Burnett County winter riding season kicked off Dec. 16 with a good layer of snow to start the season.
The Forest and Parks department announced they were opening some snowmobile and winter trails. The department does not open the trails during rifle hunting season and they also warn riders about ice crossings and swamps not yet frozen.
On the county website the department offers tips for riders.
“If you choose to ride your ATV or UTV, please consider wearing blaze orange as you are riding on Burnett County Forest Lands at your own risk. Please ride with caution!”
Burnett County Trails are managed by the Forest and Parks Department and are maintained by the Burnett County Snow Trails Association.
Snow trails released a statement Monday about the current trails condition.
“The majority of the Snowmobile and Winter ATV Trails are open - however, Trails 150, 119, 18, and the portion of Trail 45 from Hwy 70 to Trail 120 remain CLOSED. We anticipate more updates by the end of the week.
“Please use caution when crossing swamps and lakes. Some wetlands may not yet be frozen.
“Look for signage regarding timber sale activity! Trucks may be crossing trails.
“All snowmobiles, ATVs, and UTVs must be registered or licensed to ride on our trails. Trail passes are also required. ATVs and UTVs must also meet the state definition of an ATV or UTV. Go to the WI DNR website for more information.
“Some township ordinances allow for ATV/UTV use of the town roads and others do NOT allow it. It is the rider’s responsibility to contact the township in which you plan to ride in and get the current rules pertaining to ATVs/UTVs and the town roads. Please contact the individual townships for their rules and regulations.
“No off trail use is allowed. Please stay on the trails. Much of our trail system is on private property, and we appreciate the easements granted by our generous land owners. It only takes one person to have the entire trail system shut down.
“Caution: Groomers and trail maintenance vehicles may be on the trails at any time.
It is your responsibility to know where you are and whose property you are on. Please be careful, be respectful to other trail users, and ride safely.”
There are other associations in the area including Wonderland Sno-Trails. Wonderland posted on Facebook over the weekend that Crooked Lake, Minnow Lake and Ham Lake were still not safe to ride on.
“Experienced people were out on these lakes yesterday and said there’s a lot of water and thin ice.”
The post concluded saying the group does not know which lakes are safe and which are not.
“We don’t know if other lakes are safe so ride at your own risk!”
The Travel Wisconsin Snow Report, sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, which has an interactive map on their website, https://www.travelwisconsin.com/snowreport/snowmobile.
Burnett County has 12-15 inches of base, the trails are partially opened and groomed.
It also has information regarding surrounding counties like Barron and Washburn.
Barron county trails are partially open with good conditions. The website reports there is a good eight to ten-inch base that is groomed.
The stats are similar for Washburn County with six to ten inches of base and trails partially opened.
If you need any maps, or if you need any other information, please contact Burnett County Tourism at 1-800-788-3164 or email them at Bctour@sirentel.net.
More information regarding the trails can be found here, https://www.burnettcounty.com/index.aspx?NID=364.