While recent snow in parts of Minnesota has many snowmobile enthusiasts excited to take their first ride of the season, most of the state’s trails are not yet groomed and ready to ride, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Riders can expect to find uneven conditions and should check local trail reports before venturing out. Minnesota’s snowmobile trails officially open on Dec. 1 each year. 

“It’s a big job for local volunteers and DNR staff to get the trail system up and running each year, especially with varying weather conditions,” said Paul Purman, state trails and snowmobile program consultant. “Unseasonable thunderstorms last week eroded the snowpack in many areas of the state, setting back our trail preparations. Our 23,000 mile system really needs two things now: more snow on the ground, and more volunteers stepping up to help volunteer clubs get the trails ready and maintained. We’re hoping for a banner year for snowmobiling and recognize that local clubs are the backbone of that success.”

Conditions for DNR-funded, locally managed trails can be found at www.dnr.state.mn.us.