Snowmobile trails open in Vilas County - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Snowmobile trails open in Vilas County

EAGLE RIVER (WAOW) - As the sun sets in Eagle River, some snowmobilers are getting ready to hit the trails. Vilas County opened the gates at 6 p.m. Friday.

"If there is a trail to it I will definitely take the trail," said Nathan Hammer of Eagle River.

Hammer has been riding since he was six. He says there's no better feeling than getting on a snowmobile the first day of the season.

"I just love the sport and I look forward to every snowflake that falls down on every season so I can get back out," said Hammer.

This year, the trails here opened early.

"There may be four years out of every 20 that we can actually have conditions that we're able to open by the fifteenth of December," said Dale Mayo, the county recreation administrator.

This gives snowmobilers more time to hit the trails, and boost the local economy.

"Vilas County, our whole economy, is based on tourism, and it stimulates the whole economy up here, it gets people working," said Mayo.

Track Side sells snowmobiles. It's seen an increase in sales.

"With the early snow coming a few weeks ago we've had a lot of good sales coming earlier in the year," said Greg Cook, a salesman at Track Side.

But it's not all work. Most of the employees are also riders. They look forward to the rush of snowmobiling once again.

"I don't even think you can explain it,” said Cook. “You could probably put it closer to six years old and opening a Christmas gift."

Now riders have their own early Christmas gift, being able to hit the trails early in the snowmobile capital of the world.

The Vilas County Forestry Department is offering a safety reminder: always be careful on ice, and don't ride on any frozen lakes that don't have a clear trail marked through them.

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