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Snow brings snowmobilers back to The NorthwoodsSubmitted: 01/14/2014
Story By Karolina Buczek

Snow brings snowmobilers back to The Northwoods
RHINELANDER - Snowmobilers from far away can find The Northwoods when the snow is good.

The last four years, there were fewer snowmobilers in the area because of bad snowmobiling conditions.

The lakes didn't freeze over early enough.

And there wasn't enough snow around the holiday seasons.

But this year, local businesses have their entire rental fleets booked on weekends.

"Last year we had a good, fair season but it wasn't what we're getting now. Now what's really nice about it is that we're getting a wet snow. So what happens when they groom those trails, they're just like freeways. They're beautiful," said Pete Scholtz of Shoeder's Sport Center.

Snow in southern parts of the state has kept some snowmobilers around Milwaukee and Madison.

But snowmobile clubs in The Northwoods are not worried.

"People will ride them down there but pretty soon they'll come up here. And they'll say you know just riding farm trails is not like it is going through the woods, and seeing the nice pines with the snow hanging over. The scenic ride," said Jim Wimberger, president of Hodag Sno Trails.

Rain in Southern Wisconsin also gets people to come up to the Northwoods for snowmobiling.

Wimberger says, this year there are plenty of snowmobiles on the trails in Rhinelander.




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VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County prides itself on its miles of trails. Whether it's cross country skiing, walking or biking, there are plenty of options. But one of the longest is the Heart of Vilas County bike system.

"We have 47 miles of paved bike trails. I don't think that any place in the state can match that, it's awesome," said Mary Vangrinsven.

Those nearly 50 miles make up the Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail.

"It's like being on vacation every day of my life," said Vangrinsven.

When the trail started nearly 20 years ago, bikers, walkers and runners were very excited.
"I was pretty amazed by how much use it was getting. I wondered if this was just a fad or whether it was something real," said Vangrinsven.

But it was real. The finished trail goes through four different communities.

"It's been a great addition to what you can do in Vilas County," said Ken Wiesner.

Bikers can go from St. Germain to Manitowish Waters and hit up Sayner and Boulder Junction along the way.

"In my opinion, it's really changed the local economy for the better," said Wiesner.

Every Wednesday, a group of nearly 50 people bike along a part of the Heart of Vilas County Bike trail.

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Wiesner and his wife Barb joined the group because they have a cabin in Vilas County.

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Whether you do it with a group of friends, or by yourself, there's also something to enjoy along the trail.

There are shops along the trail to rent bikes if you don't have one. If you would like more information on the trail, click on the link below.

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