Took out one of our 2020 Polaris Adventure 600's today that has a 137" x 1.25" ice ripper track and 4" stock carbides to have a look see at how the trails turned out after last weekend's weather and warm up. We did receieve a decent amount of rain, mixed with some sleet and very little snow last Sat into Sun with the groomer having to head back from the Solon Dam at 9pm after only completing our section of ITS 84. Then Mon evening was the first cool off where our groomer was able to go out and do our whole system. Thank god he did! Trails are flat and rock hard and primarily covered in snow.
The first 7-8mi out of town is very thin and dirty in a few places. Current recommendation is to head south on ITS 87 down the railbed to ITS 84 east, Instead of leaving town on ITS 87 which is pretty bad for the first 6 mi. When traveling 2 mi on thin coverage on ITS 84 you will unfortunately come to a 1mi plowed section that was the warmest section we found. After taking a short break at the end of it and cooling the sleds at Mahoney Hill, the coverage just got better and better, as we took the left of ITS 84 Mahoney Hill Rd and crossed by the first 11 wind towers on the Heart of Gold trail.
Once popping out at the Withee Pond intersection where right use to take you through the rest of the Windmills or as before and groomed now to the Iron Gate Rd, we took the left on the T rd leading you to Rt 16 to cross over to Townline Rd. This section to Rt 16 was the only section that did not get groomed Mon night, but will be the first priority tomorrow night along with getting a fresh scratch on the trails.
Townline Rd is still being plowed but there was some snow on the sides to grab to help with cooling for the mile down to the left hand turn that runs you into ITS 87 north. This whole short loop back out to the Townline Rd had great coverage, and was flat and fast. There is another short section to the Dead Water bridge crossing over Austin Stream but the trail quatliy picks back up quick all the way to the short powerline section we are running this year to connect to the Heald Pond rd. Surprisingly this was in good shape but there were to small spots in the middle to be mindful of that had water running underneath of.
The entire Heald Pond road all the way to the Chase Pond rd had great coverage, flat and fast, with some areas on the side for cooling. The Chase Pond rd conditions were much like the Heald Pond Rd conditions until we go to where we meet Northern Outdoors. From there coverage was good but they had not been back down since the weekend storm. This caused what I like to call the roller coaster effect with ski ruts that had frozen solid. The good news is the ruts were not that huge, and after speaking with Jim Yearwood at Northern Outdoors, they are on there way down this evening, and will connect with us again both Fri and Sat nights this weekend!!!! Also there second groomer is up and running this evening headed toward Greenville.
As of todays conditions, picks and scratchers are highly recommended, but between the grooming the next several nights and mid to upper 30 degree temps this weekend softening up the snow we should be in good shape for Fri - Sun.
The conditions are not what they have been the past several years but they are not that bad either. Mother nature is just not cooperating at the moment and the outlook for the remained of the season is not that promising that there is going to be a big turn around. So that being said ....... get on your sled and ride, enjoy it while you can.
With the current firm condtions, please be careful coming into corners. Ride right, ride safe and we will see you on the trails!