Sledding enthusiasts have been enjoying the winter conditions, with recent snowfalls and milder temperatures. But the hotspot for those loving the outdoors has been the winter wonderland in the Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, Westman's winter playground!

Gord Weidenhammer is President of the Southwest Snowtrackers Snowmobile Club. He says they've been busy through the holidays with putting up signs, and grooming the trails in the Turtles.

As of this past Thursday, Weidenhammer says they've completed approximately 100 km of trails at the top of he Turtle Mountain Provincial Park trail system. He says they have the trails open to the west side of the Turtle Mountains, but encourages sledders to check out their online map of open trails as the winter moves along.

"Things are pretty good up there," says Weidenhammer. "That last storm seemed to catch the edge of the border and it's probably 15-18 inches of snow level up there so it's pretty good."

He says they've held off on the Prairie trails waiting for more snow. "We may connect into the towns yet," he says. "The Boissevain group has the same thing. There's some bare spots and with maybe one more snow we'll connect to Boissevain and connect to Deloraine."

With more snow up in the Turtle Mountains there have been many visitors to Westman with trailers in tow from all across Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

However, they're hoping for another 6 inches of snow to continue the trail system. With the mild temperatures, they're waiting to see if they will lose some snow before bringing the groomer out to the prairie trails.

"It's a little 'iffy' and we're a little scared that there's not quite the conditions to be safe so we're going to hold off a little bit on that."

"But, I'm confident it will come," he adds. "We seem to be getting a few inches each week so maybe in a couple of weeks we'll let 'er roll!"

For trail conditions, visit the Southwest Snowtrackers website at

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