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NTN open XC ski trails to Skijourers and snow bikers

Thu, Dec  8, 2011 - By Noquemanon Trail Network

With winter fast approaching the Noquemanon Trail Network has been working steadily to have our trails, equipment and staff in place for a great Nordic season.  The NTN has been working on creative ways to encourage people out on the trails to enjoy one of the gems of Marquette County.  This year the NTN will be introducing two new winter disciplines; skijoring and snow biking.  Skijourers and snow bikers will be able to enjoy designated trails at the Forestville Trail system with the purchase of an NTN Membership. We will continue to cater to our Nordic skiers by creating designated snow bike, dog and skijor trails.  Snow bikes will have the opportunity to ride the un-groomed trails of South Marquette and the groomed Noquemanon trails that are dog friendly.  Skijor teams will be permitted on dog-friendly trails as in the past.

As new user groups enter the trail system the NTN would like to set some guidelines for etiquette on the trail. First, what is the definition of a Snow Bike or Fat Bike? A snow bike is specially designed with tires that are 3.8-4.5 inches wide to float on snow or soft sand surfaces.  Rims start at 65 mm wide and tires run on 10 psi or less.  To ride on the NTN trails front and rear tires need to be at a 3.5 width or more, no mountain bikes will be allowed on trails because they will create deep ruts in the groomed surface.

Snow Bikes will be allowed on trails only when the temperatures are cold enough to sustain the groomed trail.  Early in the season, the snow will be soft.  Riders need to be aware of the depth of their tire grooves. If the groove is half inch or more, air pressure should be reduced or consider riding another day.  We recommend bike helmets to be worn by riders and lights during the evening hours.  Please ride courteously so as not to interfere with the movement of other trail user groups.

Skijoring is not new to the trail system but its popularity is growing in our dog-friendly community.  Skijoring is accomplished when one or two dogs pull a cross-country skier.  As you can imagine this involves an increase in speed. With the lines and the dogs come added responsibilities for the dog owners. To make skijouring and skiing with your dog a safe, positive experience for all users of the trail, NTN has established on-trail guidelines.

On-Trail Guidelines

  • Doggy Trail Pass required for all dogs.  $1 per day or $10 for a season pass. Humans must purchase a day pass or seasonal membership pass.
  • Dogs are allowed on designated trails only: Animoosh, Noque (Grand Central Station to CR 510, and Forestville Trailhead to Tourist Park), Waaban, GooKooKoo and Mukwa. These are identified on the trails by a blue dog symbol next to the trail name.
  • Remove feces from public areas and trails. Do your part to remove others if left behind as well.
  • Keep the dogs under control. Be able to stop your dogs within a reasonable distance.
  • Be certain your dogs do not hinder the movement of other skiers. Please discourage your dog from approaching other skiers.  Be sensitive to the fact some people have allergies or are afraid of animals.

As all users prepare for the snowy trails be courteous to other trail users. When approaching another skier from behind, call "Trail" and "On your right (or left)". If being passed, move to one side.  By following these guidelines and trail etiquette, we’ll keep users safe and smiling while enjoying the trails. Thanks!!