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Associated Press, Published December 11 2009

Minnesota snowmobiling getting off to a slow start

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Snowmobiling is getting off to a slow start despite this week's snowstorm.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says some snowmobile trails are open but likely not groomed.

Several conditions must be met before public trails can open. The ground must be frozen; there must be about 12 inches of snow; and trails must be cleared, signs installed and gates opened.

In agricultural areas, crops need to be harvested and fields prepared. The harvest is not complete in some areas, which has put trail preparation behind schedule.

When the trails do open, the DNR urges early-season riders to use caution.

Minnesota has more than 22,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails.

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