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Gas stations no longer off limits

Board Oks snowmobilers access to Landing, Sentry gas station

December 15, 2010 | 08:29 AM
Walworth — Walworth County is a playground every winter for snowmobile enthusiasts who enjoy the scenic trails that are unique to southeastern Wisconsin.

After the snow begins to fall, locals and Illinois residents alike begin hitting the paths, but there is one issue that makes the winter recreational activity a little more challenging.

Finding places to refuel, change oil and purchase maps are becoming fewer and further between. A couple years ago, the village prohibited access to two gas stations, which further complicated the problem.

"The other options are the Delavan Inlet or Sharon, if you know that," said Troy Hummel, a Walworth Snowmobile Club Member. "The problem is a lot of times it isn't marked on the trails."

Hummel, who also is a Walworth Elementary School teacher, asked the Village Board on Monday night to open a trail that would allow access to the Walworth Landing and Sentry gas station. He said allowing access to these spots would be good for local commerce.

"Walworth County is a very heavily used snowmobile county because a lot of the Illinois groups come up and use the Walworth County trails," Hummel said.

The Village Board approved Hummel's request.

The new trail runs northeast on the outskirts of the village. To access the gas stations, snowmobilers divert from the regular route at the intersection of School Road and the railroad tracks.

The path will run adjacent to the railroad tracks and intersect with Highway B just west of Castle Terrace Avenue. From Highway B, the snowmobilers will head directly to the gas stations.

"By law they have to go with the flow of traffic," Hummel said.

The village has an ordinance that snowmobiles can't exceed 10 mph within the village limits.

This path wasn't Hummel's first proposal.

Last month, he originally suggested having the trail divert to the village at School Road, but run west along Devil's Lane to Ridge Road.

However, concerns were raised about that idea.

"There was some concerns by the local property owners, especially at Golden Years and some others," Trustee Patrick Hubertz said. "Being on the sidewalk and not being on the sidewalk and things of that nature."

Emergency Service Director and Police Chief Chris Severt said Golden Years and Sentry each expressed concerns about snowmobiles operating near Ridge Road.

Severt said many Golden Year's residents, even during the dead of winter, walk to Sentry.

Snowmobile trail maps are printed every two years, according to Hummel.

"I don't know if a lot of people will use this trail this year because it is not on the map," Hummel said.

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Walworth County