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Snowmobiling season begins in the frigid weather

  • Snowmobilers travel up a trail in Northfield on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Snowmobilers Ernie Rackham and Nicole Sonn, of South Deerfield, head out from Ashfield Lakehouse. Recorder Staff/Joshua Solomon—

  • Snowmobilers travel across railroad tracks en route to a trail in Northfield. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Snowmobilers trekked to Ashfield Lakehouse for the beginning of the season. Recorder Staff/Joshua Solomon—

  • Snowmobilers travel up a trail in Northfield on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Snowmobilers trekked to Ashfield Lakehouse for the beginning of the season. Recorder Staff/Joshua Solomon—



Recorder Staff
Sunday, January 07, 2018

ASHFIELD — With the sun out shining, one after another made their way off the lake and into the Ashfield Lakehouse.

At the watering hole, in they came, ready for a bite to eat. “Hungry or just drinks? Getting out from that cabin fever,” a waitress asked one of her tables. To another, “I’m so glad you sledded by.”

At the Lakehouse Sunday, it wasn’t those taking a reprieve from a day of swimming, but rather group after group taking a break from riding their snowmobiles on freshly opened trails.

With the season just underway after several trails were opened following this week’s snowstorm, the trails, partly overseen by the Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts, were getting their fair share of riders despite another weekend of single digit temperatures.

Riders like Ernie Rackham and Nicole Sonn, members of the Conway Snowmobile Club for about 15 years, had been itching to get out on the trails this season. Temperatures climbing into double digits Sunday made for a relatively pleasant day to ride.

“We like snowmobiling and getting out on the trails,” said Rackham, of South Deerfield. “We’d see as far as we could go.”

“And, it’s not below zero today,” Sonn said.

They had come from South Deerfield, and like many others, had trekked from around the region to come and break bread over at the Lakehouse. A clear path from all the traffic by the snowmobilers could be seen across the lake, reaching back across toward Route 2.

The snowmobile season doesn’t have an official start date for the state, but rather when particular trails are ready to be opened. Some open before they are fully groomed, ready for more experienced riders. A lot of the trails are thanks to public landowners, Sonn noted, thanking them for allowing continued use of their land.

This was one of the first big snowmobiling weekends of the season, but Rackham said as the weather gets slightly warmer — like as temperatures climb all the way up to the 30s this coming week — more people will be traversing the trails. At the peak of the season, the whole beachfront of the Lakehouse is lined with snowmobiles.

Sonn though was impressed by everyone who was out, despite this long-lasting cold that has plagued the region early on this winter.

Despite the cold, Rackham figured it would be a good chance for them to get out of their homes and out to the lake on a beautifully frigid Sunday afternoon.

You can reach Joshua Solomon at:

jsolomon@recorder.com

413-772-0261, ext. 264