Snowmobile Trail Report, Jan. 27, 2020

Gary Marquis, Special to The County
4 years ago

AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine — With this past weekend’s snow and with what the County has received all week, the County’s trails are shaping up nicely.  This coming weekend is going to be very busy on our trails as this is a long holiday weekend. Most all clubs have been out grooming and signing their trails.

There are still a couple water holes here and there, but with the cold weather and some creative thinking clubs are getting them filled in.  Fields could still use more snow so please ride responsible and try not to spin tracks unnecessary

The weather that is predicted for Friday does not look like it is very warm and with the high winds predicted this will make for interesting field conditions.  With the very dry snow that is out there, drifting and low visibility will be a major factor. So, if you are out in this tomorrow please plan accordingly and try and ride in sheltered areas.

Caution is advised on the trails with deer, moose and turkey.


Soldier Pond is reporting good conditions and are grooming on Thursday and will have everything done for the weekend.

Walker siding is reporting that they will be all groomed by Thursday.  A few water holes on 81 near 75C junction and on York Ridge woods about a mile from 88 junction.  There is also logging in this area.

Washburn is reporting that they will be on a nightly grooming schedule and their trails are in good shape.  They will be starting to use their brand-new Trail Paver drag on Thursday. Trail 61 is closed.

Nordic Lakers reporting that 105 from Axle siding to Blackstone.  Trail 81 is now open with a few water holes near Capitol Hill area.

Portage Lakers are reporting that they have groomed everything and looking good.  The logging operation in their area is pretty much done, they are waiting for good snow cover on the roads so please use caution.

Caribou is reporting good conditions.  All trails have been groomed several times since the snow.  The upper half of ITS 90W is now open. Stop signs are installed and arrows as well, markers will be installed over the weekend.  Caution is advised North of the Nutting road. We are in an Amish cow pasture and there are several sections of fencing that we needed to open, please stay on marked trail.  Also, Deer are all over trail 83B in the York Street area. 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 they have marked and packed 73B and 73.   All trails will be groomed by Friday.

Eagle Lake is reporting excellent conditions.  There is logging on 85 and caution should be used in these areas.

Fort Fairfield is reporting good conditions.  They have two water holes 116 and on 81 North and of the Strickland road, these areas are marked.  Connecter between 81 and 88 is still not open due to lack of snow.

St. Francis Sno-Angels reporting they have been over their whole trail system and reporting smooth conditions.  92 and 92A are all groomed

Central Aroostook Snowmobile club reporting ITS 83 from Monticello to Presque Isle is in good shape.  ITS 81 to Easton in good. 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. Signs are being knocked down by Moose in the T10R3 area on ITS 81 and trail 70A

Ashland is reporting they have been over all their trails and reporting good conditions.  71A is now open and signed.

Allagash is reporting that they have been over everything and are reporting very good conditions.  They have been up to Estcourt with the roller.

Frenchville is reporting all trails groomed and in good shape.  Great news on ITS 85 near the Airport area, the trail will be open tomorrow and groomed.  Signs will be installed on Saturday.

Red Arrow is reporting excellent conditions and are out grooming every night.  They are still working on signage.

Chapman Ridge Runners are reporting full steam ahead with grooming and reporting great conditions.

Aroostook River Snowmobile club has been out several times this week and are reporting very nice conditions.  They will be out every night from now until the end of the season. They still have a few washouts on ITS 88 on the powerline, these areas are marked please use caution.

Easton has been out and are reporting very good conditions.  All signs and markers are in place.

Madawaska is reporting all trails are in good condition and plan on signing the rest of the trails this weekend.

Grand Isle

Presque Isle Snowmobile club is reporting good conditions.   Groomers are out on Thursday night. They have a small water issue on 116 Please use caution.

Van Buren is reporting that the groomer has been going nonstop and Trail 94 is now open and still needs to be signed so please use caution.  Access to businesses are all open.

Limestone Snow Hawks have been out and are reporting that their trails are in good shape.  81, 89 and 100a are all freshly groomed as of Thursday. Caution is advised as there is a logging operation on trail 89 near the Country Club.  The trail is signed.

Caswell is reporting that all trails are panned and open.  Trails still need to be signed so please use caution.

