Cross country skiing on a wide, smooth, beautifully groomed ski trail is a pure delight. Recently (probably the weekend of October 10-11) a truck illegally drove on a significant portion of the core loopf the Blue Hills Trail and created deep ruts on these soft, damp, and muddy sections that are prone to erosion. We'd like your help catching this person. Please read on.
Photos (below) show some of the damage, as well as the route traveled. It's been an incredibly wet summer here in the Blue Hills. So... imagine driving your truck on really soft ground just after the frost is out, and that's an example of some of the damage. To access this non-motorized trail and create this damage required:
- Driving past an official "No ATV" sign
- Driving through a route used by an active logging operation
- Driving around a Rusk County Forestry gate
- Removing encroaching brush on a rarely traveled logging 'road'
- Driving past a non-motorized sign at the boundary of the trail system
- Driving on a long section of smoothly-mowed, wide trail while creating deep ruts (section 24-3 on map)
- Passing two more non-motorized signs (at map points 4 & 5)
- Driving on 100 meters of a very soft section of trail (trail section 5-9), creating very deep ruts, then turning around
- Then driving 80 meters on a different even softer muddy trail section (trail section 5-6), creating even deeper ruts, and turning around
- Leaving by the same route used to access the trails
Make no mistake. This damage was not the result of a logger accidentally driving off course; or a County Forester out marking trees. This driver was way out of bounds, and clearly knew the actions were illegal. Keep your ear to the ground. Perhaps we can catch the responsible party. Any information should be reported to the Rusk County Sheriff's department: 715-532-2200. Or contact the Blue Hills Trail Association Inc (BHTA) at firstname.lastname@example.org. The BHTA is currently working with the Rusk County Forestry department and the Wisconsin DNR to help repair the damage prior to ski season.
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