The Star-Herald

Snowmobile Trail Report, Jan. 9, 2020

CARIBOU, Maine — The first full week of the new year is almost complete, and we are still in search of the white stuff.  While some clubs are getting out and doing what they can to keep the snow where it needs to be, others are waiting for a good dumping.  The fields are still showing dirt and rocks here and there, but with the few inches of snow that we have received this week and the winds it has helped in some locations.  Wherever there are swampy/wet trails in the woods some of these sections are still not in the best of shape.  

Here is a good rule of thumb to follow:  if you come upon a trail that you know and there has not been a groomer gone through then this means that it might not be passable.  So please respect the clubs wishes when a trail isn’t open yet don’t attempt to venture out as you might get into a situation that is not good.

There are still trails that have not been signed or field marked throughout the County, so please use caution if you are on some of these trails.

This weekends weather is looking very interesting to say the least.  We will be getting a warm spell for Saturday with rain predicted during the day and turning colder at night with the potential of significant snow on Sunday.  It will take several days for clubs to get the trails back into shape. If the predicted snowfall is accurate this will set the County up in very good condition.

CAUTION:  with the low amount of snow in the County the deer can literally graze in the fields, so please use caution as there have been reports of sightings on the trails.

Long lake has been marked so please stay where the markers are.

TRAIL INFORMATION 

Soldier Pond is reporting that there are a few bare spots in the fields but all in all trails are not that bad.  They will attempt to do trail 73 this weekend as there are numerous water holes, they are passable by sled. Trail 96 is closed until all the logging is complete, this should be another week or two.

Washburn is reporting that they will be on a nightly grooming schedule and their trails are in good shape.

Nordic Lakers reporting that 105 from Axle siding to Blackstone.  Trail 81 is closed until more snow.

Portage Lakers are reporting that they have groomed everything and looking good.  There is a logging operation near the turn around with Eagle Lake on ITS 85 and they are sharing the road for about 3 miles, please use caution.  Attention when entering the active logging area please wait until they let you through. The operator will let you by when it is safe.

Caribou is reporting good conditions on ITS 83 North, 83B and 88.  The groomers have been over everything once and the fields need more snow.  ITS 90W in the Perham area is still not open so please stay off this section of trail as we have a large reroute.  The section of ITS 83 in the Fowler and Thibodeau road area is not open as of right now, there is still water laying around.  Use 83B to get to Washburn. We have also opened trail 89 in Connor and the connection has been made with Caswell. Trail 83A going towards the Inn and Convention center is getting better in the woods, there is still water issues.  The trail going to Leo’s Citgo and Fredericks restaurant has not been marked yet, so please stay off this trail until it is open.

Fort Kent is reporting that ITS 85 from the Frenchville turnaround all the way to where they meet with Eagle Lake is groomed.  ITS 92 to Saint Francis is also groomed. Please pay attention when going into town as the trail accessing businesses off the dike is in a new location please follow the signs.

Eagle Lake is reporting they had a good base prior to the warm spell and are going out.  Caution is advised. There is logging on 85 and caution should be used in these areas.

Fort Fairfield is reporting that ITS 81 and 90 have been groomed.  ITS 88 is also groomed, note of caution there is a water hole on this trail.  It is marked use extreme caution.

St. Francis Sno-Angels reporting they will be grooming from the lodge on ITS 92 to the Railbed and out to Carter brook on 92A.  Reporting very good condition. ITS 92 over towards Chamberlains has been groomed today the trail is still very rough but much better now the groomer has been over it.

Central Aroostook Snowmobile club reporting ITS 83 from Monticello to Presque Isle is in good shape.  ITS 81 to Easton in good shape with a few thin spots in the fields. 81 South to junction with 83A is in good shape.  ITS 81 in the T10R3 area of the Morneau road is still closed due to logging, hopefully within the week it will be usable.  #9 trail to Monticello and #9 Lake will be most likely closed all winter due to logging.

Ashland is reporting they have groomed ITS 88, ITS 85 to Portage and Masardis.  Water holes have been filled in. Field markers will be installed after the weekends snow.  71 to Oxbow is closed for now. They will finish signing this weekend.

Allagash is reporting that they are waiting for more snow.  Reports are trails are rideable just not enough to groom.

Frenchville is reporting all trails groomed and in good shape.

