Snowmobile Access Could Be On The Ballot In Michigan

Romney or Obama? Who cares – there could be much larger issues on the ballot in November.

Residents in the scenic city of Whitehall, Michigan, may get a chance to vote themselves snowmobile access for the coming winter, based on a local petition that has the support of the White Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce.

Whitehall (population: 2,706) is located in northern Muskegon County five miles inland of Lake Michigan. It’s a touristy area, particularly in the summer thanks to its big marina on White Lake, but at this point residents can’t snowmobile in  town, and visitors can’t come into town to eat, fuel up their sleds or otherwise leave money behind.

That could change.

According to a story posted yesterday (Monday, August 27) on, the Whitehall City Council will consider a measure tonight that would ask voters in November to decide whether snowmobiles are allowed to be driven in some parts of the city.

According to the article on, the proposal doesn’t specify exactly where snowmobiles would have access; for instance, whether sleds would be allows on snow-covered roads or to use the city’s bike path. Those decisions would come after the larger question is answered: Should a running snowmobile be allowed in the city.

Supporters note that residents have to trailer out of town to ride the great Muskegon County trails, and Chamber of Commerce officials mention the possibility of snowmobiling visitors coming into the city with their dollars each winter. But the city clerk is quoted in the story as saying snowmobile access has been voted down three times before in the city due to noise and nuisance concerns.

Our take? Give sledders a chance! We’ll be watching the website to see how this one turns out.

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