Snowmobilers hit the trails in Lakewood

February 10, 2016

Eric Peterson

Fox 11 News

LAKEWOOD — And as Winter Storm Bucky winds down, snowmobiling in parts of the Northwoods is ramping up.

And it's bringing a mid-winter boost to the area economy.

Maynard Gipp and his snowmobiling crew made a quick stop along the Nicolet State Recreational Trail in Lakewood Wednesday morning.

"The trails are good coming over here. We needed the snow we got yesterday, and it made an awful difference. Because last week, they were in really tough shape," said Maynard Gipp, Crivitz.

But Winter Storm Bucky dropped a fresh coat of snow on the area. The Paul Bunyan Riders Snowmobile Club has been out grooming about 100 of Oconto County's 500 miles of snowmobile trails.

"Now, we got about five, about five inches of snow. It was a wetter snow. I just talked to our trail boss, he said they're grooming out beautiful. They'll be the best they've been this year," said Dave Thomson, Paul Bunyan Riders President.

And it's more than recreation. Just off the trail, the owner of TNT's Russted Nail says business picks up every time it snows.

"In the winter time, as long as there's snow, and the trails are open, you business practically triples with the snowfall," said Traci Lindstrom, TNT's Russted Nail Owner.

Lindstrom says the economic impact goes beyond the tavern's burgers and Friday fish.

"With the snow, it affects everyone's business. As far as your grocery stores, gas stations, gift shop, and restaurants, everything. So we rely quite a bit on that," she said.

And so do snowmobilers like Maynard Gipp and his crew.

"Hey we love it. It's the greatest thing. Enjoy it so much," said Gipp.

Gipp says it is the group's first outing of the season, but it won't be the last.

"We'll get more time in, because we're all retired. We just love it. It's really enjoyable," he said.

Winter Storm Bucky also dropped enough snow for trails to open in Door County, and Kewaunee County as well.

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