Spring’s real start: Snowmobile season ends
You know it was quite a winter when you’ve been enjoying springtime weather for weeks and you finally, after all that warm weather, get a press release about snowmobile season finally ending. That’s what happened today. It’s 70 degrees, and we’re just now talking about snowmobile season being over. That’s a good indication of the amount of snow we had this winter.
Here’s the release from the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks:
Snowmobile Trails in South Dakota Close After Extraordinary Season
PIERRE, S.D. – Only a few times since the South Dakota snowmobile program started in the 1970s have excellent snow conditions east of the Missouri River stolen the headlines. This year was one of them.
“It was a phenomenal season for snowmobile trails in eastern South Dakota,” said Ryan Raynor, state Game, Fish and Parks Department snowmobile trails coordinator. “East River snowmobile clubs had their hands full when it came to grooming. Once a trail base was established, it was a matter of keeping up with all the new snow and drifting.”
Trails officially closed March 15 on the eastern trail system, although grooming stopped at the end of February because of spring-like conditions.
The Black Hills trail system had a good year as well, peaking with significant snowfall over Christmas and New Years’ holidays.
The Black Hills trails officially closed Wednesday, March 31, but grooming was halted most of the month because of warm temperatures and poor trail conditions.
The snowmobile trail program is funded entirely by users through registration fees, fuel tax reimbursement, and an excise tax on the sale of snowmobiles in South Dakota.