CROSS PLAINS (WKOW) -- Most of the snowmobile trails in Dane County are now open and folks have already gotten in a few good days with the sleds.
Sam Landes, the executive director of the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs, said this is the first time they've opened them since the season started in December.
"Once in a while, we get treated to some winter time before holiday season riding," he said. "But generally speaking, we see it start the first 10 days of January."
Now that trail riding is in full swing, snowmobiliers are stomping their way through the doors of businesses like R Bar in Cross Plains. They're ready for warmth, food and good company.
"Once you start seeing those sleds come in, it's just an amazing feeling," said Meghan Meinholz, a server at R Bar.
She's also been an avid snowmobile rider her whole life. She's seen first hand how the season, which starts in December and runs through the end of March, keeps business lively.
"They'll run specials just because there's snowmobiliers out there," she said.
Landes said the season can start off slow when the weather doesn't cooperate, but they try to make the best of it. Last year, Mother Nature came through in a big way in late January. Snowy conditions lasted through February, making a huge difference for riders and local businesses throughout the county.
"That trails were beautiful around here," he said. "Our businesses were packed."
Meinholz said they can feel a bit of a pinch when the trails have to be closed or the conditions aren't conducive, but they make it work.
If the snow cooperates for the rest of winter, they'll keep the lot across the street from the bar full of snowmobiles.
"Here we're actually open on Tuesdays for free soup for snowmobiles," she said. "They come crawling in for that. It's delicious and it's usually homemade."
You can find out more about the trail conditions at the link here.