Checking in with the Big Stone Lake Sno Riders (Facebook link where you will find all the latest news on trails!) – It has been a great snow year and the trails are definitely being enjoyed! We talked with Lee Sigler and took a trail-grooming ride from Clinton to Graceville with Jay Homrighausen. This is an all-volunteer group dedicated to the trails. Thank you to all!!!
Groomed December 1st – April 1st if there is snow present
There are roughly 125 miles of trail – double wide which equates to about 250 miles of grooming. (30+ hours to get the trail system all groomed with good conditions – weekly! Adverse conditions make it longer)
FY23 Snowmobile Trail Map (PDF LINK)
They try to groom on Thursday & Friday to make sure the trails are in good shape for the weekend traffic. They have attached GPS trackers – check the Razor Tracking LINK to see if the groomers are out today (and where they are & have been!). The GPS tracking is cleared each day at midnight so you’ll only be able to see the current day’s activity.
The trails meet up with other club trails in Chokio, Artichoke, and Odessa. They are also currently working with the Milbank club to get a trail established looping south of Ortonville & Big Stone so they can meet up with them.
The trails travel across fields wherever they can which provides a safe place to snowmobile away from traffic and also without all the hazards that a road ditch present. They do have some ditch trails as well but prefer fields if possible. Photos below were taken between Clinton & Graceville while we were out with Jay.
Big Stone Lake Sno Riders host a Safety Training event every year with 15 – 30 people attending.
Currently, the group has less than 50 members with 12 trained groomers. Sigler sends out a text weekly to those trained and they check back with if/what trails they can help with. At their peak, they have had over 150 members – but that has been quite a few years ago.
Join the club! PDF BSLSR Membership Form
If you are a business that would like to support this group, they do have a form; however, they stressed not to push this option… they know businesses are asked to support so much and they do not want anyone to feel pressured — but we highly encouraged them to include a form for this option so anyone can support if they’d like to! 🙂 — PDF BSLSR Business Membership Form
The Club started in 1968-69 and purchased its first trail drag in the winter of 98-99 and started grooming trails. The club hired Vold Construction to pull it with a Cat tracked tractor. The original trail went from Ortonville to Wheaton and from Graceville to Browns Valley. This is when they became part of the MN GIA (Grant In Aid) trail systems of Minnesota. In 2000 they purchased a John Deere Gilbert tracked tractor and groomer to groom with. In about 2000 or 2001 they started using a Tucker Sno Cat to pull our groomer. In 2002 using a grant, they purchased their first used Tucker.
Today they have a 2003 Tucker, a 2016 Tucker, and they both pull a Sno Plane Grooming drag. They are looking to update our older 2003 Tucker – hopefully before next winter with a newer used one. A new 2023 Tucker Sno Cat costs about $300,000 so they are looking at used.
Sigler notes that there are over 22,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, with over 21,000 miles maintained by local snowmobile club volunteers.
Minnesota has a vast trail network connecting many areas of the state.
Here is a link to the Interactive Trail Map of MN: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/snowmobiling/interactive_map/index.html
See you on the Trail!