Oconto County ATV Trails opening early

April 27, 2016


Fox 11 News

OCONTO COUNTY — The Northwoods may be buzzing with activity this weekend.

ATV/UTV trails in Oconto County are opening a day early, and riders are ready to go.

Business owners hope to cash in as well.

On an empty stretch of the Nicolet State Trail near Lakewood, the gates are open, and the surface is ready to go.

"We were out this last Saturday, getting all picked up. Picking up all the garbage, trash, cutting trees off the trail," said Jim Wisneski, Hidden Bear Trail ATV Club.

250 brown locator signs mark the trails. GPS coordinates will guide riders and rescuers in case of trouble.

"The emergency system in Oconto County has all this information. Basically, all we want them to do, is, if they can just remember this 609, they'll be able to find, the rescue people will be able to find them," said Wisneski.

Wisneski says the 525 miles of ATV/UTV trails will be open Saturday, one day early. The season normally runs from May first to the end of October.

"This will be the first time we open early. The reason we don't, we have to wait for the trails to dry out," said Wisneski.

It's been a quiet couple of months in this part of the Northwoods. The snowmobile season basically wrapped up in early March. So, for businesses like TNT's Russted Nail, opening the ATV trails early gives them the boost they need.

"Anytime you can open up something, it's going to improve the economy. You look at it like, anybody that comes up here, one dollar spent, in an area like this, is going to multiply 10-fold to these businesses," said Todd Lindstrom, TNT's Russted Nail Owner.

Lindstrom says he may run some specials to kick off the new season, but he says many people just want to ride.

"I know there's a lot of them that come in over the last couple months, that were wanting to know when. They were biting at the bit. When they could get their wheelers out and get going again," he said.

ATV trails will be open this weekend in Forest County, and Marinette County.

Florence County opened its trails last weekend.

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