Greetings from the Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club
RLSC: PO Box 950 Rangeley, Maine 04970
December 2019 Newsletter
We welcome all of our members, business sponsors and guests to the 2019-2020 snowmobile season. We wish you all the best for the New Year just ahead and a wonderful and safe snowmobile season. The RLSC is very proud to have been chosen as the Maine Snowmobile Club of the Year at the annual meeting of the Maine Snowmobile Association in April 2019. We hold this title until next spring. The RLSC could not have achieved this honor without the hard work of its Officers and Directors, our generous and dedicated business sponsors and to our wonderful members. There are over 200 snowmobile clubs in Maine so being the Club of the Year is a rare feat. Thanks to all.
Current Trail Conditions (as of Friday, December 27, 2019)
This November the Rangeley Region had nearly 20 inches of snow. So it looked like another fantastic early start to the snowmobile season. Fickle Mother Nature had other plans with a couple thaws with rain leading up to Christmas. We were able to get out and pack our primary trails, remove the many down trees and get our signs in place. We opened the trails on December 15th with “spring conditions”. Riding is OK north of Rangeley Lake and rough on the south side and to the east. We have had no snow for a few days but it looks to be a good snowstorm Monday and Tuesday (December 30 and 31). The lakes froze over December 18th and with the thaws and rain are rough ice with no cover. Please, do not ride on any lake or pond in the Rangeley Region. Lake riding is never “safe”. The RLSC does not have any trails on frozen ponds or lakes. We offer 160 miles of great riding on our groomed trails. Look for frequent updates on snow fall and trail conditions as we move into January 2020. We will provide more detailed trail conditions in our website Trail Report when we get snow.
Trail Maps and Snowmobile Registration
Our trail maps for the 2019-2020 season are available. You can find maps for sale at many Rangeley Region businesses and by mail order on line and by mailed requests for maps. Maps are provided for a $5 donation. Mailing is one dollar more.
Trail Changes for the 2019-2020 Season
Our trails at this moment are the same as last season. However, by Mid-January, we expect big changes to ITS 84 heading into the Back country, New Hampshire and Bosebuck Camps.
We will keep you posted on future newsletters. Logging plans change rapidly so please check our web site often. If you do encounter logging operations, please use extra caution. Be sure machine operators see you and wave you through the work area. The majority of our trails pass through commercial woodlands. Without these generous landowners, we would not have the world class riding we offer. Please respect these landowners and their logging operations. Thank you
Officers and Directors for the 2019-2020 Season
Officers and Directors were elected by Club members during the March 2019 Steak and Lobster Dinner. Mike Koob was elected as Club President, Mary Brey, Vice President, Melissa Wakefield, Secretary and Ashley Quimby, Treasurer. Lee Libby was appointed by the Officers to continue as the Trail Master. The RLSC thanks Karen Seaman for her three years as Treasurer. Karen will continue to provide the RLSC with book keeping and payroll services. Directors for the year are Jonny Wakefield, Tiger Sikes, Tyler Philbrick, Kyle Haley, Steve Dudley and Faye Zukowski. Faye will serve as the RLSC Web Master. All Officers and Directors can be contacted through the RLSC web site.
Club News and Events
Snodeo is January 23, 24 and 25 This year’s theme is Rodeo on Snow.
January 23rd Chili Chowder Cook Off and Casino Night
January 24th Welcome to Snodeo and Live Auction
January 25th Races at Airport, Rave X, Snowmobile Parade and Fireworks
All the details are provided on the website.
Please contact, Faye Zukowski, RLSC Web Master, firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, suggestions and questions about the website.
Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club
PO Box 950
Rangeley, ME 04970
We wish everyone a wonderful and safe 2017. I read an article recently on snowmobile safety. I liked the statement made: “May all your snowmobile rides be round trips”. It is not a race out there and there are many others on the same trail you are riding. Please be considerate and operate safely.
Well, we began the season with one of our earliest trail openings in a few years great snow conditions. Mother Nature has thrown us a few curveball thaws and the latest one this week is the worst and certainly unwelcomed. Our grooming crew should be able to get trails loosened up and covered with some granular snow for this MLK Weekend. The lakes-well, they look to be very icy. We hope to get some snow showers to give a little cover on the lakes.
On the bright side, next weekend January 19 to 21, is Snodeo. Our trails should be in good shape and the number of events is fantastic. The events list and the schedules are on the web site. Casino Night, Rave-X, the Friday Welcome Party and auction, Sno-Cross races at the Airport, radar runs and a revamped snowmobile parade down Rangeley’s Main Street are some of these events. It will all be capped off with fireworks on Rangeley Lake Saturday night. We look forward to seeing you.
