The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Straits Area Snowmobile Club have reached a grant agreement for trail grooming over 101 miles of state-managed trails in the southeastern Upper Peninsula.
Recently, the DNR alerted snowmobilers to avoid the area as trails would not be groomed indefinitely while an agreement was being discussed. Since then, the club’s leadership has reorganized, and trails will be groomed as soon as there is enough snow available on the trails.
“We thank past club leadership for their time and considerable effort over many years to keep snowmobile trails in this part of the Upper Peninsula groomed and open for riders,” said Ron Yesney, U.P. trails coordinator with the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division trails section. “New leadership and membership stepped up in the club, which has made this new agreement and trail grooming possible. We thank those club members as well.”
The affected trails are in Mackinac and Chippewa counties, connecting the communities of St. Ignace, Trout Lake and Epoufette.
In addition to registering a snowmobile at the Secretary of State, residents and nonresidents who operate a snowmobile in Michigan are required to purchase a snowmobile trail permit.
The trail permit enables snowmobilers to ride state-managed trails and public roads and public lands (where authorized). It is valid for one year, which begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30 of the following year. State-designated trails are open Dec. 1 through March 31 and grooming occurs when there is enough snow on the ground.
Michigan’s snowmobile program is 100% funded by trail permit and registration dollars, which are directly reinvested into the program for the benefit of snowmobilers. The funds pay for grooming, signage, maintenance, bridge and culvert construction, purchase of new equipment, liability insurance; maintenance of trailhead amenities (signage, bathrooms, plowing of parking lots) and other snowmobile-related expenditures.