FREMONT, Wis. (WFRV) – Metz Ridge Runners in Fremont would typically open its trails in December, but with a lack of considerable snowfall, the club has been forced to stay closed.
President Chuck Vanevenhoven says, “We got the snow so quickly without any cold weather. Our swamps were not safe to travel through.”
Vanevenhoven tells Local 5 that snow must be at least 6 inches for a snowmobile to be safe to use.
“We’re going to need a lot of cold weather and a bunch of snow, but we need the snow with the cold weather to really freeze up the waterways,” Vanevenhoven adds.
The club’s largest trail is Corridor 9, which runs through the small towns of Metz and Poy Sippi. Club volunteer Arne Johnson has been driving the trials for decades and says there are many benefits to snowmobiling.
“It gets you out of the house and keeps you active. You get to see the daylight instead of being a couch potato, and just enjoy the great outdoors,” Johnson says.
The club has about 10 volunteers, each of them responsible for grooming the trails and ensuring driver safety. For Vanevenhoven, he is disappointed that the club’s hard work has not been seen in action.
He says, “From a club standpoint, we put a lot of work in every year, a ton of work, and it’s unfortunate to see that go unutilized.”
Metz hopes it can open the trails before the club is forced, under Wisconsin law, to close for the season in March.
“It’s just disappointing that mother nature has dealt what she’s dealt, but I believe that it’s Wisconsin. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” Vanevenhoven says.