A SIGN of the times
By Matt Tetreault, Trails Administrator
As the sap stops running and the peepers begin their evening songs, most snowmobilers are thinking about getting their garden started or pulling the cover off the motorcycle. For the priceless club volunteers, this time of year signals the thawing of the ground and hence the removal of the thousands of trail signs spread throughout the woods and fields all across the state. Once the snow is melted away, the signs are the only remaining remnant of the prior snowmobile season. The entire 4,700 mile trail system virtually disappears as the signs are removed a section of trail at a time.
Removing the trail signs might seem like a fairly simple task, but in reality, it is no picnic. Hours upon hours of time and effort are put forth into removing all of the signs. Soil conditions, weather and landowner requests all determine just when and how the signs are able to be removed. The signs and stakes are cumbersome and often times must be transported long distances to the nearest roadway to a waiting truck or sign trailer. Intersection signs often involve 4x4 posts and large aluminum or plywood signs that must be carefully handled and extricated from the woods. Once out of the woods, they must be repaired/replaced, organized and stored away until they are needed again in the fall. With potentially thousands of signs installed and removed within a single club's 50-mile trail system, every club can use all the help they can get.
The moral of the story here is this. If you think you can handle a few hours of helping to pull down signs we encourage you to reach out to your local club and offer some help. Even if you can take a small area, or one section of field near your residence or close to where you ride we encourage you to reach out. Every sign pulled is one less that the weary volunteer has to be concerned about. Every club could use your help so please get out and volunteer!