Despite colder temperatures and some areas in Minnesota receiving several inches of snow, the majority of the state's snowmobile trails won't be ready on December 1.

December 1 is when state trails officially open each year, but there are several conditions that must be met before snowmobiling becomes a reality:

  • The ground must be frozen. Where trails cross wetlands, 15 inches of ice is needed to support the weight of the trail groomers.
  • Adequate snow cover, about 12 inches, must be on the ground to allow for trail packing and grooming.
  • Trails must be cleared of fallen trees, signs put in place and gates opened. Snowmobile club volunteers and DNR staff are currently working on these tasks.

The Minnesota DNR reminds riders to be extra careful early in the riding season as trails may still have debris on them, rocks, unfrozen water and other potential dangers to riders and sleds.

Before you decide to head out on your snowmobile, it's a good idea to call ahead for trail conditions.  You can also follow the link below to access state trail conditions, which are updated every Thursday.