The Park Falls-Medford Ranger District on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has re-routed snowmobile trail 120 to address resource and public safety concerns. The section of snowmobile trail 120 crosses through lower lying areas with standing water just east of Riley Lake Wildlife Management Area. With the unpredictable temperatures and snow conditions, crossing this section of trail is difficult due to lack of freezing and thawing. Heavy grooming equipment gets very stuck and makes removal very difficult.
“This section of snowmobile trail 120 has a long term issue with an unsafe crossing for those riding snowmobiles due to the trail surface not freezing deep enough in this area,” said Melanie Fullman, District Ranger for the Park Falls-Medford Ranger District. “The re-route location addresses the concerns regarding resource and safety issues and prevents damage to the club’s grooming equipment. Additionally, it can provide an economic boost to local businesses along Pike Lake.”
The Fifield Sno Drovers Club is one of the organizations that partners with the Forest Service via an agreement to do pre-season maintenance and groom the snowmobile trails on a portion of the Park Falls-Medford Ranger District. The club members put up the barricades and signs to redirect riders to the new route for the 2019-2020 snowmobile season. The re-route utilizes existing roads and trails to connect to the Pike Lake Trail System and travels on a ½ mile section of Sheep Ranch Road (FR132). With the addition of snowmobiles on this short section of road, it is now designated as “dual use”. Motorists are asked to slow down and make sure they are visible to avoid any collisions with snowmobiles. A map and information about Snowmobile Trail 120 re-route can be found on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/CNNF.
The Park Falls-Medford Ranger District is asking for feedback from area businesses, trail users, and other partners on the trail re-route during the 2019-2020 snowmobile season. Comments can be sent directly to the district ranger via email at Melanie.email@example.com; written letters can be sent to: 1170 S. 4th Avenue, Park Falls, WI 54552; or phone at (715) 762-5107.