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DNR sees booming snowmobile business in the Northwoods

RHINELANDER, WI (WTAQ) - Snowmobiles are a booming business in Wisconsin's Northwoods.

It's the best known place for visitors to ride, and growing numbers of local residents are joining in.

The DNR said snowmobile registrations have grown by 163 percent over the last dozen years in north central Wisconsin.

Licenses in Vilas County have almost doubled since 2002, to more than 10,000 machines. Neighboring Oneida County has 9,000 snowmobiles registered. Forest County had the smallest increase in the region, at 124 percent.

All told, Wisconsin has almost a quarter-million snowmobiles registered with the DNR. They ride on almost 25,000 miles of groomed trails -- although many in south central Wisconsin are closed due to low snow depths.

Travel Wisconsin.Com says trails in the northern half of the state are about the only ones still in excellent condition. A few counties in the north report good snowmobiling conditions for now.

The season's first major snow melt is due at the end of this week, and highs could hit 40 by Monday.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)