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Snow blanket allows for portion of Dane Co. snowmobile trails to open

Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 9:51 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The fresh blanket of snow from Tuesday night’s storm laid the foundation for a portion of Dane County’s 500 miles of snowmobile trails to open Wednesday afternoon.

All regions, except for the north central and north east, are open.

While six inches of fresh powder is needed for the trails to get the green light, it is volunteers who pave the way for everything to get up and running.

Vern Meinholz, the executive trail for County Line Sno Busters, manages 70 miles of trail in the northwest region of the county.

“A lot of people think it’s the DNR that actually does it, but its all volunteers that do it,” he said.

Meinholz said a group of volunteers spends more than 300 hours a year grooming the trails so they can be used once the snow falls. He said once the work is done, local snowmobile clubs like his notify county officials that the trails are safe to use.

”There’s tree clearing, there’s land leveling after farmers have dug their fields, going through the marshes to mow stuff down,” he said.

Sgt. Eric Stacey from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office Marine and Trail Enforcement Bureau, said they will have officers out monitoring while trails are open.

“You want to be able careful of uneven terrain, be careful around wooded areas because there are trails that go through wooded areas, and don’t drink and drive,” Stacey said.

Meinholz said the trails will likely only stay open for a few days, unless the area sees more snow.

“I would say you are going to get a group out tonight and if we get more snow Friday like we are predicting it could be a very busy weekend,” he said.

For information on what trails are open, the sheriff’s department recommends calling the trails hotline at 608-242-4576.

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