Good time to get out the snowmobile

With all of the recent snow, have you been itching to get out the Polaris, kick-start the old Kawasaki or maybe get the Arctic Cat purring again? If you answered yes, but you just haven’t found the time to trailer it all the way up into Wisconsin someplace—now you don’t have to.

Depending on where you live, you can now be on snow in as little as 20 minutes. The Rockford Park District has snowmobile trails as close as Searles, Lockwood and Page parks.

The trails are open anytime 4 or more inches of snow is on the ground. Besides being so close, the other piece of good news is there isn’t any charge to use the trails. However, the Park District does ask riders to register at the District’s Trail Side Center at Lockwood Park before venturing onto the trails. The center is at 5201 Safford Rd., in Rockford, and is open evenings and weekends.

If you need a safety class before you take to the trails this season, the Rockford Park District is offering three free snowmobile safety classes this winter. The first will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 16 with a half-hour break for lunch.

For those unable to attend the class on the 16th, there will be two more opportunities—Saturday, Jan. 6 and Saturday, Jan. 20.

The Department of Conservation requires participants in the classes be at least 12 years old. Only those 12 and older can be certified. Enrollment in the courses is limited, and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. To register for any of the three courses, call the Park District office at 987-8874.

For information regarding current snow conditions in the parks, or for closings, call 987-8809.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the Dec. 13-19, 2006, issue

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