PIERRE – Snowmobile trails across South Dakota open Saturday, Dec. 15.
Officials in the Black Hills say the majority of trails are in poor condition. The Black Hills have not yet received much for snow accumulation but they are hopeful that it will snow in the next coming weeks.
“It’s important that snowmobilers pick up a 2019 trail map this season,” reminds Black Hills trails manager Shannon Percy. “The trail system incurs a number of re-routes each year and having a current map will help avoid trespassing.”
Snowmobile trail maps can be picked up at various businesses along the trails. Riders can request a copy by calling 605-584-3896 or 605-773-2885.
East River trails will see minimal grooming by opening day. Snowmobilers are encouraged to check local conditions before riding.
Trail condition updates are posted to Twitter accounts dedicated to both the Black Hills and the East River trails (www.twitter.com/SDsnowBHills and www.twitter.com/SDsnowEast). New trail cameras were installed at various locations last year. Current images of trail conditions can be found online at gfp.sd.gov/snowmobiling.
A $20 snowmobile motorcycle trail pass is available for residents who use a motorcycle conversion kit. Those permits can be picked up at the Black Hills Trails office in Lead, 605-584-3896, or at Farm Island Recreation Area in Pierre, 605-773-2885.
The snowmobile season runs until March 31.
South Dakota’s Snowmobile Trails Program is entirely self-sufficient. The program receives no general tax fund dollars. The program relies on snowmobile registration fees, fuel tax reimbursement and a 4 percent initial registration tax on the purchase price of snowmobiles.