Snowmobile trails busy ahead of Red Arrow Fish-A-Ree in Townsend

February 21, 2019

Fox 11


TOWNSEND (WLUK) -- The sounds of the season filled the Northwoods air Friday, following the by-product of Winter Storm Destiny earlier this week.

Plenty of snowmobilers ventured out near Townsend, and it's expected to get even busier on the weekend.

The Red Arrow Snowmobile-ATV Club is getting ready for its 44th annual Fish-A-Ree on Saturday.

There will be food, raffles, and a fishing contest.

Organizers expect a big crowd for one of their biggest fundraisers of the year.

"I would say 600-800 possibly more. With the conditions as they are, I expect just a crazy weekend for people," said Gary Wagner, Red Arrow Snowmobile-ATV Club President.

Wagner says money raised from the Fish-A-Ree helps pay for equipment, and, maintain about 60 miles of snowmobile trails.

With the push of a button, John Brantmeier is off and running down the Nicolet State Trail in Oconto County.

"The thing about Townsend, it's right in the middle of the epicenter. The center of a lot of trails. We can get to Michigan in an hour and a half if we want to," said John Brantmeier, Townsend.

Brantmeier ventured out Friday morning.

"We'll go on some local trails here," he said.

Brantmeier wanted to explore a winding way, known on the map as route 526.

"I've been doing it ever since 1971. Always on a Yamaha. We've always, my wife and I have always enjoyed getting out in the winter, looking at the scenery," he said.

The first place was near a bridge over McCauslin Brook.

"It's one of our favorite spots. We usually stop here, to take a look when we're riding," said Brantmeier.

After a group of snowmobilers went by, Brantmeier was back on the trail. The early sunshine seemed to guide the way, but John knows this area very well.

"We bought our place up here in Townsend because the trails generally speaking are good every year, but this year, they're awesome. It's just a fantastic winter, with all this snow," he said.

Brantmeier says recent storms dropped about 18 inches of snow on the area around Townsend.

"We rode 75 miles yesterday up into Marinette County and back, and the trails were all groomed, all the groomers are out," he said.

"I think a lot of people think they have to head to Eagle River, or Minocqua, those hot spots. But this northeastern corner of Wisconsin, is a hidden gem," said Brantmeier.

Snowmobile experts say depending on weather conditions, the trails could be open in parts of the Northwoods for another month.

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