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Still Riding In Beautiful Northern Minnesota Oasis

John Prusak

Just when it seemed like the snowmobile season might end early close to Snow Goer‘s Minneapolis-area offices, a fresh blast of snow came to Northeastern Minnesota, far Northern Wisconsin and parts of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula late last week and decorated the landscape once again.

On Satuday, Managing Editor Andy Swanson drove up to his favorite riding grounds in Minnesota’s Arrowhead region and burned on some miles with some friends, riding out of the Finland, Minnesota, area and going to Grand Marais and back. Then on Sunday, Editor John Prusak drove up with two other friends and rode out of the Two Harbors trailhead lot up toward Finland, and ventured down some feeder trails both east and west of the C.J. Ramstad North Shore State Trail.

We’re not going to lie to you: There were sections of the trail that were very rugged – some areas were wet and swampy, and the occasional downed tree or big branches in other areas kept riders on their toes (though the locals did do a wonderful job of clearing out most of the brush on Thursday and Friday). The local groomer operators rolled some of the main trails, packing the heavy, wet snow, but there were a lot of people like us who chased that late snowfall and that led to some big bumps in some areas.

Yet while the trail surface may not have been in perfect condition, the scenery bordered on Northwoods perfection! That heavy snow stuck to every tree and branch. Combine that with partly cloudy skies and it was like riding in a dream.

More snow is predicted for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula this week. The conditions definitely necessitate caution – it feels like April riding – but for those willing to make the trip, the long days make riding this time of year hard to beat. And it’s definitely better than sitting at home watching basketball on TV!

Here are some photos from Prusak’s Sunday ride.

2017 Polaris Switchback Assault

Other than going for another joyful ride, one reason for our trips this weekend was a chance to ride this 2017 Polaris 800 Switchback Assault 144. When stopped at a trailside rest stop, some Polaris fans walked up to the sled and said, “WHOA! How did you get your hands on THAT!” Hey, it’s good to have connections!

2.

North Shore State Trail

This scene is along the North Shore State Trail at about noon on Sunday, March 20.

3.

Moosewalk snowmobile trail

This Moosewalk Trail spur that leaves the North Shore Trail to the west was particularly scenic and fun.

4.

Northern Minnesota snowmobile trail

This was the scene at a trailside rest stop 30 miles north of Two Harbors. Just look at those trees!

5.

snowmobile handlebar

Whether we have to travel to the Rocky Mountain West or travel north again, we want to make sure this isn’t the last time this season we enjoy this view from behind bars.

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