions improve.

This weekend’s thaw was bad news for winter recreation trails. 

Snowmobile trails in Iron County closed Monday after being open since early December.  Forest Administrator Joe Vairus says a significant amount of snow melted during the thaw. 


“It was 45 degrees for a few days, so things really opened up. It looked like spring.  The swamps are open and the trails are bare in a lot of places so we’ve got to get things frozen again and get snow coverage on top of that.  So it will take several inches, a foot or two.”

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Oneida County Trails Still Closed This Weekend
4:32 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Vilas County Snowmobile Trails Open Friday

Snowmobile riders will have a chance to hit the trails this weekend in Vilas County, though not in Oneida.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Snowmobile trails in Vilas County are set to open Friday afternoon at 4 pm.

Vilas County Recreation Administrator Dale Mayo says conditions are typical for early season, though some areas may be wet or rough.

“Earlier in the season we had the freezing and thawing and hunters in the woods – and the trails are rutted.  We did have plenty of snow, but we still have a few areas where you could encounter some rough spots.  So we’re just encouraging everybody to use caution.” 

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After Muzzle-Loader Season Wraps Up
4:06 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Snowmobile Riders Wait for Trail Opener

While trails aren't open yet, authorities warn snowmobilers to beware of crossing thin ice on lakes.
Credit Joe Ross

Snowmobilers are awaiting the opening of trail systems, which is still at least ten days away. 

Oneida County Forester John Bilagon says agreements with private landowners dictate the trails can’t open until after the muzzle-loader deer season. 

“Then of course we have to have adequate conditions to open the trail.  Typically that means both a combination of snow cover and frozen conditions.”  

Early snow that’s insulating some marshes could be a challenge for snowmobile clubs who want trails to open as soon as possible. 

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Recent law changes
3:36 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

All Snowmobiles Need Trail Passes in 2015

Circa 1910
Credit Minnesota Historical

Two recently-signed laws are designed to help promote snowmobiling in the Northwoods and elsewhere.  One change will affect most riders.

Act 142 goes into effect in 2015. Snowmobile registration will cost $30 and will be extended to three years from the current two. A key provision of the law is ALL snowmobiles on public trails will be required to display a trail pass. But there is a way to pay less.

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Vilas, Oneida counties in top 5
4:25 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Steep Increase In Numbers Of Snowmobiles In Northwoods

Snowmobiling is becoming increasingly popular in the Northwoods.

Wisconsin's publicly registered snowmobile total is approaching a quarter-million and Northwoods registrations have increased by 163 percent since 2002.

The state last week released data on the number of registrations in Wisconsin. Oneida and Vilas are among the top five counties registering snowmobiles.

The DNR's Cathy Burrow says this region has seen a large growth in snowmobile registrations...

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