The Star-Herald

Snowmobile Trail Report – Jan. 12, 2022

Another week and not much white stuff has fallen, but with that said the winds have been brisk and this is helping to fill in fields.  Reports from clubs are that the fields in places are still a little thin but every flake is helping. 

Reminder that it is highly recommended that you do stay on the marked trails in fields as if you do decide to cut through where the trail is not you might regret that decision.   Clubs are working doubly hard this season to get signs and markers up for your safety.  With not a lot of snow clubs are forced to shovel piles up to stick signs and markers in.  When riding and if you do notice a marker is down, please stop and put it back up.

Portage lake is marked and is safe to traverse please stay along marked corridor.  Long Lake still is not marked.

TRAIL INFORMATION:

Sly Brook (Soldier Pond):  Reporting they will go out tomorrow to do 96 to red arrow turnaround, not much to work with but it’ll cut a few bumps. There is a logging operation going on that end, maybe a half mile of plowed road. 73 to eagle lake has not been done yet but I hear they were getting done this week, so if we get snow I’ll go. 73 to fort Kent is bony but passable. 96 to Eagle Lake north end has been done once but use caution as the swamp near the clubhouse still has running water in the trail.

Washburn Trail Runners (Washburn):  Reporting they are in good shape considering the snow totals. Took the last two nights off due to the temperatures but will resume grooming nightly starting tonight. ITS 83 and 105 are great, Club Trail 61 is groomed, signed and passable. Just need some more snow to make it perfect. The Aroostook Hospitality Inn trail is groomed as well but it too needs a little more snow to be ideal. Unless Nordic Lakers are back in business, we will be covering to Axle Siding again this week for them. 

Portage Lakers:  Reporting that their trails are looking good despite the amount of snow to work with.  

Caribou: Reporting that the wind is helping with the fields.  ITS 90E to Dodo’s is open and no real issues.  Trail 89 to Limestone turn around is also groomed and in good shape.  Trail 89 to Connor is in good shape as well, Pleasant Ridge has met up with them.  ITS 90W is opened to trail 88 and is in great shape, again the wind is helping to put snow in the trail.  Tomorrow the 13th the upper section of 90W to 105 will be opened and marked for the first time this year.  Trail 83A to the Inn and Convention center is signed and marked but no groomer has gone through.  The logging operation should be out soon.  There is a logging operation on ITS 83 in the New Sweden area, they are plowing a 1-mile section of the rail bed and this operation will last until the end of February. 

Fort Kent SnoRiders (Fort Kent):  reporting they are in the early stages of getting trails set up.  Limited markers are out with the lack of snow.  They will be out this weekend putting up piles of snow to set markers and signs in.  They have been over all their trails.  Most holes and ditches have been filled.  Signs are all up at intersections.  ITS 92 to St. Francis is in great shape. 73 to Soldier Pond is in decent shape for what there is for snow, not much snow in the fields.  73A to Crosslake is in the same condition.

Eagle Lake Winter Riders:  Reporting all they have been grooming and trails are in great shape.  The trail coming into town needs more snow and speed needs to be reduced.

Fort Fairfield Snowmobile Club:  reporting that they are grooming ITS 90E to meet up with Caribou behind Dodo’s market.  They are doing their best that they can with what snow there is to work with.  

St. Francis Sno-Angelsreporting the guys went out Monday, ITS92 from the lodge West to Chamberlain Market, then ITS92 East down the Railbed to the Fort Kent turnaround, then ITS92 South to Carter Brook Smooth riding!  Our trails are in great shape, still praying for snow.  the guys will be going out before the coming weekend.  Friday they can stop in and warm up and use our clean restroom, Saturday, Jan. 15@ 11:00, we have started our weekly hot meals……. This week, Italian Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, and Sweets!!!!

Central Aroostook Snowmobile club (Mars Hill, Blaine, Bridgewater, and Monticello): Reporting that ITS 83 from Monticello to Presque Isle is in good shape.  They need more snow in the fields and some wooded sections.  There is an active logging operation on ITS 83in the Bridgewater area.  2.3-mile plowed section, the landowner is going to allow the snowmobile trail to continue through this area if speed does not exceed 30mph, and yield to motor vehicles.  If there are issues, they will close this section of trail down and the club will need to reroute 20 miles.  

Ashland snowmobile club:  reporting pretty good conditions, they have been over everything, boney in the woods, ITS 85 from Masardis to Portage is in good shape, ITS88 towards Castle Hill is good there is a new plowed road on the powerlines right by Rt 227.  Many rocks hidden right under the surface in places so ride with Caution & don’t venture off trail in the fields. 

Moose town Riders (Allagash):  reporting that they have a great base and wanting more snow.  Roads are in great shape, and they encourage people to use the park and ride that is available to snowmobilers, look for signs in town.  

Frenchville snowmobile club:  Reporting they have been grooming and are in good condition

Red Arrow (St. Agatha, and Sinclair):  reporting that they are in good shape and are liking the wind as it has helped many of their trails in the fields.  They do have some thin areas, but they are becoming less and less.  They will be out today finishing up signs.

Chapman Ridge runners:  Reporting they have been grooming and for the most part in good shape.  Fields are thin in a few spots, please use caution.

Aroostook River Snowmobile (Mapleton, and Castle Hill):  Reporting they have been out every night.  Some trails need more snow than others other than that they are in good shape.  This cold weather is helping to firm up everything.

Easton Trailbreakers (Easton): reporting they have been out grooming and saying that conditions are fair to good and is early riding.

