Black Hills snowmobile trails open for 2010-2011

PIERRE, S.D. – Good snow cover in the majority of the Black Hills greeted snowmobile enthusiasts when the Black Hills snowmobile trail system opened Dec. 15. The season runs through March 31 in the Black Hills.

“A few weeks ago, the northern hills received three feet of snow,” says Ryan Raynor, trail program specialist in the Department of Game, Fish and Parks’ Division of Parks and Recreation. “With the existing snow, we can begin grooming immediately.”

Trails cannot be groomed prior to Dec. 15 due to landowner agreements.

Trails in eastern South Dakota have been open since Dec. 1, but those trails have yet to be groomed due to minimal snow.

“Some areas in eastern South Dakota have seen snow, but strong winds have made establishing a trail base difficult,” Raynor says. “Once we get enough snow to groom, we will be able to establish a trail which will help catch future snow.”

Raynor announced that Dakota Midland Trail in Aberdeen, which was closed last year due to flooding, will re-open with 52 miles of trail connecting local communities.

Trail condition information is available at the GFP website or by calling 1-800-445-3474. Raynor would like to remind snowmobilers they can follow trail updates on Twitter as well. Follow the eastern trail conditions at www.twitter.com/SDsnowEast and the Black Hills conditions at www.twitter.com/SDsnowBHills.

Snowmobile trail maps for the entire state can be obtained by calling 605-773-3391. The maps outline the nationally-recognized Black Hills trails (350 miles) and 13 trails in eastern South Dakota (1,191 miles). The maps also include locations for food and fuel, as well as additional information about snowmobiling in South Dakota.

For more information about snowmobiling in South Dakota, contact Ryan Raynor at 605-773-3391.

— From the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspapers Contest. Seth’s day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota’s state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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