MARKESAN SNO-DRIFTERS SNOWMOBILE CLUB
Come ride the scenic trails of south central Wisconsin in Green Lake County. The Markesan Sno-Drifters maintain and groom approximately 50 miles of trail, 23 miles of which being Wisconsin State Corridor #9 trail. In addition, they also custom groom approximately 30 miles of adjoining club's trials for a total of 80 miles of scenic riding, with a vast variety of trails ranging from open fields, marshland, meadows and woods although snow conditions vary, when conditions are good their trail system is great.
All year long the Sno-Drifters are planning fundraising events to help with the upkeep of the trail system and their grooming equipment. Currently they own a 2002 Sur-Trac Groomer and drag system, a far cry from the days of a 1971 alpine dragging an old bedspring. The year 2005 marks the club's 36th annual sno-ball, held the first Saturday in February. If weather conditions are good they have a torch light parade before the ball, live band and many raffles. In past years the club has held a brat fry opening fishing weekend in May at Ted's Piggly Wiggly and have held steak frys once a month during the summer at the Lantern's Supper Club. During the city's Augustfest event they offer a burger and brat stand and they have also provided soup and sandwiches during the Chamber's Homespun Holiday event in December.
In the fall, club members decide where the trail will run and ask permission from the landowners to mark the trail on their property. They decide if they need to build bridges, take out fence lines, dig out boulders, or trim trees so the groomer and sled will pass through safely. Then, after the crops and field work is done, they put in signs along where the trail will go. Members have to repair and check over all these signs and posts during the summer to make sure they are in good shape for the trail system. The trails are just like driving on the highway. There are "stop ahead", "curve ahead" and of course, "stop" signs and also informational signs to let you know where you can get gas, food, lodging and repairs. With these trails throughout the state, you can snowmobile from the Illinois border to Lake Superior, snow conditions permitting.
When the snow flies the work is not done. The club needs to decide if there is enough snow on the trail so it doesn't damage the landowner's crops. They also need to open all the trail closed signs on the trail system, let the clubs whose trails connect to theirs know that they are opening their system and let the county officials know that the trail system is open. If you are caught on the snowmobile trail without it being open you can receive a fine. After all of that the club spends a lot of hours packing down and smoothing out the trails so they are nice for everyone to ride on. Depending on the amount of snowfall, it might take close to 20 hours of continual grooming to get their system into shape.
The spring also brings the taking down of all the trail signs and storing and doing any repairs during the summer. All of this is done by volunteers donating their time to make the local trail system enjoyable for all.
The Sno-Drifters are always looking for new members to help with projects throughout the year, and who like the sport of snowmobiling. Besides all the work that goes into keeping the trails in great shape, the Club also gets together for a club ride up north for a weekend, a family Christmas party and, if snow conditions permit they have local rides to area restaurants.
The Sno-Drifters offer 2 membership levels because they realize not everyone is able to attend functions throughout the year and be a fully active member. A non-active (Booster) family membership costs $30.00 for the season. $10.00 will pay your active membership. Both memberships will get you into AWSC (Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs) and you will receive the Wisconsin Snowmobile News magazine keeping you informed of new laws, legislative happenings, and events going on in snowmobiling. If you are interested in finding out more about their club, you can contact Markesan Sno-Drifters, P. O. Box 542, Markesan, WI 53946 or for trail conditions, events, maps, etc. Go to http://www.greenlakecountysnowmobiletrails.com/
The Drifters meet the 1st Monday of each month at Lakeview Inn at 7:30 P.M.
Come and meet new friends who love the sport of snowmobiling as much as you do.