Here are some events after Snodeo to keep in mind and we hope to see you at any one of these or maybe every one of them. The Cystic Fibrosis Ride will be February18th based out of Bald Mountain Camps on Mooselookmeguntic Lake. The next weekend, February 25th, is the annual Fly-In at Bald Mountain Camps. There is food, beverages and music on the ice during this event. The evening of February 25th will be our February Member Meeting and Roast Beef Dinner. Former Club President, Brian Kelly and his family will prepare this meal. It is not to be missed. March 4th will be the 1st Annual Pig Roast to honor Clark Allen. The time and place will be on the web site. Clark was the Club President for many years. After he stepped down in 2007, he served as Trail Master until his untimely passing in 2015. No one was as devoted to the club and its trail system as Clark. The bridge over the Megalloway River on ITS 84 was built by Clark and is named in his honor. That bridge eliminated the need to cross Parmachenee Lake to get to New Hampshire (back in the good old days when us Maine registered riders could ride in NH without a NH registration). That lake was a perpetual slush pit and it was always a challenge to cross. The completion of Clark’s Crossing Bridge changed all that. This gathering is a wonderful memorial to Clark.
Rounding out the season’s events will be our 1st Groomer’s Ball on March 18th at Bald Mountain Camps. We will cap off the riding season with our final winter membership meeting and Lobster and Steak Dinner on March 25th. More details will be posted.
Other than this week’s thaw, Mother Nature appears to be in a serious Make-up mode after last year’s poor season. We began grooming December 15th this year and our trails were open before Christmas for the first time in a few years. We also got an early freeze-up on the major lakes and we began to see tracks on the lakes by New Year’s Weekend. Remember, no lake is ever SAFE. We have plenty of trails on land and they will get you wherever a lake ride will. If you are not absolutely sure of the ice conditions, ride a groomed and marked trail. The RLSC has no trails on lakes. For the first time in Club history, we have four Pisten Bully groomers operating and the results have been excellent. The trails have been wonderful. With all this equipment, we should be able to recover quickly from any weather event.
It happened!!! We got a reroute for ITS 89 and it is open. The temporary reroute we had to use which followed ITS 84 around the west end of Rangeley Lake was a 25 mile addition to ITS 89 between Rangeley and Eustis/Stratton. The new trail is very close to the old route so it is nearly the same in distance as the old route. Look for signs. We thank the landowners who allowed this trail to be constructed on their properties. It cost a lot in labor and equipment contracts to get it cut, cleared and stumped out. So, if you see a donation box at a local business, any donation to our trails fund will be appreciated. Special thanks again to Julie and Mike Ferguson at Rev-It-Up, for getting the trail flagged, getting owner permissions and doing lots of work on trail building. Thanks also to Club President Mike Koob and Trail Master Lee Libby for their work and donations of equipment and fuel. Much of the work was done at night after all these generous folks finished work. Check out the trail. It came out great.
Since our last newsletter, we had a great Christmas Party at Loon Lodge. There was a great crowd and a super band, Ragged Jack. It was good to see a lot of local people at the party. Loon Lodge did a great job with food and beverages. Thanks to all who did the planning and hosting. Thanks to all of you who attended.
Please take a look at our trail reports on the web site for all up to date information. Out trail system is basically the same as in previous years. As stated earlier, we have reopened ITS 89. We also have an alternate routing of ITS 84 between Oquossoc and Bosebuck. This trail may be opened soon, especially during heavy traffic weekends. It will be marked Alt ITS 84. The trail begins just after you cross the river bridge on Grant’s Camp Road. It rejoins ITS 84 a couple miles south of the Twin Bridges/Camp 14 area. The trail crosses one very busy plowed logging road so please do stop where signs say “Stop”. When open, it will also allow you to make a loop ride out or back when you travel ITS 84 to Bosebuck, New Hampshire, or the back country.
Please be aware that there is some logging and shared use of trails with trucks and logging equipment on various trails. Please be extra cautious in active logging yards. There have been close calls when operators are not aware that you are passing through. These safety issues can lead to a trail closing so please be sure logging workers see you and motion you through their work zone. It only takes a couple minutes to get passed through.
Stay up to date with the web site for upcoming events and trail information.
Let’s make it a wonderful and safe snowmobile season.