Red Arrow has groomed ITS 83 from Madawaska to the turnaround with Caribou and are reporting good conditions.  96 West and East have also been done. Signs are all up on these sections. Waiting for more snow for the motor inn trail.  

Chapman Ridge Runners are reporting as well as they can be with the snow cover.  Groomer is out on the normal rotation and trails are getting groomed. All trails are open, need more snow.

Aroostook River Snowmobile club has groomed and are reporting good conditions.  Fields need more snow. They are grooming on a regular basis. 81A towards Chapman still has not been done as they need more snow in this area.  Caution is advised on ITS 88 after passing the clubhouse heading West there are 2 very dangerous water holes, they are marked.  

Easton has been out and are decent conditions but still need more snow.

Madawaska is reporting all trails are open and reporting good conditions.  They are getting markers up, so please use caution.

Grand Isle is reporting that they were out last Friday and are waiting on more snow.

Presque Isle Snowmobile has groomed they’re portion of ITS 83 on the AVR to the Crouseville bridge.  73 bypasses around town isn’t groomed due to plowed fields. ITS 88 from the mall to Fort Fairfield is groomed.  Clubhouse to Westfield/burnt lands has been groomed and is in fair condition. Please use caution.

Van Buren is reporting that they have done trail 105 and ITS 81N.  Trail 79 off trail 105 is passable but rough in sections, please use caution.  Trail 94 is still closed. Access to businesses are all open.

Limestone Snow Hawks have been out and are reporting that fields are still mostly bare and there are some water hazards.  ITS 81 to where they meet Caswell is in great shape. Fields are still in need of snow. Trails are all signed.

Caswell is reporting that all trails are opened except for a segment of 97A between 100 and ITS81.  Still need signage.

Southern Aroostook:

Shin Pond is reporting they have groomed all their trails except for 71D to Libby’s, they are working on a water issue.  Trails are signed, caution is to be used on a section of 85/81 on Irving road between Roberts Mt. turn off and where they meet Oxbow.  The issue is icy, narrow and steep drop off’s. Patten has some rerouting issues due to logging, they are working with the foresters. 

Molunkus is reporting that they have groomed ITS 83N/S, trail 3, and Puds trail.  There are a few water holes on Puds trails but they are passable. Think snow.

Meduxnekeag has groomed twice to St Croix on ITS 86. They are out today on the border trail putting out pallets to fix water holes. Hoping for the best with this storm on Sunday.

Birch Point/Island Falls is optimistic and are beginning to see traffic. Good ice on the lake with over a foot of ice means that people are travelling across to get to the trails. They have groomed 83 south to Sherman and to Patten on 112. They met up with Rockabema who have also been grooming. 

Linneus has groomed 83 to the bridge and 105 to Haynesville. Eastern Maine Snowriders have also groomed 3 and 110 to Macwahoc. 

As of this moment trails are passable, but fingers crossed for snow accumulation on Sunday. While trails have been groomed keep in mind that there is minimal signage until we get more snow.

Oxbow-Masardis snowmobile club reporting the groomer has been working non stop since the last snowfall.  ITS 85 from Masardis to the turnaround with Shin Pond has been groomed and signed. Some of the short-wooded sections are a little rough and need more snow, please use caution.  ITS 86 is open and rideable but caution is advised.

ON THE SOCIAL SIDE 

Cold Mountain Snowmobile Club will host a breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. on Jan. 19 at the Grand Isle Community Center.

Washburn Trail Runners clubhouse will be open Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday, 7 a.m.-12 p.m.

St. Francis Sno-Angels clubhouse will be open on Saturdays for lunch starting at 11 a.m.  Pool tournament every Saturday starting at 7 p.m.

Meduxnekeag Ramblers snowsled clubhouse will have breakfast every Saturday during the season from 6 to 9 a.m.

Pleasant Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club will have a chicken stew from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17, at 17 Pleasant Ridge Road in Caswell. $8 Adults, $4 Children.  

Pleasant Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club will have a breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 17 Pleasant Ridge Road, Caswell.  $7 Adults, $4 Children. All proceeds benefit the groomer fund.

Fort Fairfield Snowmobile Club will host a breakfast on Sunday, Jan. 12, from 7-10 a.m. at the clubhouse located on the Strickland road.  $8 Adults, $4 Children.

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