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 What ORV Trails are Open in the Western UP 

If you are having wintertime blues and having to cancel your snowmobile adventure to the UP – DON’T You can No-Mobile and enjoy the Lakefront and Porkies , you can hike the trails and shop the towns and enjoy a dinner at your favorite stop. OR you can ORV/ATV !

MI-TRALE is issuing this notice to help explain which ORV trails are open and usable due to our limited snow fall so far this year. There are several notes of caution that should be followed. 

  1. All MDOT Right of Ways (ROW) remain closed due to MDOT rules. This impacts several routes. (see closed section below) 
  2. Snowmobile trails (trail identified by numbers only) are NOT open to ORV even though the restrictive gates may be open. This rule must be followed to ensure that conflicts are minimized. 
  3. If a trail is still being groomed by the snowmobile sponsors, respect that trail and stay off. 
  4. Be aware of icy sections, especially on morning or evening rides. 
  5. Ride with lights and stay right. 
  6. The trails may be soft, so we ask that you ride in a manner to minimize trail damage. 

The above notes of caution cannot be emphasized enough. We all must work together to keep our trails open and safe. 

IF YOU DON’T KNOW DON’T GO !

What is open: 

  1. All County roads that are normally open in the summer. 
  2. All DNR Designated Multi-Use trails (BN, OR, OC, P, SB, LL, SL). 
  3. All MI-TRALE sponsored Multi-Use trails (ES, PF, NR, CR, CL, CE, CW, VC, F, G, PI, CCE, CCW). 
  4. The Ottawa National Forest roads and trails are open to 65” or less OHV/UTV by following the Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) rules and laws. Also Tread Lightly you can be fined for excessive trail damage. 

What is CLOSED

  1. Snowmobile only trails 
  2. