What a surprise! The Lakes Region is off to one of the best starts in recent years with all the recent snow and frigid conditions. I was out taking my grandchildren for a ride up Gunstock Mountain and along Gilford and Belmont trails this past weekend. What great conditions we had. The trails were all recently groomed with 10 inches of new snow on top of a good base—it was a true “currier and ives” setting winding through the snowcapped trees and evergreens. I even took a ride over to Gilford near the broads of the lake and was amazed to see that the ice had frozen on that section of the lake, which is really early for this time of year. Unfortunately, we’re getting torrential rains today, the day after, but hey that’s New Hampshire. We’re told we can expect 16 degree temperatures again tomorrow, so let’s put it back into winter gear. I’ve been up skiing at Loon Mountain 4 times this year and the conditions likewise are excellent. Loon has approximately 600 high-tech snow towers and upgrades to their snowmaking system that has made the mountain flawless this year.
There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes keeping all the trails maintained, groomed, and bridges rebuilt for snowmobiling. The Belknap Snowmobile Club does an awesome job with 14-16 people volunteering this past year to keep the trails up. The Club reported that $48,000 of repairs and improvements were made to their Tucker 1000 Sno-Cat groomer. Their second machine, a Tucker 2000 Sno-Cat, was refurbished 5 years ago and they purchased a new Mogul Master 8×18 ft. drag for the machine. The Club received a large grant from the Recreational Trails Program from the state of New Hampshire, and from some of the Club’s proceeds from its memberships.
The Belknap Snowmobile Club grooms and maintains approximately 60 miles of trails in Laconia and Gilford, which is separated by Paugus Bay, according to their newsletter. I could see that they were out nightly this past week as the groomers go past my house towards the Labonte farm. Snowmobiling is a very popular recreation sport in the Lakes Region and Northern New Hampshire. The trail corridors extend from the Lakes Region all the way up through the north country and into Canada. With a nice snowy winter like we’ve had so far it certainly adds another outstanding dimension for our 4 seasons of recreation. Another reason why so many of us are so fortunate to call the Lakes Region home.