Snowmobile trails are opening across the Northwoods. Phelps trails open Thursday, and Forest County trails open Friday.
Most Oneida County trails opened Wednesday. Minocqua Chamber of Commerce Director Kim Baltus says wintry conditions this early in the year is a big deal.
“It’s been several years since the trails have been open before the holidays, and a very long time since we’ve been able to really invite tourists to come and spend their holiday vacation hopefully between Christmas and New Years in the Northwoods.”
In Vilas County, it’s also the first year snowmobiles can venture into downtown Eagle River. Chamber Director Conrad Heeg says it makes things easier for snowmobilers, who in many cases can ride their sleds straight from their house to a nearby trail.
“The trail goes right by the visitor’s center, and they’re going by all the time. And it’s a good thing because every time you see one go by it’s kind of got that ka-chink feeling, you know people are spending money up here to snowmobile.”
Heeg says the week between Christmas and New Years is one of the peak tourist times.