This Friday and Saturday, Jan. 18-19, will be the 25th annual Antique Snowmobile Rendezvous at Trailside Park in Pequot Lakes. At the Rendezvous you'll be able to see all kinds of snowmobiles- whether they're improvised and unrefined, rare antique sleds from days gone by, or pristine machines with engines that still purr down the trails.
The event begins on Friday at noon with a antique sled trail ride down the Paul Bunyan Trail to Timberjack Smokehouse and beyond- newer sleds are welcome too! Later in the evening the riders plan to get together at the Pequot Lakes American Legion.
The Rendezvous show, which is open to the public, is totally free to attend. The show begins at 10 a.m. on Jan. 19 all along the Paul Bunyan Trail in Trailside Park, Pequot Lakes. Awards will be handed out for a variety of categories, including oldest operational sled, best original antique, best costume and more.
At 1 p.m. there will be performance demonstrations by sleds that are from 1966 and older, as well as a trail ride. This is a great opportunity to see snowmobiles of years gone by and observe how the sport has changed and developed over the years. Even those who don't snowmobile find the unique sleds on display to be fun and fascinating. The show wraps up around 4 p.m. For more information on the entire event, visit the Pequot Lakes Brush Pilots website.
As of Jan. 10, reports are that the area has about 20 inches of snow but was affected by a warm up and some unseasonal rain the area received. Because of this, some trails are wearing thin on sunny areas and curves. Some trails are thin but groups are still going to try to groom. Check he Brainerd Lakes Area Snowmobile Trails (BLAST) website for trail conditions across the area.
If you're in the area and ready to head out on the trails, there are plenty of resources to help you get out there. The Ideal Sno Pros is a great place to start, as they groom most of the trails in the immediate Whitefish Chain area. However, there are many more miles of fantastic trails to take advantage of. Despite the cold nights the area has received, always remember that swamps and lakes may still have open water.
BLAST reports recent grooming by the Ideal Sno Pros, the Emily/Outing Snowbirds, and grooming on Jan. 8 of the Paul Bunyan Trail and other trails by the Merrifield Marathons. Trails are thinner the farther south you go, but northern trails are better and word is that the Paul Bunyan Trail is still good.
An interactive trail map is available on the BLAST website, or pick up a paper copy available at many area restaurants and convenience stores. Whether you're looking at antique snowmobiles at the Rendezvous this weekend or hitting the trails yourself, have a great time and be safe!