Warm weather could be good for snowmobile trails - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Warm weather could be good for snowmobile trails


EAGLE RIVER (WAOW) -- The Vilas County snowmobile trails opened Friday, but the warm weather this weekend melted most of the snow.

"Because of the warmer temperatures, the trails aren't in the best condition," explained Lieutenant Gerard Ritter from the Vilas County Sheriff's Department. "They're still operable."

There currently are not plans to close the trails, but officials warn snowmobilers to be careful if they choose to go out.

"You want to stay on the trail because the trail has been hard packed," explained Ritter.

He says snowmobilers need to watch out for thin ice on rivers and lakes.

"Just because a trail is there doesn't mean the ice conditions are safe," Ritter said.

Officers say this year's early November snow might have been bad for the snowmobiling season.

"When you get a lot of snow on unfrozen grass, the ground doesn't freeze as fast and you get snow dirt mix," explained Ritter. "that's what makes the trails look really dirty."

He says this warm weather could be exactly what the trails need.

"Hopefully with the cold it will freeze and create a better base for the trails," explained Ritter.

Snowmobile shop workers say this weather might put the snowmobile season behind schedule.

"The weather has been a little treacherous but it's early season so we're not too concerned yet," said Ryan Spitz who works at TrackSide in Eagle River.

Officials say they plan to keep the trails open whether there is snow or not.

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