Eagle River, St. Germain and Three Lakes have been named Snowmobile Friendly Communities (SFC) by the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs, an honor that was awarded last week to just six communities and three counties as part of a statewide program to identify the best of the best in snowmobiling.

In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, program judges identified which communities and snowmobile clubs were “best” at welcoming, preserving and providing snowmobile access, support and services for snowmobilers.

The all-new SFC designations were announced late last month at the 50th annual convention of the statewide snowmobile organization in Green Bay, where more than 700 conferees represented all 72 counties.

Each of the nominees seeking the designation for their community and snowmobile club were required to submit a detailed, 21-page application describing how they and their clubs advocate for safe and responsible snowmobiling in their areas.

In Eagle River it is the Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club that grooms about 85 miles of trails including 65 miles of state-funded trails. In St. Germain, it is the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club that maintains more than 100 miles of trails. Both are located in Vilas County.

Three Lakes-Brule River Trails is the volunteer organization responsible for the maintenance and grooming of 186 miles of snowmobile trails that stretch from Three Lakes to the Michigan border in the Alvin area, through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

All three of the Snowmobile Friendly Communities get a huge boost from volunteers, local chambers of commerce, tavern leagues and area business owners who donate time and money, coordinate fundraisers and generally roll out the welcome mat to snowmobilers. The Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club has a membership of more than 1,000, the highest in the state.

We tip our caps to the communities that have been recognized as the best of the best for their snowmobile trail networks and related services. They represent the North Woods well though similar trails and services are available throughout Vilas, Oneida and Forest counties.

Kraft Hockeyville turnout was totally impressive

The turnout at voting parties and the Eagle River Sports Arena last weekend in an attempt to win the title of Kraft Hockeyville USA 2019 was nothing short of incredible, overwhelming and totally impressive. Wow!

The Eagle River Recreation Association didn’t win the title or the $150,000 that went with it, but so much good came of the effort. It united a community that reached far beyond Eagle River, raised $40,000 for the “Save The Dome” capital campaign and put Eagle River hockey on the national map.

Eagle River, home to the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame and the Labatt Blue/USA Hockey National Pond Hockey Championships, needs to quickly raise $1.5 million to upgrade its ice-making system. That continues to be the community’s major focus.

Behind the editorial ‘we’

       Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Michelle Drew.