Volunteers work to prepare snowmobile trails in Vilas CountySubmitted: 11/06/2019
Peter DuBois
Peter DuBois

Volunteers work to prepare snowmobile trails in Vilas County
SAYNER - Thousands of Wisconsinites look forward to snowmobiling every winter. However, many people may overlook the work it takes to keep trails safe and open to the public. Dennis Horan serves as the President of the Barnstormers Snowmobile Club in Sayner.

"Snowmobiling has been a passion of my life. I love it," said Horan.

He's one of many who volunteer their time to maintain nearly 80 miles of snowmobile trails in Vilas County.

"When we moved up here we wanted to give back to the community," said Horan. "I didn't know I would give this much back but I'm happy."

Between clearing debris and putting up signs, Horan and his team have kept themselves busy since the summer.

"Every day there's something else to do," said Horan.

It's not easy work, but volunteers say it's necessary for the sake of safety.

"Our goal is to make sure the trails are in good shape, signed correctly, so that we are not the factor involved in accidents," said Barnstormers Vice President Jim Krieck.

While the Barnstormers take pride in their trail conditions, they remind riders to take the right precautions as well. Krieck says alcohol-related crashes are far too common.

"Unfortunately too many of the deaths that do occur are involved with drinking. You have to be very very careful," said Krieck.

Horan says they've made a lot of progress, but there's still plenty of work to be done. He's confident the trails will be in good shape by the start of the season.

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