Lincoln Lakes Area Snowmobile Club maintains trails, provides family-friendly entertainment
“This is a beautiful part of the state and one of the best ways to see the outdoors in winter is by snowmobile,” said Arnie Akkerman, the club’s vice president. “I enjoy getting to places that you usually can’t get to otherwise. Plus, it makes winter shorter.”
“ We’re trying to promote snowmobiling,” Akkerman said. “We’re also hoping to encourage more young people to join our club.”
The club was started to develop trails to connect the Morrison County trail system to the Todd County trails for the many snowmobilers in the area.
“Todd County had a trail up to Hwy 10 and Morrison County had one up to Cty Rd. 1; but there was nothing in between,” said Akkerman, who co-founded the Lincoln Lakes Area Snowmobile Club along with Dave Tufte.
With all of the restaurants in the Motley area, Akkerman said, “It was a no-brainer to have snowmobilers come through this area.”
Initially, their trails mainly followed along area ditches. Throughout the years, however, club members have worked to expand the routes.
Before getting the ‘go ahead’ to develop a trail, the club needs permission from authorities at the county, state and township levels. Trails occasionally go through private property; but only after getting permission from the landowner.
In addition to obtaining the necessary permits, snowmobile clubs must also purchase insurance. “If there’s an accident on one of our trails, we’re covered,” Akkerman went on.
A lot of work goes in to maintaining and grooming snowmobile trails, said club member Al Doree.
“We groom 95 miles and we do it as often as we need to,” Doree went on, adding that the amount of snowfall and snowmobile traffic are determining factors.
The club’s work begins before the season opener. “We go through the trails and clean up brush, etc., before we get snow.”
After that, a ‘groomer tractor machine’ is used each time it snows to ensure the trails are smooth and safe for travel. This can take several hours.
“That’s another reason we need more young people to join snowmobile clubs,” Akkerman said. “They need to see that trails don’t ‘just happen.’ If they want to make sure the trails are kept up, they really need to join a club.”
Being a part of a club is not all work, however.
“I enjoy meeting new people,” said Steve Zahler, the club’s president. “We recently attended the annual Minnesota Snowmobilers Association Rendezvous at Cragun’s Resort,” he went on. “There were about 300 people in attendance and we had a great time.”
Longtime club member Sara Meier agreed. “I have made so many friends over the years,” she said.
Meier also appreciates that the Lincoln Lakes Area Snowmobile Club is family-oriented. “People have this conception that it’s just about going from one bar to the next. Really, it’s about getting outside and enjoying nature. We have a lot of fun, too.”
The Lincoln Lakes Area Snowmobile Club is part of the Morrison County Recreational Trails Association. There are 11 other clubs that are a part of this association; and together they maintain over 400 miles of groomed trails.
“We’re always looking for new members,” said Mick Farber who serves as the club’s treasurer.
Their next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, March 2, at the Hitchin’ Rail in Cushing, beginning at 9 a.m. Depending on the amount of snow, a trail ride may follow.
If you are interested in becoming a member, or would like more information about the Lincoln Lakes Area Snowmobile Club, call Farber at 218- 575-2282; or visit the club’s website at www.llasc.org.