Thanks to Mike Hopfensperger,
FOX VALLEY SNOW RIDERS
North end of Lake Winnebago
By Mike Hopfensperger
This year’s snowmobile season is here and there is a big change for the trail system. We have a new snowmobile club on the north end of Lake Winnebago. Actually, it is the combination of two former clubs, which were Countryside Sno Riders and the Northshore Riders. These two clubs have joined forces this summer and we are now called FOX VALLEY SNOW RIDERS. Our meetings are held at the Countryside Golf Course on the third Tuesday of every month starting at 7:30 P.M. If you are interested in joining our club or have any questions, call Mike Hopfensperger at 920-428-7163.
Here is a little history how this all started. In the early 70’s there were four snowmobile clubs on the north end of Lake Winnebago; Waverly Beach Wonders, Lake Park Riders, Combined Riders of Combined Locks and Countryside Sno Riders of Kaukauna. The first three were smaller clubs and did a few things together like the annual Snow Ball Dance to thank the landowners. We also purchased and operated a groomer together, although each club was responsible for getting landowner permission and trail signing. They had about 25 miles of trail.
Countryside covered a bigger area and took care of about 35 miles of trails.
In the early 80’s, because of urban sprawl and declining membership, Waverly Beach and Lake Park merged and became the Northshore Riders, with about 50 members. A few years later, the Combined Riders joined the club. In the 90’s the club had over 70 members.
As Menasha moved east and Darboy grew, the club lost more of the trail system but the club kept very active in moving and keeping up the trail system to get it to the lake and hook up with Countryside’s trail. At the same time, Countryside was holding its own. Dick Killian was the driving force behind the club at this time. He owned the groomer and did most of the grooming. In 1999 Dick purchased a new groomer and did some grooming for other clubs. Dick passed away in 2003 and the club purchased the groomer from Dick’s family. Countryside had about 25 miles of its own trails and groomed 75 miles of trails for other clubs and had about 40 members.
Last fall someone brought up the idea of our two clubs combining. The more we talked, the better it sounded and this summer the merger took place. Now we have about 35 miles of trail and 92 members. Besides getting landowner permission, signing, maintaining and grooming our trails, we will be grooming some trails for the Greenleaf Riders, Deer Run Club of Brillion and the Wrightstown Snow Rovers. We have hard workers and two good groomers to get the job done. With the demographics of our area, it takes a lot of work to keep the club going and trails maintained. If you are interested in joining our club and helping to keep our trail system open and safe, give me a call.