Officials: Snowmobile trails won’t open earlier than Dec. 1

Other winter recreation options available throughout Dane County
Officials: Snowmobile trails won’t open earlier than Dec. 1

Dane County officials said Monday that even though there is snow on the ground, the snowmobile trails will not open before Dec. 1.

Once trails are ready for use, the trail opening policy requires a minimum of six inches of snow for the trail base along with an extended time below freezing temperatures, according to a release.

More than 500 miles of snowmobile trails are a winter destination in Dane County, and the county works closely with the Dane County Council of Snowmobile Clubs to groom and maintain the trail system, officials said.

Other winter recreational opportunities in Dane County include skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, sledding, ice fishing and winter hiking.

Dane County and the city of Madison provide over 30 miles of maintained and groomed cross country ski trails, according to the release. A Ski Trail Permit is required to use the designated trails.

Designated ski trails are off limits to snowshoeing and hiking, so an emphasis has been made to create new snowshoe trails and hiking trails throughout the county, officials said. New winter trails include Capital Springs Recreation Area, Donald Park, McCarthy Park and Festge Park.

Dane County also has three parks available for sledding, including CamRock Park Area No. 3, Indian Lake and Lake View Hill Park, according to the release.

Access to Dane County lakes is available at most boat launches for ice fishing, skating and other winter recreation activities on the lakes, officials said. A Lake Access Permit is required for using designated Lake Access Sites.

Officials also remind residents that dog parts are year-round use areas, so parks that are part of the Cooperative Dog Park Program in Madison, Middleton and Sun Prairie are accessible throughout the winter.