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U.P. Snowmobile Trails To Remain Open, Sponsors Found

By Nick Longworth

Groomers maintaining trails are a common site throughout Michigan’s trail systems. Click to enlarge.

In the December issue of Snow Goer arriving for subscribers now we reported in the Engagement section about the possibility of select trails in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula facing the possibility of closure if a sponsor could not be found. We’re now pleased to report there’s no need to worry, and the approximately 60 miles of trails in question throughout Marquette County will remain open for enthusiasts this season.

A new club named Trenary Northern Trails, or TNT, was formed to manage Trail 8 between Gwinn and Chatham. The club will be responsible for 35 miles of trails, and is pursuing a trail development proposal to add another 10 miles. 

UP Central Trails will manage Trail 8 between Marquette and Gwinn, and Trails 32 and 33 south of Gwinn. As an existing club/grant sponsor that agreed to take on an additional 35 miles of trail, the club has done an excellent job signing and preparing the additional miles of trail. The club has also completed several additional maintenance that intend to make the trails safer, easier to groom and more sustainable year-round. 

A final sponsor, Alger SORVA, will assume responsibility for an additional 18 miles of trail that used to be managed by UP Central Trails – The “trail-swapping” was done to make each of the club’s grooming efforts more efficient. 

“We are grateful to have (the clubs) step up and assume grant management, grooming and maintenance responsibilities for these trails,” said Ron Yesney Michigan DNR Upper Peninsula Trails Coordinator. “We believe the upcoming snowmobile season will be a success.  We do have some new people involved, so there might be a few hiccups, but overall we are very happy to have the right folks step up.” 

In Michigan clubs and other non-profit organizations – called sponsors –  maintain and groom the statewide trail system. Each sponsor is responsible for maintenance projects, equipment repairs, securing landowner permissions, trail brushing and signing for a given number of trail segments within their area. Sponsorship efforts are pivotal in ensuring that trails remain open.

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