Editors Note: To encourage ridership in the Upper Midwest this year, Snow Goer has initiated a weekly enews targeted to regional riders who spend part of their winter riding in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The goal? To tell regional riders at the end of each week about some places with good riding for that weekend. Here is a copy of this week’s report:
Minnesota and Wisconsin combined have more than 45,000 miles of snowmobile trails, and a weather system rolled through this week and decorated many of those trails with fresh snow. It may or may not have fallen right outside your back door, but there is really good riding on fresh snow not far away. Here are three areas with fresh snow that are worth checking out this weekend. Quit making excuses and GO RIDE!
PLACES TO RIDE THIS WEEKEND
THIEF RIVER FALLS, MINNESOTA – The homeland to U.S. snowmobiling got hit by this week’s storms and added to an existing base, making riding in between Arctic Cat’s hometown of Thief River Falls and Polaris’ hometown of Roseau tremendous right now. Thief River and Roseau each received 5 inches of snow Wednesday and Thursday, and neighboring towns like Holt, Argyle, Warren and Eldred officially received 6 inches. Some has blown around, but the ditch trails are marked, groomed and full of snow, and the riding up to and into weaving trails in the Beltrami State Forest is very good. Ride past the two snowmobile factories, visit the Black Cat in Thief and the Polaris Experience Center in Roseau, ride down to the Mississippi Headwaters, etc. Bundle up, however, because it’s going to be good and cold. Forecast: A high of -7 Saturday with sunny skies; 8 degrees on Sunday with another swath of snow.
GRAND RAPIDS, MINNESOTA – The Minnesota Iron Range is another area that got hit by this week’s storm, with select reporting stations near Hibbing, Cook, Babbitt and Ely reporting 8 fresh inches this week and 9 inches in Grand Rapids. For the first time all season, the conditions on the Taconite Trail out of Grand Rapids rate as “Good” on the Minnesota DNR website, with snow depths in the woods of 16 inches and the grooming operation in full steam this morning. The local SnowRangers groomed 6 inches of fresh snow on the Keystone Trail, Diamond Lake Trail and Hornet Spur overnight, and the Marcel Snow Drifters to the north and Swampsiders farther north out of Big Fork reported similar results. We’ve ridden there enough to know: This area has some of the best trail riding in the Midwest, and is perfect for a quick weekend getaway. Forecast: 1 and sunny on Saturday, 9 with snow shower Sunday.
CABLE, WISCONSIN – Take it from us, because we had to drive home from the Upper Peninsula in whiteout conditions yesterday evening: The northern fringes of Wisconsin definitely got new snow. But our slippery drive is your benefit, fellow snowmobilers! Many reporting stations reported 3 to 6 inches of fresh snow, and many of the trails in this area were already in good shape – Team Snow Goer rode from Brule up into the Bayfield Peninsula north of Cable on Sunday and had a great ride, and now it’s been freshened up. Plus, some of the trails around Cable have such a tremendous trail surface that it doesn’t take much snow to make the riding absolutely tremendous. One of our favorite runs: Start at Hayward Powersports, follow the great trails up to Lake Namakagon near Cable for lunch, then continue north to Bayfield Peninsula. It’s a can’t miss trip. Forecast: 2 and partly cloudy Saturday; 8 with afternoon snow showers Sunday.
MI/WI SNOWBELT WEATHER FORECAST
COLD, WITH MORE SNOW – No doubt, it’s going to be a chilly weekend, with sub-zero or single digit temperatures throughout the region Saturday and a bit warmer with fresh snow on Sunday. But we wait all year for this season – dress for it and you’ll be fine; don’t let the fear of cold keep you on the couch.
LOCAL RIDING STORY FROM SNOWGOER.COM
On a day a couple of short weeks ago we enjoyed a brief day-ride on the beautiful wide and weaving trails in the Hayward/Cable area while breaking in some 2018 snowmobiles.
WEEKEND EVENTS IN MINNESOTA AND WISCONSIN
Jan. 13 – Long Lake vintage snowmobile racing, East Rush Lake, Minnesota
Jan. 13 – 2018 Veterans Appreciation Snowmobile Ride, Two Harbors, Minnesota
Jan. 13 – National Straightline Snowmobile Racing, Fairmont, Minnesota
Jan. 13 – Mercer Area Sno-Goers Winter Blast vintage show and poker run, Mercer, Wisconsin
Jan. 13 – Rustic Ridge Riders Castle Rock Pink Ribbon Ride, Friendship, Wisconsin
Jan. 13 – Winfield Wildcat’s 5th Annual Winterfest, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Jan. 13/14 – Great Northern Snocross Series, Hayward, Wisconsin
Jan. 14 – Nicollet County Trails 23rd Annual Radar Run, Courtland, Minnesota
Jan. 14 – Prescott Snobee’s 3rd Annual Vintage Snowmobile Show, River Falls, Wisconsin