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Fat tire bicycles cannot use every winter trail

Fat Tire Bikes @ Badger State Winter Games, Wausau WI  Photo: Dave Kallaway Photography
Fat Tire Bikes @ Badger State Winter Games, Wausau WI Photo: Dave Kallaway Photography

RHINELANDER, Wis. (WXPR) -- Fatter ­tired bikes are popping up on winter recreational trails and a DNR spokesperson says to keep in mind legalities and safety.

The bikes have ultra wide tires for traction. Bridget Brown, state trails coordinator for the DNR says this has led to concern over potential collisions between snowmobilers and the slower bikes. Brown says on the bikes are legal on state­-owned linear trails, but can't operate on snowmobile trails not owned by the state. "Whether by a county decision or more local decision, public trails are closed to bikes when they're open to snowmobiles. In other situations on our snowmobile trail system here in Wisconsin are on private lands and the agreements snowmobilers have for their system on private lands is exclusive to snowmobiles."

She recommends where bikes can ride on snowmobile trails, everyone know the rules and bikers wear brightly colored clothing. Winter bicycling is allowed on DNR state trails that allow bicycling at other times of the year unless that trail is also currently open to and groomed for cross country skiing.

Brown suggests checking related blogs and the like to see what trails are open for bikes.