Did you ever wonder how those ATV/UTV and snowmobile trails appear each year just in time for riding fun? Club volunteers spend countless hours working with landowners, putting up signs, brushing trails and getting grooming equipment ready. Trails are maintained by clubs across Wisconsin with partial funding provided by the registration fees paid each year for snowmobiles, ATVs and UTVs. Clubs supplement this funding with local fundraisers to meet the total cost of keeping the trails in the great condition riders expect.
All clubs are volunteer groups and are always looking for new members.
You may ask why you should join a club? First, it is a lot of fun interacting with others who share your passion for motorized recreation. You also get to join your voice with the club and state organizations who work hard to keep trails open as anti-motorized groups push to achieve their goals.
Representing the snowmobile sport here in Wisconsin is the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs (AWSC) and on the ATV/UTV side there is the Wisconsin ATV/UTV Association (WATVA). Both work with clubs and members to convince our legislators at the local, state and national levels that snowmobilers and ATV and UTV owners have or should have equal rights under the law and that our recreational endeavors are compatible with other users.
Prospective club members often ask how involved they have to be if they join. The easy answer is that you can be as involved as you want to be. Some club members may brush trails, run grooming equipment, help with fundraisers or hold leadership positions. Others just want to be social members who participate in the fun activities. Clubs fully recognize that folks lead busy lives and can't always be as active as they would want. As mentioned above just the sheer numbers of those involved in club activities is important to our legislators. There is a bit of the old 'squeaky wheel get the grease' saying that applies here.
The Oconto County Snowmobile Alliance consists of 9 clubs including the Oconto Falls Snow Jokers, Bagley & Brazeau Joyriders of Klondike, Chase Sno-Chasers, Gillett Sno & ATV Riders, Lena Snow Drifters, Chute Pond Snowmobile Club, Paul Bunyan Riders of Lakewood and Red Arrow Snowmobile ATV Club of Townsend. The Iron Snowshoe Snowmobile Club of Marinette County also belongs to the Alliance as they have trails coming into the eastern side of Oconto County. These clubs spend nearly 10,000 volunteer hours each year preparing, brushing and grooming the 475 miles of trail in the county.
ATV and UTV Clubs in Oconto County include the Dusty Trails ATV Club in Mountain, Hidden Bear Trail ATV Club in the Lakewood/Riverview/Doty area, Crooked Trail Riders ATV Club in Crooked Lake and the Oconto Area ATV Club in Oconto. Red Arrow in Townsend and Gillett Snow and ATV riders in Gillett are year round clubs that have members who either snowmobile or ATV and UTV and some who enjoy both. These clubs are responsible for about 450 miles of interconnected summer trails and routes. Overall coordination of the county wide trail systems is the responsibility of the Oconto County Parks and Recreation Department.
Both Snowmobile and ATV and UTV trail systems connect to adjoining counties including Marinette, Forest, Langlade and Florence and there is direct access to Michigan trails via the Nicolet State Recreational Trail.
More information about obtaining trail maps, the individual clubs and links to their websites can be found here. Again, we encourage you to join a club and get involved. We are only a 'round trip tank of gas' away from Green Bay and the Fox Valley and less than three hours from the Milwaukee area making Oconto County an ideal 'up-north' riding destination. Even if you don't ride a sled, ATV or UTV but own a business or just want to get involved we welcome your assistance. Check the website for the club nearest you and volunteer to join or help … either financially or with your time.
Thanks for your support and see you on the trail!Continue reading