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GFP News - December 11, 2013

Black Hills Snowmobile Season Opens on Sunday

PIERRE, S.D. -- Snowmobile Trails in the Black Hills are scheduled to open Sunday, Dec. 15.

Although several feet of snow fell in the Black Hills during an early October blizzard, trail officials say they will need more snow in order to groom snowmobile trails.

"The Black Hills area has seen minimal snowfall since the October blizzard," said Black Hills Trails District supervisor, Shannon Percy. "Grooming operations will be limited until we see additional accumulations."

The early blizzard's heavy wet snow and high winds left much of the trail system blocked with downed trees, but Percy assures that all 350 miles of the snowmobile trails have been cleared.

Some hazards remain off-trail, however.

"Snowmobilers should be aware that downed trees, broken tree tops and dangling branches can fall at any time while riding off-trail. Be aware of your surroundings as trees and debris may cause obstructions," Percy added.
Trails in eastern South Dakota opened Dec. 1, and while there was significant snow in some places, bare spots remain on the trails.

"Several inches of snow fell in some areas in eastern South Dakota, but the high winds left many areas along the trail system without snow," said State Trails Program Specialist Tony Schmitt. "The majority of the eastern trails have not been groomed."

Snowmobile clubs in eastern South Dakota groom, sign and maintain over 1200 miles of trails through a grant in aid agreement with the state.

Current trail conditions are available online at gfp.sd.gov/snowmobiling as well as on the SDGFP Outdoors mobile app.

Trail condition updates are also posted to Twitter accounts dedicated to both the Black Hills and the East River trails (www.twitter.com/SDsnowBHills and www.twitter.com/SDsnowEast).

For more information about snowmobiling in South Dakota, visit gfp.sd.gov/snowmobiling, or call 605-584-3896 for Black Hills trails information or 605-773-3391 for East River trails.

-GFP-

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