Snowmobile trails open in Northern Oconto County

January 10, 2018

by Eric Peterson, FOX 11 News


LAKEWOOD (WLUK) -- The sights and sounds of the season.

Snowmobiles are on the move in the Northwoods Town of Lakewood.

The Trails in Northern Oconto County opened Thursday, giving people a chance to get outside and enjoy the sport.

And even though we haven't had much new snow, officials are opening the trails anyway.

"So far, I was surprised at how well this grade actually is. We got a cottage on Chain Lake up here. And we jumped on the grade and made it this far, and so far, they've been really good," said Keith Van De Leygraaf, Kaukauna.

Activity is up at Lotter's Lakewood Shell.

"Oh. It's a very big deal. Snowmobilers are big business up here. So we're very excited to have them," said Cheri Prasser, Lotter's Lakewood Shell Manager.

The president of the Paul Bunyan Riders Snowmobile Club says opening the trails wasn't really based on weather. This area hasn't seen much significant snow in weeks. He says it was a decision based on geography.

"Our neighboring counties Forest, and Marinette County have their trails open. People were wandering into our county. Some of them didn't even know they were into Oconto County. And it's kind of hard to police it. They can get a citation for over $260. And they just, the county decided that we would just open the northern part," said Dave Thomson, Paul Bunyan Riders Snowmobile Club President.

The Paul Bunyan Riders groomed the trails back in December. This is the first time those trails are being used.

Check below for trail conditions:

"With Wisconsin, you never know what you're going to get. You got to take what you can get. So sitting in the garage, these things don't do any good. We're just hoping to tuck back into the woods, and see what the trails are like out there," said Van De Leygraaf.

Club leaders remind people it is early in the season, and riders need to be careful on the trails.

They say they need at least five inches of fresh wet snow, so the groomers can get out and shape the trails into better condition.

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