ANF to open snowmobile trails

The Allegheny National Forest has announced that snowmobile trails will open on Wednesday.

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, all trails will open except for Snowmobile Connector Trail #12, the Marienville Bypass, which is closed due to flooding, according to a release from the Forest Service.

“With all the recent snow we’ve received, and forecasted, long-term freezing temperatures we can open the trails on time for snowmobilers to enjoy,” Sherry Tune, forest supervisor, said.

Tune asked that users stay on the trails, use caution because trail conditions vary due to weather and other conditions and remember that “many of the trails are used by multiple groups, so snowmobilers may encounter vehicles, groomers, snowshoers, dog sled teams and skiers at any time.”

Officials also issued a reminder that motorized vehicles are not permitted on the Allegheny Reservoir once it is frozen.

According to the ANF, there are about 365 miles of snowmobile trails in “interconnected loops.”

“Only a limited number of trails will be groomed by the Forest Service and local snowmobile clubs,” the statement indicated.

“Grooming will begin when the ground becomes frozen, temperatures consistently remain at freezing or below and more snow is received.”

ANF staff will update a trail condition report each Monday, Wednesday and Friday which is available by phone as well as on the internet.

Officials also indicated that ATV trails will remain closed “until temperatures and trails are consistently below freezing conditions.”

“Penoke Bike, Marienville and Willow Creek ATV trails will remain closed until Friday, May 25, 2018,” officials explained. “The Allegheny National Forest will evaluate… trail conditions weekly and will send out a media release and post information on the web when ATV trails will open for the winter season.”