Vernon County snowmobile clubs are busy getting ready for the upcoming season. Although there is snow on the ground, the clubs still have work to do to make the trails ready for riding.
Snowmobile trails in Vernon County are made possible and maintained by seven snowmobile clubs, comprising the Vernon County Snowmobile Alliance. All of the members are volunteers who do what they do for the love of the sport.
Although Vernon County has 250 miles of “state funded” trail, absolutely zero taxpayer money is used to maintain the trails. All of the “state funds” are generated by those who purchase and register snowmobiles, by residents and nonresidents who purchase snowmobile trail passes and by enthusiasts who join local snowmobile clubs.
Trails typically do not open until mid- to late December in Vernon County. Club members mark the trails across both public and privately owned lands, with the majority of trails crossing private land.
It is important that riders stay on trails. Those who wander off trails are jeopardizing the long-term survival of the trail system. Landowners can pull their permission at any time if riders do not stay on the trails, or if they fail to obey the rules of safe riding. Without private landowners, and without faithful and tireless club volunteers, public snowmobile trails would not be possible.
“Stay on the trails or stay home,” said Keith Bauer, Vernon County director for the Wisconsin Association of Snowmobile Clubs (AWSC). Clubs are in constant contact with landowners to have a good working relationship at all times.
With the new Wisconsin Trail Pass starting in July 2015, Bauer said he encourages all snowmobilers to join a local club and become involved because the future of snowmobile trails depends on the strength of local clubs.
For snowmobile trail conditions, check the Vernon County Snowmobile Alliance web page at www.vernontrails.webs.com, or call the trail condition hotline at 608-637-5481.