With a foot or more of snow still blanketing most of northern Minnesota, the snowmobiling season may extend into April for the first time in many years, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said. State trails will remain open on public land while weather and snow conditions permit; however grant-in-aid snowmobile trails close for the season on April 1, when permits with private landowners expire.
“We have had great snowmobiling this year, especially in the last half of the season, and we owe a great debt of thanks to the many snowmobile club volunteers who made it possible by grooming Minnesota’s extensive system of grant-in-aid trails,” said Courtland Nelson, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “Of the state’s 22,000 miles of snowmobile trails, 21,000 miles are maintained by snowmobile club members. They worked long and hard this winter, and we appreciate the great work that they did.”
Late season snowmobilers need to be aware of changing conditions, including bare spots, flowing water and exposed rocks. Some gates may be closed on grant-in-aid trails.
“As the temperatures rise, riding conditions are likely to deteriorate,” said Andrew Korsberg, DNR trail program coordinator. “We advise checking conditions before hitting the trails.”
The statewide snow depth map and state trail conditions are updated by 2 p.m. every Thursday at www.mndnr.gov/snow. For the most up-to-date trail conditions, contact the local trail administrator. Contact information can be found online or by calling the DNR Information Center Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367.
Even if snow conditions are good, the DNR reminds snowmobilers not to ride on trails that traverse private land. After April 1, riding these trails without the landowner’s permission would be trespassing.