Snowfalls this week have topped off an already good base and we go into this weekend with some exceptional conditions for winter sports enthusiasts. Add to that some reasonable temperatures, a welcome break from the ugliness of last week, and this weekend is looking like a good one.
We’ve had good ski conditions for some time. Early snows in December kicked things off earlier than we’re used to and we never got whacked by a bad thaw or unseasonable rains (both of which have been a factor in other areas of the state). We missed some of the huge blizzards and have built up a base with consistent, smaller snowfalls. This week was a good example of that; nothing too big but enough to make a difference.
Ski trails for this weekend should be universally good to very good. The local ski club trails at Northwood Golf Course continue to get good reviews and provide easy access and moderate terrain. They’ve become a go-to trail network for many skiers as have the state trails at McNaughton. County trails were groomed late in the week and should be good to go.
Snowmobling remains a really popular activity and as with skiing, this winter has been a winner already. Area trails are in very good shape. The cold weather of last week may have cut into hours spent on the machines but groomers, working in heated cabs on the big machines, were able to get out consistently and work the trails. The new snow mid-week this week was enough to make a difference and was of a consistency to pack down very well.
The network of snowmobile trails in the north is a magnificent system and this weekend it should be n peak condition.
Ice fishing continues in what is shaping up to be a rather unexceptional year so far. Mid-January typically brings a lull as walleyes slow down and panfish have not yet come on strong. Still there are always reports of decent fishing and this week has been no exception. Crappies remain deep; walleyes the same but both seem to be holding their own in what is shaping up to be a long, hard winter.
And while springtime seems a long way off this week marked a milestone as people received their notices of spring turkey tags. For many, it was a welcome sign that things will change. But for now winter sports reign supreme and the weekend looks to be a fine one for all who like winter sports.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.