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WCCO Viewers’ Choice For MN’s Best Snowmobiling

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(credit: CBS) Matt Brickman
Matt Brickman is the co-host of WCCO-TV Saturday Morni...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – We’re not quite done with winter just yet, and that means there’s still time to enjoy your favorite winter activities — like snowmobiling.

I asked WCCO-TV viewers where the Best Snowmobiling in Minnesota can be found, and they answered.

It’s in Crow Wing County.

Bill Leonhardt knows the area well. He bought his first sled in 1968.

“The first snowfall…I took it out,” he said, recalling his first ride. “It took about a half hour, and I was hooked and I’ve been on a snowmobile ever since.”

Since then, he’s spent lot of time in Deerwood, with the Sno-Serpents Snowmobile club.

The Sno-Serpents are one of 12 clubs in the county that volunteer their time to keep up more than 1,000 miles of trail.

“We have about 87 miles that we take care of,” Leonhardt said.

Grooming that stretch of trail end-to-end takes about 26 hours. But, they don’t just do it once.

“We try to get out twice a week,” said Mark Johnson. “Once before the weekend and once after to clean everything up.”

What you’re left with are smooth, steady trails. They are so smooth even a snowmobile noobie – like me — can handle them.

Once you get going, it’s clear why this area is so popular with both snowmobilers and mountain bikers. The Cayuna Range is home to great trails, and some of the best views in the state.

“We call it the overlook,” Leonhardt said. “You get up there and you can see for miles and miles.”

It’s almost enough to make those brutal winter mornings worth it.

“Many people don’t realize that there’s more to Minnesota than just the fishing in the summer,” Leonhardt said. “Winter is beautiful too.”

There are about 22,000 miles of snowmobile trails statewide. Almost all of them are maintained by snowmobile club volunteers like the Sno-Serpents.

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