DNR: Minnesota Snowmobile Trails Not Ready For Riding

A snowmobiler starts his snowmobile as he and two friends prepare to continue riding on a winter night in 2011. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials say trails are not open or ready for riding yet this winter. (News Tribune file photo)
A snowmobiler starts his snowmobile as he and two friends prepare to continue riding on a winter night in 2011. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials say trails are not open or ready for riding yet this winter. (News Tribune file photo)

After northern Minnesota received its first significant snowfall last week, many snowmobile enthusiasts are rushing to take their first ride of the season. Snowmobile riders are reminded that despite the early snow, most of the state’s snowmobile trails are not yet ready for riding, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
Minnesota’s snowmobile trails officially open Dec. 1 each year; and several conditions must be met before trails are open and ready for travel: 
The ground must be frozen to allow for crossing wet areas. Adequate snow cover, about 12 inches, must be on the ground to allow for packing and grooming of the trails.Trails must be cleared of fallen trees, signs put in place and the gates opened.

Snowmobile club volunteers and DNR staff are currently working on these tasks.

After recent record-breaking warm temperatures into early November, most lakes remain ice-free despite the recent snow. The DNR recommends a minimum of 5 inches of new clear ice for snowmobiles.