Henning Snowcruisers remain busy in keeping trails clear
By Chad Koenen
After several years of less-than-ideal riding conditions, snowmobilers across the greater Henning area have been hitting the trails in droves this winter. That’s a welcome sight to the Henning Snowcruisers, who work hard to maintain a portion of Minnesota’s elaborate snowmobile trail system in the greater Henning area.
While the riding season can be a short one some years, the work going into preparing and maintaining the trails can be tedious. Long before the snow falls each year, club members are on the trail to put signs up and make sure that everything is organized so the first time the snow falls they can get snowmobiles on the trail.
Throughout the winter, club members are doing all of the maintenance on the trail, grooming the trail itself and answering questions that arise from landowners and local snowmobilers. In the spring they are busy taking down the snowmobile trail signs so the land can be used by farmers and local residents throughout the summer.
When additional snow falls, or the trail gets beat up a bit, the club members take turns grooming the approximately 70 miles of trail they maintain around the Henning, Vining and Deer Creek area.
“We try to maintain the trails the best we can to try to keep people on the trail,” said Henning Snowcruiser member Jim Haberer.
The club primarily maintains a trail going from Henning to the Bertha/Hewitt area, from Henning to the Highway 210 junction, from Henning to Vining and even north of Henning a bit where the trail meets up with Ottertail’s trail near Oakwood Supper Club. Many of the club’s trails meet up with other trails, which result in some long riding opportunities on some of the 20,000 miles of snowmobile trails in the state.
While this winter has seen an influx of snowmobile traffic in the area, club members are once again asking those who ride on the local trails to stay on the marked snowmobile trails. Venturing off of the trail and across private land can result in upset land owners, rough riding and damage to private property.
Since snowmobile tracks remain in the wintry snow long after they leave the area, the new tracks can signal to other snowmobilers that it is OK to ride across the field. However, that may not always be the case.
“Once you make a track then everybody (thinks) it is OK to ride there, because someone else went there,” said Haberer, who also asked riders to stay on the trails.
Since some of the trails abut private land, Haberer said it is important for snowmobilers to stay on the marked trails to avoid upsetting land owners. After all, if a landowner objects to a snowmobile trail going through their land it could result in an expansive reroute to connect one part of the trail to another.
“If you don’t stay on the trail we will lose that chunk of trail and then we will need to find a reroute to accommodate the trail,” he said.
Snowmobile trails across the state can be found online on the Minnesota Snowmobile Trail website at www.snowmobiletrail.com