Castle Danger Trails: All were done Friday. The previous panning was done on January 31st. The areas that were flat, mowed, and free of long grass turned out OK with about a 3” base where conditions were good. At that time it was panned from the state trail to a mile short of the Rustic Inn due to running out of snow.
East Corridor: Panned from Dixie, to the Brimson Trail on Wednesday. The area’s flat and grass free turned out OK. The areas with hummocks are rough with a lot of side to side pitching in the groomer. Attempts to fill in holes were marginally successful. More snow is still needed.
Town Trails: Snow drops off rapidly as you get closer to shore. The last mile and a half at this point is showing lots of rocks and dirt.
West Corridor: The corridor from the airport road out to the CJR / NSST is panned with scattered bad areas. Watch for soft areas due to ruts as the trail gets worn.
Yukon Trail: The Yukon has been panned from top to bottom. There are a few areas that are rough so please be careful. The areas flat, and grass free turned out OK for the most part. The snow from Isabella to Forest Road 11 is decent. From there to the south it is spotty until you get to the Kane Lake Road. The part that was double panned between the Brimson trail and the CJR / NSST benefited some from the double pass but we need more snow yet. No more panning will be done until there is enough snow to fill in holes. So far the area that was traveled today is holding up well. It’s up to the riders to maintain the quality of the trail until we get more snow.
Yukon Spur: This was panned today and turned out well in many areas since the base is far flatter overall.
We thank all of you for your patience in our trying to provide safe trails that go someplace instead of just dumping you in the middle of nowhere and you have to turn back around and go back the same way you came. That is one of the great things about the trail systems along the north shore when we have enough snow.
Our goal is to provide the best riding experience possible for those that live here and those that visit using what we have available. If that isn’t satisfactory, we will gladly accept donations. You can use the form at these links (http://www.voyageursnowmobile.com/uploads/9/0/1/1/9011500/vsc_membershipform_021315a.pdf, and https://www.facebook.com/TeamVSC/photos/a.225102814271286.49711.195488317232736/731440603637502) to help fund these equipment and trail improvements in order to come closer to your expectations.
As priorities, we would like to have groomers that are under 10 years old to be able to provide this experience. If we have a great flat base and we can’t groom the trail due to broken equipment, it serves no purpose. At $210,000 per groomer, plus up to $20,000 for a drag, we are one third of the way there. If you know our history, you know we are doing well.
It’s hard to believe, but the groomers are the cheapest part of the equation for higher quality trails. Earlier great riding experiences with low snow conditions require a smooth base to start with. This is difficult to obtain with our current trails that are inaccessible when not frozen and are filled with hummocks. One solution for the trails that are on public land is the upgrading of the base to make it smooth and durable. Current estimates for constructing such trails are $20,000 to $30,000 per mile. If we are dealing with wetlands, and we will be, the costs can be five to ten times higher than that. There is also the approval process and required reviews. It’s a long process.
We welcome any financial assistance that those who aren’t satisfied can provide. We are always happy to receive assistance and appreciation from anyone helping our volunteers do the best that we can with the limited resources available.
Voyageur Snowmobile Club