Greetings and welcome!
The sun on Friday opened up a lot of bare spots on the trails that I passed on the way to work. (Hwy C>Parkway south to X near Caldron Falls and High Falls Flowages) There was still good trail base coverage, but it was slushy on top with puddles and dirt spots where it was sunny. The last 500′ of my driveway where it is sunny lost its ice cover and was muddy.
Saturday started out with some promise. Instead of the rain, it was snowing big goose down flakes. Unfortunately about the time we were getting close to 2″ of snow it turned to big rain drops that pounded the snow into submission. It ended up sloppy out with a covering of slush and puddles. We were expecting about 1/4″ of rain, but the storm brought anywhere from 1/2-1″ by current estimates. The warm air and cold snow made a dense fog Saturday night.
Eventually Saturday night cooled down to the mid-20s and firmed up the inch or two of sloppy snow and muddy spots. The driveway was mostly covered again and there was still snow on the road in a couple of spots mid-day Sunday.
Sunday I did my Silver Cliff to Lakewood to Carter run. The trails looked like they still were mostly covered, but were a little slushy. The slop from Saturday was hiding some muddy spots, but you could tell where they were. The vast majority of trails including the NST railroad grade had mostly good coverage.
While it didn’t feel like it with the wind and cloudy day, Sunday actually hit 46 for a high, explaining some of the slushy areas.
It is Monday morning and it is down to 20 degrees. That will again lock things up for a start this morning. We have a cold start to the week ahead with highs not expected to break 40 until Wednesday, with lows in the teens. Things should firm up a little from the colder weather.
As mentioned in Friday’s update, some counties have extended the season past the March 31 deadline to close trails. As Dan pointed out, I mistakenly listed Shawano Co instead of Langlade Co.
Marinette Co has extended to April 8th, though Iron Snowshoe has closed trails south of C on their system.
I haven’t been north in a while so I am not sure what to expect there. What I am seeing right around here is less than ideal conditions, but you can ride. On warm days the trails get pretty slushy and sloppy, and when it gets cold those spots get icy. There will be bare and muddy spots and some puddles. There is also a lot of trail base left between the bad spots.
We have/had an incredible trail base this year. I was looking over my season notes last night in preparation of a wrap up report and counted something like 5 significant rains that soaked into the snow and made a brick of a base, not including last Saturday. Even though it might not be pretty, that 3-5″ block of ice base isn’t gone yet except in sunny spots.
Like I said above, I haven’t been north for a while. I do expect that it is a little better north of Benson Lake Rd and up toward Hwy 8, but they are probably seeing the same signs of spring with slush on warm days and ice when it freezes.
You can get a last chance ride in if you are willing to put up with conditions and pick your spot. For most people the season is over. I might trailer north at some point this week mostly motivated by one more ride and the extremely rare chance to ride open trails in April.
The first weekend in April is also the first weekend of the spring whitewater rafting season on the Peshtigo River. Right now it looks like the river is still pretty frozen up.
The weekend might be more promising for snowmobiling. The GFS is showing a storm for Saturday that could easily add up to 6″+ as shown. I’ll have to keep an eye on that. It wouldn’t surprise me, and it might bring a final ride on Sun April 7th.
Have a good Monday and thank you for visiting!