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Snowmobile Riders Wait for Trail Opener

Joe Ross

Snowmobilers are awaiting the opening of trail systems, which is still at least ten days away. 

Oneida County Forester John Bilagon says agreements with private landowners dictate the trails can’t open until after the muzzle-loader deer season. 

“Then of course we have to have adequate conditions to open the trail. Typically that means both a combination of snow cover and frozen conditions.”

Early snow that’s insulating some marshes could be a challenge for snowmobile clubs who want trails to open as soon as possible. 

Oneida County Forest Director John Bilagon says preparing trails could take a little extra work this year. 

“Slowly, those marshy wet areas need to be packed down. Basically drive that snow down flat, as flush as you can that the cold areas, the colder temperatures can actually freeze the subsurface, wet areas and make them frozen.”

Trail systems can’t open until two days after the muzzle-loader deer hunting season ends, so Bilagon says the earliest possible opening date is December 12th

He says there is also significant paperwork to be turned in, and trail inspections to do.   


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