All around the Whitefish Chain, you’ll hear snowmobilers rejoice when the snow flies. That’s because there’s a whopping 1,000 miles of maintained trails in Crow Wing County and southern Cass County, where the Whitefish Chain is located.
Local clubs do the work of maintaining and regularly grooming trails so that residents and visitors alike can enjoy everything the area has to offer. Most trails are groomed weekly, winding through the woods, fields, along ditches and across lakes.
If you’re looking to rent sleds, Seaberg Motorsports in Crosslake rents by the day as well as for multiple days. Newer sleds are $275 a day, while older sleds are $175 per day. Renters need to be at least 18 and have a driver’s license.
This year snowfall has been slightly low, but trails are in fair condition and most definitely rideable. While the snow may not be perfect, the trails still have a lot to offer- scenic beauty and plenty of opportunities along the way to stop and warm up with a hot meal or beverage.
“What people like about this area is that we have stops. You never have to ride a long ways before you come to a restaurant, bar, or gas station,” said Mark Kavanaugh, president of the Brainerd Lakes Area Snowmobile Trail Association (BLAST).
Kavanaugh, who is also president of the Minnesota United Snowmobiles Association, says that he enjoys the northern part of Crow Wing County (the same vicinity as the Whitefish Chain) because the trails are wooded and scenic.
Matt Werneke is the president of the Ideal Sno Pros, one of the snowmobile clubs that maintains trails around the Whitefish Chain. He recommends picking up one of two free snowmobiling maps of the area. BLAST and the Ideal Sno Pros both release maps, at least one of which can be found at nearly all area gas stations, resorts and restaurants.
Werneke, who has traveled the trails in the area well, recommends a day trip north. From the northeast end of the Whitefish Chain, he recommended going up the Old Grade Road, a minimum maintenance road that serves as part of the Stewart Lake Trail to snowmobilers in the wintertime.
“That road is really good right now,” Werneke said. He also said that’s easily made into a loop by taking the Aspen Trail back toward Crosslake.
Another great ride, Werneke said, is along the lakes of the Whitefish Chain to hit local restaurants like Moonlight Bay, Manhattans, and the Wharf.
Kavanaugh recommends heading toward the Emily and Outing area, another trip that’s easily made into a loop on area trails. Study your map to find the route that works best for you and your group. The trails await!