By: Rick Halstead, State Park Manager
Saturday evening two snowmobiles entered the Nason Ridge Cross-Country ski area and proceeded to ride over the groomed surface on the entire Upper Nason loop. They apparently entered the trail system from the Butcher Creek area over by the Highway 2 Rest Area. These ski trails are groomed for skiers under permit from the land owner – Longview Timber Company. Longview prohibits the operation of any motorized vehicles on their land, without a permit.
Similar trespass occurred over the MLK holiday in January, when a group of up to 8 snowmobilers rode mid-day over the trail system, leaving the surface difficult and dangerous for skiers to descend. As a result of that the state park, in cooperation with the landowner, posted several very prominent signs clearly stating that snowmobiles are prohibited on this private property. The individuals this weekend went around the posted gate and in the course of their ride ran over one sign and presumably were responsible for tossing another sign over the bank.
We’re sharing this information to further encourage folks, particularly those who live in or visit the Butcher Creek drainage / vicinity of the State Highway Rest Area to help spread the word and a plea for cooperation. Earlier posts to this website on this subject have suggested a positive approach that could be helpful. Though we strive to gain cooperation through education . . . this is an illegal activity on several levels – trespass, illegal operation of a motor vehicle on a non-motorized trail, and arguably vandalism (several hundred dollars of user’s fees are spent each time we groom that trail). If you witness trespass in the future, or have any information about the recent incidents, please call the state park at 630-0038 or the Sheriff’s Office.
This area has been groomed for cross country skiers for over 20 years with very little conflict. We hope we’re not seeing a new trend emerging here!