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County officials announce updates and closings of trail system

Lime Creek Nature Center
Lime Creek Nature Center

MASON CITY – The following are updates announced today by the Cerro Gordo county conservation board for trail closings and availability.

Effective immediately, Lime Creek Conservation Area trails will be closed to all bikes and horses for the remainder of the winter/ski season. Trails will reopen to bikes and horses in the spring of 2016.

Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board would like to inform all LCCA users of trail guidelines during the winter season.

Lime Creek Conservation Area offers nearly 8 miles of groomed trails to accommodate diagonal stride/traditional skiing and skate style skiing when snow conditions permit. An initial base of 6”-8” of snowfall is required to cover all trail irregularities and provide a base for grooming activities. Normal grooming will typically follow any additional snowfall. If a dusting of snowfall is received it is recommended to simply ski over the existing groomed tracks.

Hikers, dog walkers, and other winter trail users are encouraged to use either the Quarry Lake Loop or the Easy Access Trail. The Quarry Lake Loop is located on the west side of the area and is packed to facilitate a hard surfaced snow trail. The Easy Access Trail is located adjacent to the Nature Center and when conditions permit the trail is cleared of snow.

If non-skiers and/or pets are to use any of the “groomed” cross county ski trails they are directed to walk to the far right of the groomed area and to NOT walk in the grooved channels set for the classical or diagonal stride skiers. Skiers with pets are also directed to keep pets from walking/running in groomed area. (All pets must be kept on a 6’ leash)

The ski season is very short in north Iowa and to maintain trail opportunities, it will take the cooperation of all park users. All motorized vehicle traffic is prohibited on all trails (i.e. ATV’s, snowmobiles, etc).

Effective immediately, Lime Creek Conservation Area trails will allow Snow Bikes access to the Quarry Lake Loop and the Wild Turkey Loop during the snow/winter season.

Snow bike users (tires greater than 3.5”) are restricted to the designated trails of Quarry Lake Loop and the Wild Turkey Loop. (CGC-7.2 Recreational Use: All recreational use other than foot traffic is restricted to designated trails on all county conservation board managed areas). Access to LCCA will be allowed from the south along the east/river side of the River Bluffs Trail and the Easy Access Trail during the snow/winter season. Snow bike users must obey all signs and not travel in the groomed tracks set on the River Bluffs Trail section described above.

Wilkinson Pioneer Park Greenbelt and the Shell Rock River Greenbelt extending from 295th Street to county road B30 will officially close for the season effective Monday, November 30, 2015. (If weather conditions change and/or measurable snowfall occurs the roadway may close prior.) Foot traffic will still be permitted and snowmobiling on the designated snowmobile trail will be allowed after there is sufficient snow cover. All other motorized traffic is prohibited.

Effective immediately, the Trolley Trail located between Mason City and Clear Lake along county road B-35 is officially closed for the season. Motorized vehicles are prohibited on the trail throughout the year, including snowmobiles during the winter season.

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