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Finally got some snow time in on the Pugsley

Posted Dec 19 2009 8:03pm
We've had a very dry winter season so far. Right now we have only about 2" of snow on the ground that fell over a week ago. Despite that, with a warm day (24F or -4C) and no wind I decided to head out on the Pugsley to see what shape the trails were in. This is the snowmobile access trail that is only one mile from my house. It's an abandoned rail line between the Grand Ave neighborhoods and I35. It's my link to hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails.

The Pug on a bridge crossing a creek. I'm not sure of the name of this creek. It's directly behind the Lake Superior Zoo.

The creek, looking downstream towards the Zoo.

Just enough snow to make it feel like winter biking.

Although it looks flat in the picture, it is climb along Knowlton Creek. Across the creek is Spirit Mountain Ski Resort. It's nearly a mile uphill. I'm heading up to that little knob you can see at the top of the picture.

Four inch wide rubber. Gotta love it!

Again, hard to tell, but I'm looking downhill here.

Gaining elevation. You can start to see the surrounding hills and Lake Superior in the distance.

At the top looking east towards the Duluth Harbor. This was taken from Spirit Mountains overflow parking lot.
From here I was hoping to continue on the snowmobile trails that goes around the backside of Spirit Mtn. But there just wasn't enough snow cover. That section of trail is badly rutted from illegal ATV usage. It needs a good 6-12 inches of snowfall and nicely packed by snow sleds before it's any fun to ride. I turned around and bombed back down the way I had come up.

There wasn't enough snow for snowmobiles yet, but as you can see, there are plenty of ATV tracks on this section of trail. ATV use is illegal in Duluth city limits, except on private property. This is not private.

It was a short ride of 11 miles. I got out late and it was getting dark soon. I didn't take the time to mount lights. But it sure wet my appetite for more snowbiking to come. We need a good snow storm or two to get the trails in shape.
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