Snowmobile Trails Almost Ready to Open

By: Zachary Schultz
By: Zachary Schultz

Trail groomers are packing down the snow in Marathon County.

The snowmobile trails are close to being open for the first time since early 2001.

It never snowed enough last year to build up a base, and snowmobilers are still waiting to hit the trails in Marathon County.

Trails could be open by this weekend.

wsaw.com: Extended Web Coverage

Snowmobile Safety Tips

Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during snowmobile operation.

  • Drinking alcohol before or during snowmobiling can impair judgment and slow reaction time.

  • Snowmobilers who have been drinking often drive too fast.

  • Alcohol also causes body temperature to drop at an accelerated rate, which increases the likelihood of hypothermia.

  • Alcohol has been shown to be a contributing factor in most fatal snowmobile accidents.

Slow down Speed is a contributing factor in nearly all fatal snowmobiling accidents.

  • Drivers should proceed at a pace that will allow ample reaction time for any situation.

  • Drive at moderate speeds, and drive defensively, especially after sunset.

  • Carry a first-aid kit, flashlight, knife, compass, map, and waterproof matches.

    Avoid traveling across bodies of water when uncertain of ice thickness or water currents.

    • Rapidly changing weather and moving water in streams and lake inlets also affect the thickness and strength of ice on lakes and ponds.

    • Snow cover can act as a blanket and prevent safe ice from forming.

    Dress appropriately Always wear a helmet with goggles or a face shield to prevent injuries from twigs and flying debris.

    • Wear layers of water-repellent clothing and make sure you have no loose ends that might catch in the machine or tangle in equipment.

    Never travel alone Most snowmobile accidents result in personal injury.

    • The most dangerous situations occur when a person is injured and alone.

    • If you must travel alone, tell someone your destination, planned route, and when you will return.

    Source: http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/es/enforcement/safety/snotip.htm (The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Web site)