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Traverse Your Trails with Caution with Early Snow

For snowmobile club members in Wisconsin and Michigan, you have probably seen my name (Kale Wainer) in the masthead as the Managing Editor of Wisconsin Snowmobile News and Michigan Snowmobile & ORV Association News publications. Working with these (and other) state snowmobile associations, I hear a common theme over and over from club members, “A few of the members carry out the majority of the work.”

I saw these photos posted from a local snowmobile club in Minnesota, the Rum River Sno Riders, and they served as a visual reminder to share them with you as a safety message, and a push to get more riders involved with their clubs to ease the workload.

While snowmobile trails in Minnesota and surrounding states officially opened Dec. 1, snowmobile clubs like the Rum River Sno Riders are working hard to prep the trails to be ridden. As evidenced in these photos, the midwest hasn’t had much cold weather so most swamps are open and ice on lakes is either non-existent or very thin. 

Within the coming weeks, please traverse the trails with extreme caution and remember to respect private property and stay on designated trails. Club members work hard to obtain easements from private landowners and trails exist because landowners allow snowmobilers to use their property.

Rum River Sno Riders use an ARGO and roller

One of the best pieces of equipment to access partially frozen swamps is an ARGO.

Rum River Sno Riders ARGO doin work

Traverse the trails with extreme caution

Although some trails may be “groomed”, please traverse with extreme caution now and in the coming weeks.

Clearing trail debris is part of the work clubs need help with

Clubs like Rum River use their Bearcats as the workhorses, but sometimes the chainsaw is needed to clear trail debris.

Packing swamps the old-fashioned way

These Bearcats are working overtime to pack swamps down the old-fashioned way when they can’t be accessed by groomers or tractors.

Bearcats in action


It takes a Bearcat to get through these swamps

The end result of packing swamps with a Bearcat

The end result after packing this swamp with a Bearcat and a few passes.


Enjoy the trails this winter and remember the hardwork put into every mile

Enjoy your trails this winter and remember the hard work put into every mile by club members. Get involved. 



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