Snowmobile trails groomed near Lakewood

January 11, 2016

Eric Peterson

Fox 11 News

LAKEWOOD — The snowmobiling season in the Northwoods could be just a few hours away.

Groomers took to the woods near Lakewood Tuesday morning to get the trails ready for the season.

Many area business owners are also happy to see all the snow.

For the past 30 years, Jack Bailey has groomed snowmobile trails in northern Oconto County. He says the snow fell just in time.

"Oh yeah, I've been itching at it the last two weeks now, because we're a couple of weeks later than last year," said Jack Bailey, Paul Bunyan Riders Snowmobile Club Trail Boss.

Bailey led a team of groomers down the trail Tuesday morning.

"First time of the year. It's going to be a trick to get through, to make sure we got no brush or trees or anything like that that blew down over the night," said Bailey.

The Paul Bunyan Riders Snowmobile Club maintains 100 miles of trails near Lakewood.

"Last night was the first snow we got. It's going to be a nice little base to start us out. We got about eight inches. Some places it's deeper because the wind blew and everything," said Dave Thomson, Paul Bunyan Riders Snowmobile Club President.

All the snow is a welcome sight for many business owners in the area. At Lakewood Motor Sports, the owner says the phone has been ringing off the hook.

"This time of year, everyone's anxious to get out. So they got last-minute things they're trying to catch up on," said Greg Weyers, Lakewood Motorsports Owner.

Weyers says the snow has sparked snowmobilers to get their machines ready, and head to the Northwoods.

"Everybody's been holding their breath. We depend on the tourism business. We depend on people coming up here from Green Bay, the valley, Milwaukee, or Chicago," he said.

The groomers will spend 12 hours smoothing out the system. Volunteers say they don't mind.

"I got my crew here, and we're all going to go out and play in the snow," said Bailey.

The Paul Bunyan Riders club leaders will evaluate the trail conditions. They hope to open on Wednesday.

"It will be early-season riding, but it's something to ride on," said Thomson.

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