February 25, 2014
MADISON -- Wisconsin's publicly registered snowmobile total is approaching a quarter-million, solidifying the state's reputation as a destination location for winter outdoor fun.
Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp credits the public registrations to the combination of the 25,000 miles of groomed trails - 19,250 of those miles funded through the DNR's snowmobile grant program.
DNR records show as of early February, there were 222,690 publicly registered snowmobiles in Wisconsin. Among the top counties with the most total snowmobiles registered are Vilas, Oneida, Marathon, Brown, Outagamie and Dane.
"The entire state is enjoying a winter of snow, which is a bit different from previous winters where the snow depth was quite different from north and south, or east and west," Stepp says. "Here in Wisconsin we are lucky in that we have snowmobile organizations who take the time to care for these trails - and landowners who grant permission for trails to cross their acres."
Stepp says Wisconsin wardens also are there to help snowmobilers on the trail and also to teach snowmobile safety techniques. "We are fortunate to have volunteer instructors who join in the DNR's goal to have everyone have fun on the trails - and to ride smart from the start - and that includes taking a snowmobile safety course."
There are classroom courses as well as an online course for those age 16 and older. The Wisconsin law requires those born on or after Jan. 1, 1985, and are at least age 12, to complete a snowmobile safety certification course to operate a snowmobile on Wisconsin public snowmobile trails and areas.
For more information search the DNR website for "snowmobile."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Joanne Haas, DNR law enforcement public affairs manager, 608-209-8147