A Thomas College student has developed a comprehensive map system that snowmobile riders can use for free to explore trails throughout the state of Maine.
Jake Warn, 21, is a Winslow native and the brains behind SledTRX.com, which features convenient map filters to find food, gas, and lodging establishments along 10,000 miles of trails to help riders plan the ideal snowmobiling trip.
Warn enrolled in a free Tortoise Labs course, available through the college’s Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation, using what he learned to start the business.
“The main value comes from the fact that Maine snowmobile information was hard to find before this. Being able to access this free of charge, digitally, was a huge step for the Maine snowmobile community,” the college junior shared with Morning Sentinel.
Warn expressed his passion for snowmobiling and that he often rides in the Eustis and Rangeley areas. As an enthusiast, he knew that the $600 million industry still relied on paper maps and clubs to plan for trips.
He wanted his business to solve the problem of identifying trails so it can attract riders and drive further economic growth. It can also bring more attention to the 280 volunteer-based clubs in Maine that maintain these trails.
“Clubs are why we have the trails each year. A lot of them are volunteers and struggle financially, so part of SledTRX is to have these clubs’ trails digitized and to promote memberships. We want to encourage Maine riders to buy memberships to their local clubs,” said Warn.
Maine Snowmobilers Association Representative and Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club Vice President Johnny Wakefield noted the great value that SledTRX.com is bound to introduce to the snowmobiling community.
“It’s another way to bring networking to snowmobiling. Anything we can do, like that stuff, to get people more familiar with where they’re riding is a win,” Wakefield shared.
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