Minnesota has more than 22,000 miles of snowmobile trails, and several areas to explore are listed below. Get out and ride!

January 12, 2017

PLACES TO RIDE THIS WEEKEND

THIEF RIVER FALLS – A year after almost being shut out of snow, northwest Minnesota has been blessed with tons of the white stuff so far this season. An Arctic Cat engineer called it “our best snow cover in years,” and said the trails and ditches are in great shape around the factory town as well as heading north toward Warroad or west toward Grand Forks. Tours of the Arctic Cat factory are available at 1 p.m. on weekdays. Forecast for this weekend: Saturday 12 and partly cloudy; Sunday 19 and mostly sunny.

AITKIN COUNTY snowgoer.com Managing Editor Andy Swanson rode from Glen Township in Aitkin County to Palisade and back yesterday in east-central Minnesota. Trails between the two towns pass mostly through swamps, and fortunately the paths through them were frozen and well established. Conditions overall for the 115-mile loop were good thanks to the area receiving 6-8 inches of snow the past few days. Some sections had been brushed and groomed the full trail width for smooth sailing, while other areas still needed maintenance, but the trails are passable without any trouble. Forecast for this weekend: Saturday 17 and mostly sunny; Sunday 21 and partly cloudy.

INTERNATIONAL FALLS – With snow depths of 22 to 28 inches, active grooming going on in the area and a temperate January weekend in the forecast, now may be the perfect time to visit the city nicknamed “The Icebox of the Nation” at the very top of Minnesota. The local and state trails in the area are in good shape, though caution is urged around the edges of swamps. Also, logging is going on in three locations along the 135-mile Arrowhead State Trail that connects International Falls to the Lake Vermilion area west of Tower. Forecast for this weekend: Saturday 14 and partly cloudy; Sunday 23 and mostly sunny.

WEATHER FORECAST

WONDERFULLY AVERAGE – A lot of sunshine and moderate temperatures will make this a great weekend for riding, with highs of 10 to 20 across the state on Saturday and the low-to-mid 20s on Sunday.

Check out this story on snowgoer.com about snowmobiling in Minnesota. As a part of a larger story of riding in the Upper Midwest, contributor Mike Carr offered insight on three of his favorite destinations in the North Star State.

UPCOMING MINNESOTA EVENTS

Jan. 13-14 – 5th Annual MN GRooming Equipment And Training (GREAT) Show, Isle

Jan. 14-15 – ISOC Regional Snocross at Canterbury Park, Shakopee

Jan. 14 – Veteran’s Appreciation Ride, Hutchinson

Jan. 14-15 – USXC Detroit Lakes J&K Beach Bar 200, Detroit Lakes

Jan. 15 – Nicollet County Trails 22nd Annual Radar Run, Nicollet

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