Madawaska snowmobile club:  Reporting trails have all been groomed and thanks to a group of 20 or so volunteers, have been properly marked as of this past weekend. We still want to make sure that if you’re venturing out that you use extreme caution as our reroutes and diversion ditches are still lacking snow in areas. The groomer has been out most of the weekend and has started to groom regularly. We continue to do the snow dance!

Cold Mountain Snowmobile Club (Grand Isle):  Reporting that their trails are in great shape.

Presque Isle Snowmobile club:  Reporting they are grooming their sections of railbeds which are ITS 88 towards Caribou and ITS 83 towards Crouseville.  They are meeting up with Aroostook River at Priors Pit.  They are also going to the Presque Isle inn and Convention Center.  They are not doing much in their fields as they are rough.

Gateway Snowmobile Club (Van Buren):  Reporting they have been out grooming and fields are still a little thin.

Limestone Snow Hawks:  reporting trails 81 89 100A we’re groomed but very thin, border trail is still closed.  100B still closed, the wind has helped blow snow onto the trail but still showing dirt in a lot of spots.

Nordic Lakers (New Sweden, Westmanland):  Reporting that they should be getting their machine back tomorrow and will groom their section of 105.  They will attempt to do their section of 81 but need more snow.

Pleasant Ridge Riders (Caswell):  

Walker Siding Snowmobile Club:  Reporting they have panned everything for the week and will complete signing.

Southern Aroostook Report

Oxbow-Masardis Snowmobile: Club:   Reporting ITS 85/81 all open and with very few exceptions all is pretty good. We have a short 1-mile temporary re- route just north of Oxbow that is very passable but not the best. All the roads are great. Logging should be done in a week or so. There is a major change of ITS 85 in Oxbow due to plowed logging roads this year, so riders need to read the signs at all trail junctions. ITS 86 has been packed and will be groomed again Thursday and the Ramblers plan on do their section Thursday as well.71-A to Ashland is open and has been packed and signed. The ice crossing of the Aroostook River is marked and recommend staying on marked trail, some slush off the marked trail.  71-D To Libby’s Camps has been groomed.  Services:  Umcolucus Sorting Camp will only be serving food and cabin rentals by reservations this year but will have gas for trail users.  Homestead Lodge (under new ownership) will be open 7 days a week from 10am to 6pm for all trailside services. 

Benedicta Snow gang:  Reporting that trails are all signed now just waiting for more snow.

Linneus Sno Sports:  Reporting that they are still signing.  The section of ITS 83 still has cows in the pasture, this section remains closed. 

East Grand Snowmobile Club:  Waiting for more snow.  Signage is almost all complete.

Eastern Maine Snow Riders (Macwahoc):

Smoki-Haulers Snowmobile Club:  Reporting they have not started grooming but all trails have been brushed back and signage will be completed this weekend, so they are ready! Hopefully this snowstorm coming in on Monday will drop a fair amount of snow.

Meduxnekeag Ramblers:  Reporting that they will be heading towards Oxbow on ITS 86 tomorrow Thursday the 13th.  The first 2 miles are rough as they traverse over potato ground once in the woods it becomes better.  The Meduxnekeag Ramblers have been grooming the railbed from Houlton to the trestle in Monticello and report that conditions are excellent. 

Big Valley Sno-Club (Island Falls):  They are working on signs, not enough snow to do anything.

Patten-Rockabema Snow Rangers:  Reporting that they have a new reroute on ITS 81 in town on the powerlines.  Groomers will be out once they get more snow.

 East Branch Sno-Rovers:  Reporting that ITS 83 has been groomed to Endless, trail 109 South Twin and 82 to Lincoln.

Bowlin-Matagamon Snowmobile Club:  To start off we have 12” of snow on the ground here and a bit more north and northwest. We made our first trip out with the groomer and drag to pan Shin Pond on 114/85 North to meet Oxbow on Wednesday 12/29/22. Oxbow had been down just before to do the same. This was strictly to aid in freezing the trail hard and to begin creating a base.  We certainly needed more snow than we had that day to see any real benefit. There were Sledders around riding roads getting break in miles on, searching for Moose-sheds and simply scratching that snowmobile itch over New Year’s weekend. We continued to receive a bit more snow and opened for the season on Friday 1/7 where we say quite a few people through considered and the same again on Saturday 1/8.  The sled traffic combined with cold temps helped to pack the snow and establish a base. Sunday 1/9 Tristan took the Pisten Bully and new Trail Paver on its second trip of the season on 114/85 South from Shin Pond to Whetstone Bridge.  *Take Note ITS 114 coming into Shin Pond had an off season re-route so please follow the signage During this same stretch of time Allen from Matagamon has been North and South on ITS 85 and made a trip up the Huber Road. Monday 1/10 Tristan made a second trip over 114/85 North to meet Oxbow.  Wednesday 1/12 Les plans to take the groomer and open 71D to connect to Libby Pinnacle Riders as Libby Camps has their annual Ice Cutting this Saturday 1/15. Club Trail 64 had a major re-route this off season and needs more snow to get it open. The cliff note version here is that we need more snow to be where we ‘d like the trails to be but there is good riding out there just keep in mind it’s early season conditions but with what we’ve had for cold temps and what we have for snow we’re getting closer to where we’d like the conditions to be. We’ve certainly ridden better but have also ridden worse so take advantage of all opportunities to ride. It’s a short season so get out there.  As always feel free to trailer, unload and ride from here and if you have specific questions feel free to text me at (207) 944-5092

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