Snowmobile trails in preseason conditions

Snow has fallen, but not quite enough.
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 6:35 PM EST
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - The Keweenaw Snowmobile Club (KSC) sent its first groomer from Mohawk to South Range today.

However, it’s just a test run. The whole network can’t be groomed quite yet.

“We’ve gotta have a minimum of 18 inches, two feet is even better before we start grooming,” said Ray Chase, KSC president.

Though it’s too early to groom the entire network – one trail operator is optimistic about the season after our latest snowfall.

“You can’t predict mother nature, but the amount of snow we’ve got so far is earlier than we got it last year,” said Justin Rogan, KSC trail operator. “So, hopefully, we’ll be able to get out soon.”

Chase says if more snow comes over the next few weeks the KSC will begin maintaining its 235 miles of trails.

Riders should be aware the Portage Lake Lift Bridge is still under construction for another few weeks.

Until then, there is no designated snowmobile crossing point from Houghton into the Keweenaw.

The trail groomers say they face another challenge this year with funding.

“DNR funds this process, but they don’t totally fund it,” said Chase. “Shortfalls on maintenance – there’s always odds and ends they don’t pay for.”

The KSC says it struggled financially last year with machine repairs.

This year, the club is running five grooming rigs after only having one last season.

Trail operators like Rogan ask for the public’s support and patience this winter.

“Slowing down is a big thing and paying attention,” said Rogan. “Listen to the groomer operator too, for all you guys coming up snowmobiling. If they want you to go around, go around. Because it can start big traffic jams.”

To support the KSC, click here.

To find out current trail conditions in the Keweenaw you can use the app “Groomer Tracker.

You can find out more about the Keweenaw here.

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