Unseasonably warm temperatures and rain have eroded snowmobile and cross-country ski trails in many parts of Minnesota, and this probably will be the last week that state snowmobile trails are groomed, officials said Thursday.
The DNR warned that snowmobile trails have deteriorated rapidly and riding conditions may not be safe in many parts of Minnesota.
Local snowmobile clubs have put up "Trail Closed’’ signs on many grant-in-aid trails. The best trail conditions remain in northern Minnesota. But even there temperatures have hit 50 degrees this week and trail conditions are questionable.
Trail maintenance in Voyageurs National Park near International Falls has ended for the season and all trail markers are being removed. Park officials say ice conditions are rapidly deteriorating and snowmobile travel is no longer recommended.
There’s still a good amount of snow along the North Shore State Trail, which runs from Duluth to Grand Marais. But conditions on the trail were rated "poor’’ on Thursday, as they were on many other northern trails. Both snowmobile and cross-country ski trails at Gooseberry State Park are closed, as they are at other locations. Trails in northwestern Minnesota also generally are in poor condition.
Snow depth and trail conditions are available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/snow_depth/index.htm.