Outdoor Recreation Areas Close in Wausau

By: Elizabeth Schilder Email
By: Elizabeth Schilder Email

The Marathon County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department announced Friday that the 400 Block outdoor ice rink, Nine Mile Trail, and Sylvan Hill in Wausau will be closed until further notice due to the unseasonably warm conditions.

"Right now there's about a half inch to an inch of water on the ice so we need things to freeze back up tonight before we proceed with our winter activities," Operations Superintendent for the Marathon County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department Ken Krueger told NewsChannel 7.

As people eagerly await to get back on the ice and snow, department employees are rushing to preserve what little snow we have left.

"If they stay off it may re-freeze. We may be able to salvage the ski trails. If they go out there and use them on their own, the amount of moisture in the snow, they're going to erode what little snow we have down to nothing," Krueger said.

One place that is still going strong despite the warmer weather is the Granite Peak Ski Area in Rib Mountain.

"We go through this every year. Every January we go through it. We had rain last year for Christmas so every year we go through this and we'll get through it," Granite Peak General Manager Vicki Baumann said.

Baumann added that the warm weather is actually to their advantage, as it gets more people outdoors and enjoying the slopes.

Although the warm temperatures have temporarily silenced their snow making machines, Baumann says they'll be back at it making snow by Saturday night once the temperatures cool down to below freezing.

"We're going to make some more snow on both the east and center of the mountain so we'll replenish anything that we are loosing," Baumann said.

All the park and trail closures will be re-evaluated on Sunday.

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