ArcticInsider visited Country Cat for their dealer demo days via snowmobile. The roundtrip adventure ride started at the Arctic Cat engine facility in St. Cloud, MN, with destination Sauk Centre, MN where Country Cat is headquartered. This is a quick, enjoyable ride, anyone can do if they would like to explore the twisting woods, open fields, ditches and railbeds that make up an awesome trail system in Stearns County.
Kale (seated) and riding buddy Cory start their day from the parking lot of Arctic Cat’s engine facility in St. Cloud. It is here where the all-new 397cc single-cylinder CTEC2 engine will be built that resides in the new 2021 mid-size BLAST snowmobiles.
From the Arctic Cat factory (which is located in Clearwater, but very close in proximity to St. Augusta) all the way to the city of St. Joseph, the trail system is full of beautiful wooded twists and turns, farm fields and the occasional ditch run. From St. Joseph to Sauk Center, an old railroad bed was converted into the famed Lake Wobegon Regional Trail. It’s 65 miles long, 10 feet wide and paved end to end. Above, Cory tells Kale, “You Are Here” in Stearns County. Cudos to the local clubs for some of the best marked trails I’ve experienced this year in Minnesota. The signage and trail number indicators were truly top notch.
Located along the Lake Wobegon Trail near Melrose, MN is Memoryville. Im a sucker for collections. Especially ones with grandeur like this. To be honest, I dont know anything about Memoryville, and a quick search of the interwebs, I found photos, but no websites or social pages dedicated to this cool place. I would love to be invited as a guest here to explore everything this cool collection has to offer. Its impressive!
There was a steady line of people waiting to ride the 2 mile loop Country Cat had laid out and groomed.
Customers went inside the trailer to sign waivers before being able to test ride units. It was a quick and painless process. I was surprised to find out that after you got your wristband, you were eligible to get $10 off a purchase inside Country Cat. Hooray!
While Cory burned laps around the track on all the models, I took the opportunity to jump in the groomer with one of Country Cat’s owners, Dave Wanderscheid. We discussed their successful winter selling season, the positives they are seeing with Snowmageddon, and PJ Wanderscheid’s love for combining corn in the Fall.
I didnt get his name, but I respect this guy! A classic example of wanting to ride the new stuff, you’ve got your helmet, but are wearing shorts…just gonna send it!
Others came fully dressed. Like this guy who kinda resembled Waiting for Winter Guy. He gave the thumbs up ready to rip the new 2021 Riot X with Alpha single-beam rear suspension. Nearly everyone (including Cory) who came to ride a Blast, or see one said, “This isn’t a kids sled” or “Its bigger than I thought” or “That has more power than I thought it would”…all fun things to hear regarding the mid-size or right-sized Blast.
As we were leaving the demo ride area to go visit the Country Cat store, David McClure 150 rolled in…or did he?
That wristband was practically burning a whole in my pocket…errr, wrist as I knew I could get $10 off my purchase. The inside of Country Cat is filled with loads of things to look at. Snowmobiles, ATVs, UTVs and golf cars filled display space along with vintage Arctic Cat’s and Wanderscheid Racing displays.
There’s a customer lounge, but honestly, I wouldn’t be able to sit in there for any length of time with all those vintage cats on display to look at.
Last weekend, PJ Wanderscheid was inducted into the Snowmobile Hall of Fame. Within the walls of the dealership, many trophies, race sleds and memorabilia from his time spent racing are on display. How long do you think his stunt double can hold that race pose?
In the background, the SVX 450 caught my attention along with other significant Arctic Cat snowmobiles and Wanderscheid race sleds lining the ceilings near the parts counter. Speaking of parts counter…before we left, I put my $10 towards buying some new ice scratchers, a balaclava and some windshield parts for my RIOT X. The low snow, hard ice conditions on the Wobegon Trail really did a number on my scratchers during the near 150 mile round trip. That said, they did their job by keeping the engine and track cool.
In the near future, we’ll follow up with P.J Wanderscheid to get his thoughts on his Snowmobile Hall of Fame induction and his time spent at the Ride With the Champs event.
If you want to demo ride a 2021, visit AI for event listings, or the Arctic Cat Event Website, but more importantly, CALL YOUR DEALER!! They may have demo rides going on. Cudos to Country Cat for the great event.