Southern Aroostook:

Bowlin/Mattagamon/Shin Pond – Shin Pond reports that the riding is good, and the trails are groomed, flat and fast with good lubrication. ITS 85 from Whetstone Bridge to Oxbow are ready with very good riding. Huber Rd. has an active logging operation but will be opened as soon as possible. Libby Camps will be opening this weekend.
After a brief warm up Saturday 1/11 temps fell overnight and our snowpack gained in the way of sleet and snow throughout the day Sunday 1/12. All trails were groomed that Sunday and Monday 1/13 and are flat and fast with good lubrication.
>ITS85 from Whetstone Bridge (PT13) through Bowlin Camps, Matagamon and North of Shin Pond to Meet with Oxbow is groomed and very good riding.
>ITS114 from South of Bowlin Camp’s through Shin Pond to re-intersect ITS85 North of Shin Pond is groomed and very good riding.
>Club trail 64 is groomed and good riding from ITS114 South of Shin Pond to ITS81 near Patten.
>The section of 71D to get from ITS 85 between Shin Pond and Matagamon will be opened and groomed Thursday 1/16 just in time for Libby Camp’s opening weekend. (71D north across Grand Lake Seboeis is still closed due to Logging on the north side of the lake so those traveling from the north need to come almost all the way down to Shin Pond on ITS85 and towards Matagamon to pick up 71D to get to Libby Camps or the trains). We hope to get this section of 71D open this year, but it depends on how long the logging takes to wrap up.
>The Huber Road has also had a logging operation which is finishing up and we will get that open as soon as possible.
For any specific questions or concerns feel free to call Shin Pond Village at 207-528-2900

From the Benedicta Snow Gang, ITS 83 from Sherman to Whetstone is ready for the weekend. They were out on 81 this morning when the groomer blew a rear tire, so all work stopped until later this afternoon.

The Molunkus Valley Trail Master hit the trails last night and completed ITS 83 south. Pud’s Trail (connector from 81 to 83) is groomed as is Bible Point and Trail 3A to Red Camps.

Big Valley Snow Club out of Island Falls and Birch Point reports everything is open. More signage is going up today. Should be an awesome weekend!

Eastern Maine Snow Riders was out last week working on their trails. After the ice storm last weekend, the trails are flat and well packed. ITS 110 is groomed to the bridge, 3 to Red Camps and 1 to Haynesville is passable.

The Meduxnekeag  Ramblers have completed the Railbed to Houlton and Littleton, and ITS 83 to the St. Croix Bridge. Club trail 81 from the clubhouse has not been groomed due to a large pile of brush in the middle. Sleds are using the trail but are asked to proceed with caution.

Linneus Sno Sports has covered ITS 105 to Haynesville and back towards Rt, 1 in Hodgdon, ITS 83 towards the Smoki-Haulers in Oakfield and from the snowmobile bridge in Houlton toward Drews lake. All grooming has stopped until this next big snowfall expected this weekend. The club is also working on getting more signage in place.

Oxbow has picked up a several more inches of snow in the last few days helping to improve our trails. More snow is in the forecast and cold temps.

Our groomer is been out every day for the past week and trails just keep getting better all the time.

ITS 85 has been groomed and will be groomed again before the weekend.

ITS 86 has been groomed on the Oxbow side of St Croix Stream.

Trail 71-A Oxbow to Ashland is now open. The ice crossing has been checked and there is more than 14” of ice on the Aroostook River. Ashland had groomed it before last storm and plans on grooming it again before weekend. Watch for signs as it is a different route than last year.

Trail 71-D Oxbow to Libby’s Camps is still closed. Waiting for the logging to finish in that area. Hope to have it open in a week or so.

Lots of Moose and Deer on the trails, so expect the unexpected.

Please Stay on the Marked Trails or Unplowed Roads.



Snowmobile/ATV safety course will be held on January 25th at the Caribou Wellness Center starting at 8am.  Please call 493-4224 to register. The course is free.  Lunch will be provided.

Presque Isle snowmobile club will be hosting their Stew Nights from 5-7 p.m. for the remainder of the season.

Long Lake Ice Fishing Derby is Jan. 24 and 25 on all of the northern lakes in The County.

Cold Mountain Snowmobile Club will be hosting a breakfast on January 19, from 7-11 at the Grand Isle Community Center.

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

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

Meduxnekeag Ramblers Snowsled clubhouse will be having breakfast every Saturday during the season from 6-9.

Pleasant Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club will be having a chicken stew on Friday January 17 from 4:30-7, at 17 Pleasant Ridge Road Caswell. $8 Adults, $4 Children.

Pleasant Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club will be having a breakfast on Sunday January 26 from 7-10, at 17 Pleasant Ridge Road Caswell.  $7 Adults, $4 Children. All proceeds benefit the groomer fund.