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Local snowmobile trails open; experts urge caution, courtesy

The local snowmobile club has sent its groomer out to create trails in the area.
The Minnesota landscape offers more than 22,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, and approximately 21,000 of those miles are maintained by local snowmobile clubs.
Among the trails is a grid of more than 200 miles of approved snowmobile riding area in Redwood County.
The Minnesota Valley Snow Riders, the snowmobile club in the  Redwood Falls area was finally able to get its new groomer out recently and create some of those miles of trails which are open for public use.
The local club has been working hard to prepare the trails for the season, as its members have re-moved debris, mowed a wider path, fixed washouts, repaired bridges, erected new signs and trimmed trees. The public is reminded the snowmobile club receives permission from area landowners to cross their land with the groomed trails, which helps to create the scenic trail grid throughout the county.
The local club is very excited to see the snow after a season without any, and from its perspective there is no such thing as too much snow.
The trails are funded through grants offered from the Minnesota Snowmobile Trails Assistance program.
The funds come from registered snowmobiles, and due to the lack of snow registration numbers were down in 2012.
Riders are encouraged to register their snowmobiles as soon as is possible.
To receive the grant funds, a club must prove they have completed the trails and consistently groom them during the riding season. There are about 331 miles of trails in Redwood County, with three snowmobile clubs each having a groomer to maintain the trails.
The communities connected on the trail system are Redwood Falls, Morgan, Evan, Clements, Sanborn, Wanda, Lam-berton, Wabasso, Lucan, Milroy, Vesta, Seaforth, Belview, Echo, Delhi, Franklin, Morton and the Lower Sioux. Riders are encouraged to check out nature at its best along the Minnesota River trail and to check out local gas stations and restaurants for copies of trail maps. Trails are generally groomed Wednesday, Thursday or Friday depending on snow ac-cumulation and weather.
For information about becoming a member of a local club, visit www.mnsnowmobiler.org. The Minnesota Valley Snow Riders meet the first Monday of the Month at 7 p.m. at the VFW in Redwood Falls (upstairs). Memberships are $20, but for first year members that first year is free.
Riders are reminded in Redwood Falls snowmobiling is only allowed as one travels from their home to get gas or to access trails. 
Recreational riding in town is not permitted, and those who do drive are reminded to follow the rules of the road and to stay off private property. (Do not drive across someone else’s yard). Riding is also not permitted during the hours of midnight and 7 a.m. in town. Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1979 must be certified to ride.
Be safe this season

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