Sno-Sports wishes for a snowy season
Jim Reger is sincerely hoping weatherman Dave Dahl of KSTP is right when he predicts 70 inches of snowfall this winter for the region.
Without snow, the Somerset Sno-Sports snowmobiling club’s 50-plus members would not enjoy winter very much. The Sno-Sports are one of 12 snowmobiling clubs in St. Croix County.
Reger, the newly elected president of the club, said most of the trails the club uses run through town and farm fields on private land.
So without the cooperation of private landowners, the snowfall totals wouldn’t matter, Reger said.
“If we didn’t have them, we wouldn’t be able to, well, to be,” Reger said. “We’re blessed right now to have so many landowners who are allowing us to do that, allowing us to utilize and enjoy our winter sports.That’s why it’s important for people to obey the rules and stay on the trails and off private property.”
The Sno-Sports, which was founded in 1970, spend a lot of time each year marking the trails with safety signs, clearing brush and maintaining the surface of the trails.
Reger estimated 98 percent of the trails in the Sno-Sports’ area to be through private property. St. Croix County boasts 216.6 miles of trails for snowmobilers.
Besides flying over packed snow trails, club members also raise funds for the club and community charities by hosting meat raffles at the American Legion once a quarter, planning group rides, teaching snowmobile safety courses and updating the county snowmobile map every two years.
This is an off-year for updating the map, Reger said. This season they will begin selling ads for next year’s map.
“It’s our No. 1 fundraiser, depending on the snow conditions,” Reger said. “All the clubs were offered the opportunity to do it and no one volunteered, so we took it on. All the clubs sell the maps though.”
Many group rides are planned around visiting the map’s sponsors, Reger said. This also allows for people to bring their families on runs, since those runs tend to not be too long.
“We’re lucky to be able to travel so far,” Reger said. “Minnesota and Wisconsin are the two largest volunteer snowmobile states.”
New projects the club began work on at its last meeting are a club Facebook page and building a club website. Reger said some members are also looking into the possibility of building a club shelter where members can meet for bonfires during rides. The logistics of the shelter’s location will be tricky because of the trails running through privately owned land, Reger said.
The Sno-Sports meet at 7:30 p.m. every third Monday of the month at the Settlement Bar. New members are welcome, Reger said. For more information call Reger at 612-961-9696.
Jim Vanasse will also teach a snowmobile safety course at 7 p.m. at Somerset High School beginning Jan. 2. The course will run for five evenings, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Registration is at the first class.