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North Country already into the winter swing

Snowmobile trails in the North Country are opening up, as the weather that came in last week was more white than wet in the northern reaches of the state.

Pittsburg was near the top of the list for the new snow, with groomers packing down enough snow to open riding on over 85 percent of the snowmobile trails there, according to Pam Sullivan, marketing coordinator for New Hampshire Grand.

"Snowmobilers should consider making a trip to the North Country this holiday season to enjoy great conditions for early season riding," Sullivan said.

Last year wasn't a complete washout for snowmobiling, and there were still Nordic trails open, but it was a challenging season for the two activities that depend on natural snow.

This year's off to a better start. The low-pressure system that lingered over the northern sections of the state for several days brightened up the landscape - and the outlook - in the White Mountains and the upper North Country. Businesses from inns to ski areas, with activities from sled dog rides to Nordic ski associations, posted photos on their Facebook pages of the beautiful white stuff outside their doors.

Though on Tuesday in the southern borders of the region precipitation came down more wet than frozen, the drizzling rain was not enough to wipe out the seven-plus inches that fell overnight Sunday and into Monday.

Coos County fared better, with the cooler temperatures farther to the north keeping the moisture to mostly snow.

Up in Coos County, Swift Diamond Riders club is reporting more than a foot of snow on the ground, with SDR's trails opening on Saturday, Dec. 22. The club's warming hut is just south of Coleman State Park on Corridor 5/18. SRD maintains over 100 miles of trails, with direct links to Colebrook, Pittsburg and Errol.

The National Weather Service reported seven inches of snow on the ground In North Conway.

If you do go out riding or cross-country skiing, remember that the season is only beginning, and lakes and ponds might not be frozen thick enough for safe passage. Better always, to proceed along the trails near or on water with caution.

syoungknox@newstote.com

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