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MI-TRALE invites you to participate in the fourth annual State Park Off-Road Trek (S.P.O.R.T.) Ride

Saturday, June 13, 2015 Twin Lakes State Park, Twin Lakes Michigan

The ride – offered by MI-TRALE and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will depart at 10 a.m. from the day-use parking area at Twin Lakes State Park. For more information about this park, including a detailed map, visit

The S.P.O.R.T. Ride will bring riders down the Bill Nicholls Trail, connecting to the proposed new multiuse route between Ontonagon and Rockland (known as the OR Route). The route will pass by old mining sites in Greenland and Rockland and provide spectacular views of Ontonagon County. As the ride reaches its destination, riders will have views of the Ontonagon River, passing through the village of Ontonagon and arriving at Ontonagon Township Park, which is the only ORV access point on the western shores of Lake Superior.

Before the ride, attendees can enjoy a social hour at 9 a.m. with coffee and snacks at Twin Lakes State Park’s enclosed picnic shelter. Post-ride activities also will be held at the township park. At the conclusion of the main S.P.O.R.T. Ride, event sponsors will provide information on additional ride options, both guided and self-guided. Twin Lakes State Park is located less than 35 miles from Baraga State Park, so riders can easily travel the connector route between the two parks before or after the S.P.O.R.T. Ride. Maps of the route between Baraga State Park and Twin Lakes will be available at various locations.

Event registration is recommended. Please call Rich Pirhonen at 906-288-3321 or Kelly Somero at 906-353-6558 to register.

The S.P.O.R.T. Ride is a partnership event between MI-TRALE and the DNR. Other sponsors this year include the village of Ontonagon, Ontonagon Township, Ontonagon Township Park, the Ontonagon County Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Forest Service.

There is no charge to participate in the ride, but a Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry to Twin Lakes and Baraga state parks. It’s to be a GREAT DAY!! Please come join us!!

2015 SPORT Flyer Large 3


Polaris Industries has approved a $10,000 T.R.A.I.L.S grant to MI-TRALE
Don Helsel, the president of MI-TRALE stated that “These funds will be used to purchase much needed equipment to ensure that our ORV trails located in 5 western UP counties will be maintained in the safest condition possible.” Helsel further stated that “Without the strong support of the MI-TRALE board, our members, and our supporters this grant would not have been possible.”
“Being able to purchase this equipment will allow us to be much more efficient with our trail projects, and precious volunteer hours” stated Linda Schulz MI-TRALE secretary and wife of Trails Manager Mike Schulz. “Having everything you need on the jobsite and not needing to return because you didn’t have the right equipment for the job is priceless when your covering 5 counties and hundreds of miles of trails” “We are truly grateful for this wonderful grant from Polaris”
It feels great that Polaris Industries recognizes the work that MI-TRALE has accomplished along with the partnerships that have been created the last few years, and is able to support us with this grant so that we can continue to maintain and grow our trail system.

MI-TRALE extends our “Thank You” to Polaris Industries for their continued and generous support of our trail system.


This would be great for trail riding… Please share.

Back Country Horsemen of America
Big news and we need your help!!!

Last week, Representatives Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Tim Walz (D-MN) introduced into Congress our much-anticipated “trails bil…l,” the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act. The bill is essentially the same as the trails bill they introduced in June 2014 (H.R. 4886), but now has a new number: H.R. 845.

It was reintroduced at the request of BCHA, The Wilderness Society and the American Horse Council.

The bill, if enacted into law, would direct the U.S. Forest Service to:
– Develop a volunteer strategy specific to trail maintenance;
– Study the feasibility of including fire crews and outfitters & guides in the efforts to address the agency’s trail maintenance backlog; and
– Fix a problem regarding volunteer liability and workers compensation should a volunteer be injured while performing trail maintenance.

We believe the bill would remove some existing bureaucratic barriers that prevent volunteers and partners from conducting trail maintenance on some national forests. Importantly, the work of BCHA-TWS-AHC on this issue over the past few years has done much to raise awareness and prompt a search for solutions to the growing trail maintenance backlog on our national forests. Congress has again weighed in with this bill to address volunteer-oriented solutions.

Please monitor BCHA’s website this week for more information about the bill and our request that you write your members of Congress to ask that they sign-on as co-sponsors of this important bill.


We’ve done it!! On SALE NOW! Our Multi-Use Trails Guide is on the shelves at the Ironwood MI Walmart!! Tell your friends! Yippee! Yay for MI-TRALE and all our sponsors! What a great guide! HUGE Thank you to all who put this guide together! Walmart…..who knew we’d get this far!!



We were busy last week! Here’s what’s going on!

1. MI-TRALE officially submitted paper work request to have the Ontonagon to Rockland (OR) Route designated by the DNR. Due to unknown costs to install decking on the 3 bridges, the request goes from where the route connects to the Pioneer in Rockland to Ontonagon near the old depot. We will submit the remaining section once we can pull together some costs for the decking.

2. Submitted to the DNR a request to have MI-TRALE be the grant sponsor for the OR Route

3. Received confirmation that MI-TRALE is now registered with Walmart and will be able to sell our Multi-Use Trails Guides to them. Starting with the Ironwood and Houghton stores.

4. Met with the Ontonagon County Planning Commission and presented the Himanka Hill Family Recreation facility in Bruce Crossing concept and timing. We have full support of the commission. Next step is meeting with the County Board. They have been in full support, so this will be more of an update and asking them to participate in a committee being established just to manage the design and implementation of the site.

