The Star-Herald

Snowmobile Trail Report, Jan. 3, 2019

We must have all asked Mother Nature to let us have a good start to the New Year with the County receiving almost 7-12 inches and more coming down right now.  The trails throughout the County are shaping up beautifully. All projects are reporting grooming around the clock, with very few issues, and what there are for issues have been marked.

Deer are being reported on the trails in Caribou and Washburn, please slow down when on trail 83B and ITS 83.  Turkeys have been spotted on the trail in the Colby siding area; this is trail 88.

TRAIL INFORMATION:

Soldier Pond is reporting that they have been out grooming.  Trail 73A has been rerouted at the Wallagrass stream, please use caution when going down Route 11.  They still are reporting a few water holes but nothing major.

Eagle Lake is going to be in great shape for the weekend.

Washburn has been out on their trail 105 and ITS 83 and reporting good conditions.  The trail to the Aroostook Hospitality Inn will be groomed but the section of ITS 83 needs to freeze more to allow the groomer to cross; snowmobiles can cross with no problem.

Portage Lakers have been out since the new snow and are reporting very good conditions.

Caribou is reporting that their entire system is open and is reporting a few wet areas.  ITS 90 near trail 88 intersection has a water hole, and near the intersection of trail 105 through the last section of woods, this area still needs more snow.

Fort Kent is reporting that they have re-stood all their signs and markers.   They are reporting that the system is all opened and groomed.

Fort Fairfield is out and grooming, they are reporting that it is still a little thin in areas.  

Central Aroostook Snowmobile club will be out grooming everything.

Ashland has been over their entire system and is reporting good conditions.  There is a logging operation North of Town on ITS85, Caution should be used as there are a lot of deer in this area.  ITS 85 South is open, and the bridge is now repaired and open at Scopan.

Allagash is reporting that they have been out, and trails are shaping up nicely.  120 has been groomed, there is a logging operation on this trail so please use caution.

Frenchville has been out and repaired all their issues, stood markers and signs.  Trails are reported to be in good shape.

Red Arrow is reporting excellent conditions.

Chapman Ridge Runners are reporting good conditions, Trail 105 south is still closed due to a logging operation.

Aroostook River Snowmobile Club is reporting very good conditions.  They have been over their entire system once and will be over for a second time before the weekend.  Waterholes are filling in nicely.

Easton is reporting trails are in good shape.

Madawaska is reporting that their trails are in great shape.  ITS 83 has been reopened by the airport.

Presque Isle Snowmobile Club is reporting that they will have everything open for the weekend.

Van Buren is reporting that they have been over everything and it is in good shape.

Nordic Lakers have opened all their system, trail 105 and 81 are in good shape.

Caswell is reporting that ITS 81 from Limestone intersection to Van Buren intersection has been opened and groomed.  Trail 102 to trail 89 in the Connor area still has not been opened for the season, please seek alternate routes. There is a major logging operation in this area.  There will not be any grooming through the Caswell area this weekend.

Limestone is reporting that they are out, and their system will be in good shape for the weekend.

Please keep an eye out on the County’s Facebook pages for the latest updates on trail conditions.  

SOUTHERN AROOSTOOK REPORT:

Here in Southern Aroostook County we had high hopes for an early start to the season and then the rains came leaving ice and wet spots. Luckily the last storm and following hard freeze improved things considerably.

The Meduxnekeag Ramblers have groomed ITS 86 west to St. Croix and are working on ITS 83 (the railbed) and filling in holes. This will be done in time for weekend traffic. ITS 86 east and ITS 105 to the border near Houlton will be completed on Saturday. There have been sleds through the area so it’s great seeing that people are using the trails. Club trail 81 will be done sometime next week as it still needs more snow to fill in.

Linneus Sno Sports is reporting that they now have a second groomer and have been on the trails grooming ITS 83 to Houlton. All trails should be in good shape for the weekend. Snow is good with a decent base, but the groomers would like to see another 6 to 8 inches to make conditions excellent!

The Molunkus Sno-Drifters are reported good trails on ITS 83 to Sherman. At this time ITS 83 south to Island Falls is tied up with club members working on a wet hole. Check the club Facebook page for more information on this area before you head there for the weekend.

Bowlin/Matagamon/Shin Pond is seeing a serious uptick in sledders arriving in the area. There is more traffic in the area than expected for the weekend. Shin Pond has groomed ITS 114 north/ ITS85 north and south out of Shin Pond as well as Club Trail 64. Matagamon is planning on working on their section of ITS 85 north and south this weekend. 71D and the Huber Rd. is plowed and not open due to logging activity. Hopefully they will be finished soon.

Rockabema (the Patten Club) has groomed between Patten and Shin Pond on ITS 81 and is currently filling holes and washouts. Club Trail 62 is a total reroute and will leave ITS 81 partially around Shin Pond. Use caution. There is a shared stretch of 4 miles of plowed road on a railbed between Patten and Staceyville so use caution and watch for trucks.

The bridge on ITS 85 south of Ashland is open giving access to all points north.

The Benedicta Snow Gang received 6-8″ of new snow on New Year’s Day, which allowed grooming efforts to begin. ITS81, Sherman/Benedicta/Mattawamkeag Cutoff is groomed, with good conditions. McAvoy club trail, and Plunkett Pond club trail are both groomed, with good conditions ITS83 Sherman/Whetstone Falls will be groomed by the time this report is posted

Municipal Trail #70 — Benedicta/Whetstone Falls — CLOSED FOR THE SEASON!!

Remember that all clubs need new members. If you aren’t already affiliated with a club this is a great time to join and show support for all that they do!

ON THE SOCIAL SIDE:

Washburn Trail Runners clubhouse opens Jan. 4 for the season. Hours are Saturday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Season opener for RMR XC is going to be on Jan. 12 in Sherman.  Gates open at 6 a.m.

For sledders who are interested, there is now snowmobile storage available for monthly accommodations in Caribou.  They are located at the Crown Park Inn; phone number is 207-493-3311. Units are small, medium, and large. Price is $50, $75, $100.

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