Well we took a big hit over the week with temps in the mid 50s Monday and light rain Tuesday and Wednesday. However we are not down and out!!! That being said, get up here NOW! This may be the last weekend to be able to get in and out of town, unless we get 4" to 6" of snow throught the week. The picutre on our Facebook post that is a big bare spot was the worst we came across and then were pleasantly surprised beyound that. That bare spot was on ITS 87 north heading out of town behind the high school, but the uphill section of it leaving town was covered, flat and fast. As you travel the next 2mi to the connector intersection back to ITS 84 Mahoney Hill there were still some random bare spots where the sun beat down on Monday and started to open them up, but all was passable.
The remaining mile or so to Rt 16 was covered and in great shape, and the few bare spots in the jack pine section just before Rt 16 was more covered up than I anticipated. Once crossing Rt 16 the thin coverage over the ledges that was starting to show itself last weekend is now exposed and will stay that way for the remainder of the season at this point.
Once ducking back into the wooded section of softwood the trail condtions change for the better rapidly. No bare spots to speak of and the inside of every corner had plenty of snow and nice transitions.
We crossed the Austin Stream bridge and foound the conditons to only get better all the way to meeting Northern Outdoors turn around. It did not appear that they had been down last night but the coverage looked good, as did the trail conditions with plenty of traffice by 11am chewing it up providing lubrication. When we returned to town, we decided to take the other way back to look at the south end of the system.
So at the intersection off from Town Line Rd loop where ITS 87 takes a right into the woods when traveling south, we continued straight back out to the Town Line Rd and crossed Rt 16. This section back to ITS 84 at Mahoney will was not groomed last night, but was sovered, flat and fast. The lack of grooming did leave a few small ruts to be mindful of, but to give you any ideas we had no issues pulling 95+mph on it, known as Heart of Gold. Once approaching Mahoney Hill rd we did notice the snow coverage thin out about 2mi before the intersection.
The groomer did get all of ITS 84 last night, including down to the dam, but did not get to Iron Gate Rd.
Mahoney Hill rd had one bare spot where the powerline crosses but was ontherwise covered and in great shape. Turning on Pat Cassidy rd is where conditions started to charge back. Again about 5mi from town. Because Pat Cassidy was plowed earlier in the year by the camp ower, there is little to nothing to work with, creating dirt up the middle of the road for half the distanc back to the Frank Savage Rd corner.
Frank Savage Rd was good all the way to the sharp turn half way to Rt 201 that was quite bare and starting to get muddy. it was then intermittent to Rt 201.
Once on the railbed, it is quite honestly a mix of snow, ice, mud and a few random puddles. But it is certainly flat and passable at this point.
We will be back out grooming tonight and aturday evening and will most likely see where the weather goes from there.
If your an amature off trail rider, bnow is the time to go exploring. Off the trail is currently firm enough to keep your skis on top, but soft enough to spin the track and break the front end down through if you want it to.
I am the last one to say its coming to and end unless I believe it, so take my word for it....get up here! Our Jackman office put on 86mi yesterday morning and found fantastic conditions still that far north with no complaints.
Stay right, ride safe. And enjoy what's left of the season.