5. We submitted several ideas to the DNR for 2015 showcase projects to show where ORV monies are being spent. We will have to see if any are selected.

6. We closed out the map agreement with the ONF. We were holding it open in case we were going to do something in 2015. As there will not be a change on the MUVM in 2015, we agreed to close the agreement.

7. Attended the 2015 DNR grant workshop in Baraga. Interesting information and may have provided some additional partnerships with local units of government.

8. Had an informal discussion with Highland Copper about shared events sponsorship and land use for ORVs. Let’s just say that we found their views very interesting. Those that are not aware: Highland purchased all of the White Pine property along with the Copperwood property and several large tracks in the Keweenaw. Some 30,000 acres.


2 horses

MI-TRALE will join other outdoor enthusiasts across the state Sept. 21-28 in celebrating Michigan Trails Week by sponsoring a Camp-N-Ride on Sept. 20-21 at the Courtney Equestrian Trails located on highway M-38 in Ontonagon County, one mile west of Courtney Lake road.

CAMPING: is available at or near the trail head; MI-TRALE will be on site to set up camp around 11am on Sat. There is room for several rigs there. MI-TRALE will bring firewood, rocks and a grid for cooking and share the fire with anyone who comes along.

If you plan to camp on the Ottawa, there are locations at and near the Trail Head on Forest Road 1980 that would be easy to drive to. You can camp anywhere you wish. Use your own judgment, or contact MI-TRALE and we can offer some suggestions.

If you camp on the Simar Landing strip or on the north side of the highway, on DNR property, you need to contact the DNR for permits.

PARKING: You can use the Simar Landing Strip for “Day Use and Day Parking”, or park at the trail head.

RIDES & SUCH (set at EST): Saturday 1pm – Ride / 5pm(ish) eat [bring your own meat & beverage and a dish to share] / Evening ride anyone? Sunday 11am – Ride / 2pm(ish) Late Lunch / Packing up? Or ride some more?

Contact: Cathy Wainio 906-988-2232 Equestrian Director – MI-TRALE


Come CELEBRATE the Club’s 2014 accomplishments, enjoy dinner and the company of Club Members and Supporters at the  Annual Banquet

WHEN: SAT October 4th – Social Hour 5:-6:pm EDT Dinner 6:pm EDT
WHERE: Twillys, Bruce Crossing MI, located on US45 just south of M28 on the west side
COST: $17.00
MENU: Steak, Potato, Salad, Dessert, Soda, milk & coffee
Vegetarian Option also available
Cash Bar
RSVP: ASAP TO Linda (906) 827-3208 or

After dinner program starts at 7:pm with
Guest Speakers
MI-TRALE’s Year Slideshow
Awards Presentation
Door Prizes

Hope you will join us!


ATV trail riding between Champion and Big Bay, Marquette Co.

June 30, 2014

Contact: Lt. Andrew Turner, 517-284-6022 or Ed Golder, 517-284-5815

DNR reminds ORV riders to ‘TREAD Lightly’ to encourage outdoor ethics

With the increasing use of off-road vehicles as a fun, summer activity in Michigan, conservation officers with the Department of Natural Resources are encouraging riders to observe the “TREAD Lightly” program to promote responsible riding.

“The TREAD Lightly program promotes outdoor ethics for ORV riders,” said Lt. Andrew Turner, who leads the DNR’s recreation safety program. “Conservation officers are out on the trails on public land to enforce the ORV laws, and many of those laws and regulations are in place not only to protect the riders but to protect public land as well.”

The program encourages riders to:

Travel responsibly on roads and trails in permitted areas.

  • Stay on designated trails. Don’t blaze new trails.
  • Travel only in areas open to your type of vehicle.
  • Drive over obstacles to avoid widening trails.
  • Do not cross streams or operate in wetlands.
  • Comply with all signs and respect barriers.
  • Don’t mix riding with alcohol or drugs.

Respect the rights of others, including private property owners and all recreational trail users, campers and others.

  • Slow down around crowds and in camping areas.
  • Never operate on private land without permission.
  • Yield the right-of-way when you meet others on the trails.
  • Steer clear of wild animals and avoid disturbing livestock.
  • Minimize noise and avoid creating dust.

Educate yourself by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies and knowing how to use and operate your equipment safely.

  • Get maps that show the area where you plan to ride.
  • Learn about the regulations governing ORVs in the area.
  • Make sure your ORV is properly licensed if operating anywhere off private land. A Michigan ORV license costs $26.25. If riding on state-designated trails, a $10 trails permit also is required.

Avoid sensitive areas such as meadows, lakeshores, wetlands and streams.

  • Stay on designated trails and routes.
  • Avoid sensitive habitats.
  • Stay out of designated wilderness areas.

Do your part to leave the area better than you found it – properly dispose of waste, minimize the use of fire, avoid the spread of invasive species and restore degraded areas.

  • Practice minimum-impact camping.
  • Equip your vehicle with a spark arrestor.
  • Before and after you ride, wash your vehicle to reduce the spread of invasive species.

“If all riders could make an effort to follow the TREAD Lightly program, we would have fewer violations and less damage to Michigan’s natural resources,” Turner said. “That means more dollars could be invested in growing the trail system rather than repairing damaged areas.”


Pioneer Trail Repairs

Notice: Active trail construction is taking place on the Pioneer Trail located between the Bergland Trail Head and FR400. Signs have been installed at both ends of the construction zone. Heavy equipment is on the TRAIL.  Please take extra caution when using this section of trail.

This action is necessary to remediate several deep water holes and washout areas.