Miles of smiles for snowmobilers

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The mountains around Meeker are perfect for snowmobiling.

During the winter months, all access roads into the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest are closed because of snow accumulation. These roads, miles of trails and thousands of acres of open parks provide almost unlimited opportunity to enjoy the sport.

Following is a list of areas that are conducive to snowmobiling in and around Meeker: n Hay Flats: access Hay Flats Trail; south of Meeker. n Bar HL Park: access Bar HL Road; southeast of Meeker or west of Buford-New Castle Road. n Burro Mountain: access by Buford-New Castle Road; south of Buford, east of Buford-New Castle Road. n Wilson Park: access by Sleepy Cat Trail-East Beaver Loop; northeast of Meeker. n Hiner Springs: access by Buford-New Castle Road; south of Buford. n Upper Dry Creek: access by Four-mile Road/Widow Springs Road; southeast of Meeker. n Big Park: access by Big Ridge Trail; east of Buford and Marvine Creek. n Snell Park: access by Pagoda Lake Trail; west of Ripple Creek Pass. n Long Park-Sand Peak: access by Pagoda Lake Trail; west of Ripple Creek Pass. n Lost Park-Little Lost Park: access by Moeller Creek Road; northeast of Buford. n Sleepy Cat Area: access by Sleepy Cat Trail-East Beaver Loop; northeast of Meeker. n East Beaver Creek: access by Sleepy Cat Trail-East Beaver Loop; northeast of Meeker. n Triangle Park: access by Buford-New Castle Road, south of Buford. The following trails are maintained by the White River Snowmobile Club: n Flag Creek Road (Forest Rd. 211): south of Meeker. Miller Creek Road (Forest Rd. 215): southeast of Meeker. Buford/New Castle Road (Forest Rd. 245): between Buford and New Castle. Sleepy Cat Trail (Forest Rd. 250 and 231): northeast of Meeker.Ripple Creek Pass (County/Forest Rd. 8): east of Buford and Lost Creek Ranger Station. For trail maps or more information call the Blanco Ranger District in Meeker at 970-878-4039.

The only part of the district closed to snowmobile use is the Flat Tops Wilderness. Usually, good snowmobiling begins in late November and lasts until mid-April.

J.H. Sheridan loves riding a snowmobile and thinks everyone should at least try it.

"There is nothing like it," he said.

Sheridan sees the importance of being connected to a formal group and encourages riders to become members. He is a member of the White River Snow Machine Club based in Meeker.

"Our club belongs to the Colorado Snowmobile Association," he said.

The CSA comprises 16 clubs in the state. Sheridan said being organized keeps the members abreast of new laws and regulations, new safety features and links members with other groups.

CSA has nine districts in the state. The White River club is in district two, whose chairman is Ron Spencer of Craig.

"We have good communication with the Craig group, which is a very active group," Sheridan said.

He said the White River group has about 40 members and is always looking for more members. "The more people the better," he said.

The club has a grooming machine and keeps the trails in and around Meeker in shape during the winter months.

Sheridan said the club welcomes snow machine enthusiasts to come to Meeker and experience what they have to offer.

"We have a great group and have lots of fun," he said. n

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