Safe Snowmobiling

     Everyone is anxious to get out and go for a snowmobile ride but the conditions are not safe yet. The lack of snow is preventing the majority of the people in the state of Minnesota from riding.  According to the Minnesota DNR none of the 22,000 miles of trails in Minnesota are open for riding yet.  There are places where the ground isn’t frozen, the swamps and lakes aren’t iced over, and there basically isn’t snow anywhere in the state, except for on the Gunflint Trail.

    The Gunflint Trail still has a good 6-8" of snow in most places and the cold temperatures this past week allowed the bigger lakes on the Gunflint Trail to finally ice over.   We are hoping for some more cold weather before the snow flies so the ice will become thick enough to ensure safe crossings.  There isn’t enough thick ice on Gunflint, Saganaga and Loon Lakes to provide safe travel since the DNR recommends a minimum of 5" of good clear ice for snowmobiling.

<%image(20061228-snowsm.jpg|200|133|Snowmobiling the Gunflint Trail)%>

     Powell’s who live on the Canadian side of Saganaga have made their first trek down to the Sag Landing.  This means I can feel comfortable the corridor up to Canada is OK.  Other cabin owners have also made their journey safely across the frozen lake.  Mike finally got his new snowmobile off of the trailer and reported there is pretty good snow cover for riding on the lake.

     We are lucky to have frozen lakes and snow on the ground on the Gunflint Trail.   The snowmobile trail has been cleared and packed but there isn’t adequate snow cover to allow for grooming yet.  Now all we need is a good 4-6" of fresh snow to cover up the rocks and stumps so we can ride our snowmobiles safely through the woods.