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NEWS STORIES

Why snowmobile trails close when snow's still on the groundSubmitted: 03/27/2014

Lauren Stephenson
5 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
lstephenson@wjfw.com

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EAGLE RIVER - There may still be a foot or two of snow on the ground in early April.

Even so, you won't be able to snowmobile.

Many Northwoods snowmobile trails will close for the season on or before March 31st.

That's when Vilas County's trails will close.

There are certain reasons the trails will close even if they're still in good condition.

The county has about 300 private land owners that agree to easements.

That means they let snowmobile trails run through their land.

Those contracts come up March 31st.

"There are a couple factors on closing. One of the big ones is that our contract with the clubs and a couple of the land owners expires March 31st. Also, this time of year, traditionally that's when we see the road limits go on. Most of our equipment exceeds the road limits," said Vilas County Parks and Recreation Administrator Dale Mayo.

If people continue to ride on the trails, they could hurt the private land owner agreements for the following year.

Administrators also want to keep people safe.

"After the end of March, there's no longer going to be anyone out there doing maintenance on the trails. You could encounter closed gates, signs that are down, so it's a safety aspect," explained Mayo.

Langlade County's trails have already closed.

Oneida County trails will close Sunday.

Lincoln County's Southern Trails close Tomorrow at 8am.

The Northern trails close Sunday at midnight.

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