Oneida County ATV/UTV trails wet, but largely rideable ahead of Wednesday openerSubmitted: 05/21/2019
Story By Lane Kimble

Oneida County ATV/UTV trails wet, but largely rideable ahead of Wednesday opener
TOWN OF PELICAN - Riders will likely come across a lot of standing water and rough stretches on Oneida County's ATV/UTV trails when they open for the season on Wednesday at 8 a.m., but a club president says that's not terrible.  In fact, he prefers the early-season riding.

Hodag 4-Wheelers Club President Paul Hagen went out Monday to put some finishing touches on his club's approximately 12 miles of trails it oversees around Enterprise.  Crews put up new signs, took down trees, and tried to smooth things out.

Hagen says all the rain we got over the weekend will mean riders should take it slow, but the moisture should cut down on dust.

"Enjoy the woods and the scenery," Hagen said. "You never know when you're going to come across some deer or a bear or something, so just take it easy through the trails, especially that first part from Bowman Road in because it is pretty rough right now."

Hagen says a mid-to-late May opening is pretty typical for Oneida County trails.  He expects them to stay open through November.

Hagen is most excited about five miles of gravel that will get put in on Bowman Road in June.

"[It'll be] really, really nice," Hagen said. "The other half of our trail has already been done. Beautiful, comfortable trail. Probably one of the better trails around."

The county will also open the Little RIce trail system on Wednesday, which includes 16 miles of wood trails, 23 miles of connecting ATV road routes, and 76 miles of town roads open to ATV/UTV use.

Meanwhile, Hagen looks forward to a potential vote in Rhinelander next month for the city to open its streets to the machines.

"I've talked to a lot of people and their business will go up 20, 30 percent, so I'm hoping that they'll all come to Rhinelander and people can just enjoy their machines a little bit more," Hagen said.

Rhinelander City Administrator Daniel Guild said the council could vote on opening city streets to ATVs and UTVs on June 10.

Vilas County will open most of its trails on Friday. Vilas Co. Parks and Recreation Administrator Dale Mayo said portions of the Landover Trails in Conover and Land O'Lakes will stay closed for now due to high water levels.

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