Steve Dudley, RLSC Reporter
Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club
PO Box 950
Rangeley, ME 04970
Greetings to all of our members and interested visitors. It is getting close to the riding season. We are allowed to open trails on December 15th. We have snow on the ground. It is forecast to be very cold for the next week and we are watching a snow storm possibility for Monday. If we get 8-10 inches or more, we should be able to begin limited trail openings for the weekend of December 17-18. Check our web site.
HELP US. Riding on private roads and on closed trails is a major problem for the club and its relationships with generous landowners. It has already been an issue this past weekend. Do not ride until we have stated on the web site that the trails are open. We have not had an opportunity to open trails before the Christmas Break for a few years so please Respect Landowner Wishes. Having to close a trail because of snowmobile trespassing will not help start a great season.
All the signs for an early winter and early snowmobile season are evolving. Smaller ponds and lakes have skimmed over with ice. The big lakes are wide open but showing signs that they could freeze up. We have a few inches of snow everywhere and more in some of the higher terrain. There is no sign of any thaws in the near term weather so what we have for snow and ice should be here all winter. All great news. Remember that the early season is the most dangerous for riding on water bodies and for encountering water ditches and wash outs. Stay off the lakes and ponds and ride cautiously on the woods trails.
We have put many labor and machine hours into trail maintenance and we continue to work to complete our projects. The biggest news is that we will likely be opening a reroute of ITS 89 by New Years. A lot of work has been done but more remains. The new route will be close to the old section of ITS 89 that was closed by a landowner in Dallas PLT. If all goes to plan, our total cost of this project will be $13,000. So, if you feel generous, a little extra donation to the RLSC will be greatly appreciated. The owners at Rev-IT-Up, Julie and Mike Ferguson, worked very hard to find several routes and to try to get landowner permissions for at least one of those routes. The process was not easy but finally with their hard work, good fortune and generous landowners, one of the routes was approved for it entire run. Mike Koob, Lee Libby and Mike Ferguson have already put in many hours clearing, brushing, excavating and building bridges to get the trail opened. Today, about a mile remains to be worked on. Stay tuned and be sure to thank each of these people for their donations of time, equipment and materials.
Our club member activities have been great successes. We hope some of you have been able to participate. There were over 100 people at the Turkey Dinner Landowner Appreciation meeting at Bald Mountain Camps. We have nearly 80 reservations for the Christmas Party at Loon Lodge. Snodeo planning is progressing. Also, the membership folks, Mary, Karen and Missy, have done a great job getting memberships out and processed. We have over 350 business and Individual club memberships to date and the season has not even begun (it is close though!).
Stayed up to date with the web site for trail information and especially with ice information. We will update the web site frequently, daily if needed, during the early season. We hope to see many of you over the Holidays.
Steve Dudley, RLSC Reporter
Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club
PO Box 950
Rangeley, ME 04970
Greetings to our members. Greetings to all of you who have an interest in snowmobile trips to the Rangeley Region. As you read this, we all hope that we are beginning to build a snow base and that the lakes are beginning to freeze over. The RLSC is ready for winter.
Our web site will be your best source for up to date snow conditions and for viewing the snow and lake conditions in real time via our several web cams.
We thank the many of you who attended our Turkey landowner appreciation dinner on November 12 at Bald Mountain Camps. It was a big gathering and good food. The event gave many of you a chance to meet and hear from our new officers and Board members. Our next event is the Christmas Party at Loon Lodge. Check the web site for details.
SNODEO planning is fully underway with many events. It occurs January 19-21. Rave-X, snow-cross races, radar runs, Casino Night, Chili-chowder cook-off, fireworks and many other events are planned. Again, check the web site for details.
Several more events are scheduled for this season. These include the Tri-State
Reciprocity Weekend on January 27-29. This event allows riders to snowmobile in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont fi they possess a registration in any one of these states. It is a very busy weekend here in Rangeley. From here, most riders can visit both New Hampshire and eastern Vermont in a single day ride or travel the whole weekend. On February 18th, the Cystic Fibrosis Ride will occur. This event is growing each year and it is a great day to see all the snowmobile riders that participate. On February 25th, the Winter Fly-In occurs on Mooselookmeguntic Lake hosted by the RLSC and Bald Mountain Camps. After this fun event, we offer our Annual Roast beef Dinner at the Undercroft on Main Street in Rangeley. Information for all these events will be posted on the web site.
Please check our web site for trail openings in December. No trails open before December 15th regardless of how much snow we have. Let us hope we have a lot by then. Thanks for reading.
Steve Dudley-Club Reporter