Did you know that Wisconsin has more miles of snowmobile trails than the earth is round?
In just a few weeks, Indiana residents Dan Puckett, Tony Strobl, and Chuck Harrell will load up their snowmobiles and head to Wisconsin to explore a portion of the state’s vast trail system. For them, this is tradition; it’s time away from work, time for reminiscing, eating unhealthy food, and even a couple practical jokes. They continue to make this annual snowmobiling trip to Wisconsin for one reason; it’s their version of fun.
“We’ve been doing this for 13 years now. We all work together, so you’d think we would enjoy our time away from each other over the holidays. Not this crew,” said Puckett. “There’s something about riding miles of trails with your best friends and family in the great outdoors. The only way you can appreciate it is by doing it.”
Like Dan, Tony, and Chuck, thousands of Americans make the trip to the Wisconsin trails every year to ride their snowmobiles. Danielle Johnson, with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, explains why Wisconsin is such a hot spot for cold weather activities.
“Wisconsin has 25,000 miles of snowmobile trails. To put it into perspective, the circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles. There’s no shortage of great places to ride here. The snowmobile capitol of the world, Eagle River, has over 500 miles of trails itself,” said Johnson. “For many, snowmobiling is a generational thing; it’s a great family activity. There’s definitely a traditional aspect to it which keeps many families coming back yearly.”
For those considering a snowmobile trip to Wisconsin, Jeff Last, warning coordination meteorologist for the Green Bay National Weather Service, provides some insight.
“The winter weather outlook for the upper Midwest is calling for more snow than years prior. We were down 10-20 inches last year, but are on track for much more snow this year,” said Last. “Although for snowmobiling, you can pretty much always count on substantial snow in the lake effect zones. Regardless, it should be a great year for snowmobiling up here in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.”
For those set on planning a trip, Last also advises riders to monitor www.noaa.gov where conditions, warnings and reports are listed for specific zones. It’s also smart to brush up on Wisconsin specific snowmobiling regulations and restrictions before hitting the Wisconsin trails. Last but not least, take a snowmobile safety education courses at snowmobile-ed.com. The course includes state-approved information that informs operators how to react to certain scenarios they may encounter on the snowy trails. That way, when you are ready to ride around the world in Wisconsin, you can hit the trails prepared with safety in mind.
Image courtesy Kalkomey