While some may cringe at the idea of snow falling at any time, there are others who smile when the flakes begin to appear. Outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy winter recreation look forward to the snow.
Among them are those who enjoy riding through the white stuff on their snowmobiles on groomed trails, and a local group plays a major role in making those trails available.
Called the Minnesota Valley Snow Riders Club, the organization focuses on making sure the trails are cleared from debris and that snowmobilers in the area represent the outdoor activity in a positive manner.
The local club is currently looking for new members, said Jane Magers.
Membership renewals are $20 for the year, and Magers said new members do not have to pay the membership fee in their first year with the club.
“We want to encourage people to become members, so we are offering a free membership for their first year,” she said.
The Minnesota Vall-ey Snow Riders meets monthly during the winter months at 7 p.m. at the VFW Hall in Red-wood Falls.
Meetings are held the first Monday of the month, with the next meeting scheduled for Dec. 2. Anyone who may be interested is encouraged to attend this meeting.
Magers said there are a number of benefits to being a member of a club, adding there are similar clubs in the Belview and Wabasso areas. Some of those benefits include sharing one’s passion with fellow riders, creating new friendships and learning more about the sport through efforts being offered via the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association.
Membership dollars help the association protect the sport by lobbying on behalf of riders and by offering training opportunities for youth and adults.
Magers said there are also opportunities for businesses to be-come sponsors of the club, with information about the business sent to riders throughout Minnesota. A direct link from the association site to the Web site of the business is also provided.
There are more than 22,000 miles of trails throughout Minnesota, and registration fees paid to the state are used to help provide grants to local clubs in order to help them as they groom and create trails for riders.
There are more than 200 miles of groomed trails throughout Red-wood County.
All groomed trails in the area are on land where the landowner has given permission to access that land.
Members go out and clear the trails each year, fix washouts and repair bridges, as well as erect new signs to ensure safe riding.
More may be found at mnsnowmobiler.org or on the local club’s Facebook page.