Snowmobiling and cross country skiing can be a lot of fun, however there's nothing worse than getting all geared up only to arrive and find the trails aren't in great shape.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has an easy way to check snow depth and groomed trail conditions from the warmth of your home.  That way, you can be sure that all the prep and gearing up will pay off once you arrive.

If snowmobiling is your passion, it's never a bad time to remember these DNR safety tips:

  • Never ride alone - Always ride with a friend on another snowmobile. This way if one machine is disabled, you have another to get help.
  • Dress for safety & survival - Always wear a quality DOT helmet and facemask. Wear layers of clothing to keep warm and dry. Snowmobile suits, bibs, jackets, gloves and mittens should cut the wind, repel water and keep you ventilated.
  • Slow down - Excessive speed is a major factor in many accidents, especially at night. To help avoid accidents, keep your night time speed under 40 MPH.
  • Stay to the right - Almost every trail is a "two way" trail. So stay to the far right of the trail, especially on hills and corners. Obey all trail signs and cross roadways with extreme caution.
  • Stay on the trail or stay home - Trespassing is a major complaint about snowmobilers and can result in trail closure. Always stay on designated snowmobile trails. Venturing off of trails can result in accidents. Only ride private property when you have landowners permission.
  • Riding on ice - lakes & rivers - It is safest to avoid riding on lakes and rivers. If you must ride on ice, wear a life jacket over your outer clothing. Stay on the marked trail and stay off of ice that has moving water (current) near or under it - ice in these areas may be thin and weak.

Follow the link below to check snow depth and groomed trail conditions on trails across the state for both snowmobiling and cross country skiing.

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