Snowmobilers Taking Advantage of Good Riding Conditions, but DNR Encourages Safety
Minnesota, MN — Snowmobile trail conditions are mostly excellent in Northwestern Minnesota and riders have been getting out with gusto. Snowmobile tracks are common sights in road ditches, on trails and atop the ice. This year’s busy start to the riding season continues a surge in recent years of people riding snowmobiles to enjoy Minnesota’s outdoors. Tom Hutchinson, Conservation Officer for the Minnesota DNR out of Crookston, says we are having an excellent year for riding.
Gov. Tim Walz has declared Jan. 15-23 to be Snowmobiling Safety Awareness Week, and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers remind all riders to brush up on safety and prioritize safe rides. So far this year, two snowmobile riders have lost their lives and there have been multiple close calls, including several snowmobile riders who have fallen through the ice. During the past eight snowmobile seasons, more than seven riders, on average, have lost their lives each year.
Conservation Officer Hutchins reminds riders to make smart decisions and respect the trails.
And Hutchins provides some tips for those riding in groups or meeting other groups out on the trails.
And of course Leave the booze at home. Riding under the influence is one of two main factors in crashes and plays a role in about 60 percent of those that are fatal.
Additional safety tips can be found on the snowmobile safety tips page of the DNR website (mndnr.gov/snowmobiling/safety.html).