MECHANIC FALLS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Warm weather and heavy rain have taken eaten away at the snow on the ground, hurting businesses that rely on snow and sending snowmobilers in search of trails to ride on.
"Well, you know, we started out real good," said Mark Chinnock, a member of the Bog Hooters Snowmobile Club. "We had a couple of good storms and then got some cold weather, and then it warmed up and we got some rain and brought things to a halt."
Chinnock says the club, based in Mechanic Falls, has had the groomer out on the trails a couple times this year, but the riding has not been as good locally as it has been in the mountains and further north.
"Points north, it has been pretty good," he said. "It's been real good."
According to Bob Meyers with the Maine Snowmobile Association, there are some parts of the state where groomers are out trying to revive trails that were ravaged by the storm. He says riders searching for snow should head towards Rangeley, Jackman and the Katahdin region, but says reports from those areas are warning that conditions are more like spring than the middle of winter with bare and icy spots.
"We were just starting to get rolling," stated Ron Ames, co-owner of Ames Sport Shop in Auburn. "People were coming in buying parts, buying oil. There was some riding. Not now."
Ames says the past few years have been tough on his business and other power sports dealers in the area.
"It puts us, financially, in a pretty tight bind," he said. "The hardcore riders are going to ride, but the local riders are obviously not going to ride, and that is our bread and butter."