We are blessed to live in a beautiful area, with ample opportunities for many kinds of recreational activities. There are trails for XC skiers and snowshoers, as well as for snowmobiles all over our beautiful area. Lucky us.
The Gunflint Trail offers trail systems specifically for each of these winter sports. The trails are separate for really obvious safety reasons: a fast-moving snowmobile poses a great danger to a slow-moving skier, and vice-versa. The Central Gunflint Ski Trail system, operated on a permit from the US government by Bearskin and Golden Eagle Lodges, rarely has any problems with people who do not comprehend the difference between a ski trail and a snowmobile trail. This area has so many great trails available for both types of users that most folks are happy to use the trails designated for their favorite activity.
When we do have snowmobilers accessing XC ski trails, the Central Gunflint Ski Trail System needs to take trespassing by snowmobilers very seriously. We report these activities to the Cook County Sheriff and the US Forest Service, and we do our utmost to find the people involved. We have to do this, for the safety of our skiers.
We had very blatant destruction of some of our ski trails by snowmobilers today, something that has not happened in quite some time. It was no mistake, and based on skier reports, the snowmobilers were very near to skiers. Hey, you, the lady with the stalling, loud snowmobile and black jacket with pink sleeve stripes — this is no small thing. You and your friends could hurt somebody that way. You also create a lot of additional work for the resort owners and employees, who have to go back and clean up your mess.
Both resorts make an effort to find and report the people who endanger our guests, and this group will be no exception. The incident was reported to the sheriff; skiers can provide descriptions of the group.
We’ve found that most snowmobilers in this area are very responsible about ski trails — they have so many good options of their own, there’s no reason to risk ending up on the Cook County sheriff’s report for making a foolish choice. Trails for each activity are well-marked. If you can read, you can figure out which trail is for you. With the large number of wonderful, well-maintained snowmobile trails up here, there is no good reason to put yourself and your snowmobile in the wrong place this weekend.