The first official day of winter is tomorrow but it’s pretty apparent that the snow and cold weather has already arrived. That’s good news for the snowmobile economy, but as a safety precaution riders need to be aware of re-routes and watch for signs. News Source 8’s Angela Christoforos reports…
Snowmobile season is here, and winter sports enthusiasts are eager to get riding.
Superintendent of Caribou Parks and Rec Kathy Mazzuchelli said, “We caution everybody that give them a little bit more time, we got some more cold weather coming, stay off the lakes for a while there’s still water running so anywhere there’s an inlet the ice isn’t going to be as thick normally as it would be out in the middle of the lake.”
In the more than 2300 miles of snowmobile trails in the County, there’s 8 major reroutes that riders need be aware of.
“The biggest re-route of note is Portage. Portage’s section of ITS 85 will no longer be on Portake Lake,” said Mazzuchelli.
That also includes ITS 85 and 86 around the Oxbow area, Ashland area, ITS 83 between Bridgewater and Mars Hilll, a huge re-route on route 100 and some smaller reroutes along ITS 90 in Caribou and ITS 81.
Mazzuchelli said, “Basically a lot of those aren’t going to show up on the maps a lot because timing and sometimes we don’t find out till this time of year there’s a re-route. If they get out on a section of trail that no ones been out grooming on cause they think they know the trail is there and they find out it isn’t, very conceivable to run into an active logging operation.”
It’s illegal to go down a trail that isn’t groomed, and riders that do will get a citation. Mazzuchelli says trails are expected to be in good riding shape just after Christmas.
Snogoer Magazine rates Northern Maine as one of the TOP 10 best places to snowmobile in the country. You get a trail map at www.visitaroostook.com.