Snowmobiling is great in Michigan, whether it’s in the expansive Upper Peninsula (U.P.) or the several regions in the Lower Peninsula that also receive bountiful lake-effect snows.
The Michigan Snowmobile Association (MSA) was formed in the early 1980s, when three predecessor organizations merged. Several of the MSA’s most noteworthy initiatives include the “adopt a trail” program matching downstate riders with upstate clubs for trail work; a program to acquire permanent trail easements; and promotion of a statewide trail conditions hotline. MSA also advocates zero tolerance of alcohol for trail
Keweenaw Peninsula: This finger of land atop the Upper Peninsula is a snowmobiler’s paradise that receives unbelievable amounts of snow, making for a long season. Scenery is outstanding, with craggy rock formations, Lake Superior vistas and the amazing double deck bridge connecting Houghton and Hancock — the world’s largest snowmobile bridge.
Lake Gogebic: The western end of the U.P. bills itself as “Big Snow Country” and that’s no exaggeration, since it receives plenty of lake-effect snow. The area around Lake Gogebic boasts a wonderful network of trails, with connections into northern Wisconsin. In the Porcupine Mountains, don’t miss the trail that climbs up to Lake of the Clouds, which features one of the Midwest’s finest scenic views.
Drummond Island: Riding is good throughout the eastern U.P., but the real highlight is taking the short ferry ride across the De Tour Passage and touring this remarkable island. Once mid-season comes, there are two “ice bridge” trails to take intrepid riders to Canada’s nearby Saint Joseph Island and the north coast of Lake Huron.
Other Michigan Snowmobiling Destinations: Munising/Manistique; Newberry/Paradise; Gaylord/Grayling; Cadillac/Manistee; Traverse City/Kalkaska; Iron Mountain/Iron River; Marquette/Big Bay
Michigan Snowmobile Association
Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources Snowmobile Trail Maps