Clearing the Trails: Groups in Clay County Make it Easier to Ride Snowmobiles
Clay County Trailblazers go around the county to clear 180 miles worth of trails
SABIN, Minn. — For most of the year, Troy Kuehl can be found running heavy machines on his farm, bhen winter comes around, he goes up and down Clay County to make sure others can enjoy one of his wintertime passions.
“I’ve snowmobiled pretty much my whole life. Kind of started out snowmobiling with my dad whenever, and about five or six years ago, the club was looking for looking for some people to help out with maintenance of the trails and grooming and stuff, so we thought we’d help out here,” Kuehl said.
There are more than 180 miles worth of snowmobile trails across Clay County.
Whenever the paths become peppered with snowflakes, Kuehl and his fellow Clay County Trailblazers go to work.
“I’m just kind of used to running the machinery and I just enjoy running it and being able to keep the trails nice for everyone to enjoy,” Kuehl said.
Kuehl says he goes about 50 miles a day in his trail groomer, giving more snowmobilers a chance to go out on the trails.
Some snowmobilers say smoother trails are essential to keeping their passion vibrant across the county.
“It really brings awareness to the sport by really having people out there on those groomed trails. It gives the sport visibility and allows people to see that people are out there riding even though not necessarily having the best snow conditions, but by grooming, it allows them to make the trails more accessible,” said Charlie Revering of Fergus Falls.
For Kuehl, smoothing out the trails is his way of sharing his love of snowmobiling with others.
“Without the trails, there wouldn’t really be a network for people to ride. You’d just be riding around in the ditches. With the trails, it helps keep people involved and keep people out snowmobiling,” said Kuehl.
Kuehl says part of the funding to maintain the trails comes from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.