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Snowmobile trail groomer - all 14,500 pounds of it - stuck on Clark Lake

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Snowmobile trail groomer - all 14,500 pounds of it - stuck on Clark Lake
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

NISSWA — It’s not a pretty sight.

A Tucker Sno-Cat snowmobile groomer Monday broke through the ice on Clark Lake in Nisswa and is stuck — all 14,500 pound of it.


Gary Cook of Lake Shore, who is a member of the Gull Lake Drifters Snowmobile Club, was grooming the snowmobile trail when he groomed a trail for snowmobilers to gain easy access to the lake. When he got down to the lake, he had to stop because there were about seven snowmobilers “goofing off.” Cook thought he could go around them, to turn around and then get back on the trail.

“I’ve been out here before,” Cook said so he thought it would be easy to maneuver. “I knew the snow was soft, but thought I’d get by, but not this time.

“I was 8 feet too close. I made a loop and then boom, it was done.”

It was around 10 a.m. when the groomer, a 2013 model that the snowmobile club just purchased, got stuck. Cook was able to get out of the groomer safely. Cook said they had another groomer come down to try to get it unstuck, but it was unsuccessful.

Turner Towing in Nisswa Tuesday evaluated the site and is working on getting the groomer out. As of Tuesday afternoon, the groomer was still stuck.

Ironically, Cook said John Terwilliger, president of the snowmobile club, drove one of its grooming machines last year and got it stuck after going into a swamp off County Highway 77. Cook said another time they had a machine stuck on Rock Lake in the Pillsbury State Forest.

“I’ve heard that 11-12 grooming machines have gone down in lakes in the state this year,” said Cook.

The Gull Lake Drifters Club featured both of its groomers this past Saturday in the Nisswa Jubilee festivities.

The snowmobile club grooms about 125 miles, which includes trails in Crow Wing and Cass counties including trails in the Pillsbury State Forest, in the Nisswa, Pequot Lakes and the Breezy Point area and the trail known as “Snow Way 1.” The club was incorporated in 1967.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at

Jennifer Stockinger
(218) 855-5851