Dane Co. snowmobile trails may open for the first time this winter

Some Dane Co. snowmobile trails may open for the first time this weekend.

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Everyone is keeping an eye on the weather, and snowmobile enthusiasts are hoping they will be able to go out for the first time this season.

Currently all Dane County snowmobile trails are closed, and if conditions allow select trails may open this weekend.

The Dane County Council of Snowmobile Clubs monitors trail conditions and decide when the trails open. In addition to snow, the group also monitors trails for standing water, unfrozen ground, and other conditions that would prevent trails from opening.

“When trails open, snowmobile enthusiasts are eager to take their first ride of the season,” said Mark Stephens, President of the Dane County Council of Snowmobile Clubs. If some trails do open this weekend, we want to remind riders to use caution as there will likely be uneven terrain, snow cover icy sections and the potential for open water in the marshes and waterways.”

In Dane County, there are more than 500 miles of snowmobile trails including Badger, Glacial Drumlin and the Military Ridge State Trails. For trails to be open, there must be at least six inches of snow and steady below freezing temperatures.

A State Snowmobile pass is required to ride on the trail system.

“The majority of snowmobile trails are located on private land and users must stay on the designated marked trails,” said Tom Sankey, Sargent, Dane County Sheriff’s Department.

He reminds snowmobilers that venturing off the trails is considered trespassing and riders may be issued citations.

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