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ATV trail washed out for months due to storms and flooding

Heavy rains and flooding are impacting weekend fun in Missouri– for one popular ATV trail in Lewis County it’s had them out of business for months.

The owners of Smurfwood Trails said they’ve been closed for eight weekends of their season. But, this weekend, they’re hoping to get people riding on these trails once again.

“We’re trying to fix these soft spots, we’ve had two bridges get washed out completely, and we’ve had several of them, the lake has lifted them out of the ground and carried them away,” said Smurfwood Trails Co-Owner Don Grimwood.

Don said the flooding along Durgen’s creek and constant storms have left the trails a mess, with debris and deep mud everywhere.

The one day they managed to open this season, the rain hit again, and when people ride the trails while they’re wet, it can cause problems.

“The trails are fun when they’re slick, but they were so soft they cut two foot ruts, and some areas were just impassable, I had to rope off some spots,” said Don.

Don’s wife and fellow Co-Owner Ruth said when those trails are damaged she has to make another tough call to their customers to let them know they’ll be closed for another weekend.

“They’re all wound up and excited to come, and then my job is to call them and tell them sorry it rained again and we won’t be open,” said Ruth.

Ruth spent Thursday preparing the campgrounds because this weekend is their annual Relay for Life ATV event and they’re hoping the event helps make up for lost time.

“Our season usually runs from May to September, five months, first of May is our big opening and everyone is excited to ride and all during May and Memorial Day weekend we have a big turn out– and everyone’s just excited to come ride but this year it’s been different,” said Ruth.

Don’s filling spots in the trail with wood and metal sheets, as well as re-routing around damaged areas in preparation.

“:With this event coming, we expect a lot of people, so we have to have the trails in pretty good shape to handle hundreds, maybe 300 people,” said Don.

The public is welcome to come sign up for that event this Saturday at 9 a.m., you’ll need to bring your own ATV to participate.

Proceeds from the annual Relay For Life ATV Poker Rider this weekend go to the Lewis County Relay For Life. For more information on the event you can click here.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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