WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) - The heavy snowfall in Wisconsin this winter has led to a boost in the number of snowmobile registrations.
The Department of Natural Resources says registrations are up in many north-central Wisconsin counties.
A WSAW-TV report says nearly 229,000 riders have registered snowmobiles this year. That's 4,000 more than last year, but still behind the record 235,000 set four years ago.
Many trails opened in December and have stayed open, thanks to steady snowfall and cold temperatures.
Many of Wisconsin's 25,000 trails opened back in December and have stayed open all winter, thanks to the long cold stretches we've seen, including La Crosse area snowmobiles.
The La Crosse County Snowmobilers' Alliance says the long winter has made for a great riding season.
Trails in the northern part of the county are looking the best, as they've seen the most snow recently.
Snowmobilers say the good trail conditions are unusual for late February.
Usually we get that meltdown in January, and we didn't get that this year," Steve Falkenberg, president of the county's Snowmobile Alliance, said.
He added some trails might have ice and drifting across the county. Find out more about trail conditions in our area by calling the La Crosse County snowmobile hotline at 608-782-4500.
DNR spokeswoman Joanne Haas says it's not surprising that Wisconsin is such a popular snowmobiling destination with its 25,000 miles of groomed trails.
Vilas County leads the about 10,600 snowmobile registrations, 300 more than last year. Marathon County has about 8,800 registrations.