Updated: February 17, 2021 11:12 PM
Created: February 17, 2021 10:08 PM
For those that have enjoyed snowmobiling in Hayward, the Sno Trails Club can be thanked for the smooth ride. For 51 years they've been grooming trails around local businesses and this year their hard work landed them in the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame.
In 1969 five Hayward area business owners wanted to make their bars and restaurants more accessible to snowmobilers. So they created the Sno Trails Club and groomed paths past their front doors.
"Sno Trails originally started with a bunch of business guys trying to get from where we're standing right now over to the Chippewa Flowage," said groomer Bruce Wick while standing outside of the Trailways Inn.
Now around 36 business and over 250 members participate in Sno Trails. As one of 11 clubs in the Sawyer County ATV Alliance they're in charge of plowing powder between Hayward and the Chippewa Flowage.
"What we do is make sure that the signs are up, the bumps are out of the trail, we don't have any logs, [and] the lakes are marked. I'm the highway commissioner of the snowmobile trail," Wick said.
It takes Sno Trails about 20 hours in the grooming tractor to complete their 150 mile portion of the 600 trail Sawyer County system.
"Our volunteers, they're willing to groom all the time for the love of the sport. They just want to see good trails, and without it our businesses would not be able to thrive," said Sno Trails vice president Darlene Mela.
After 41 years behind the steering wheel Wick, a trail captain, said he's still loving every minute of it.
"Some of the nights are absolutely beautiful. You can see deer, raccoons, and turkeys. It's beautiful," Wick said.
By morning everything is smoothed out for riders to race off into another day of fun.
"All this last weekend we saw lots of families, young kids, just loving it. Just being outside, I mean, it's absolutely beautiful when you're outside here," said Mela.
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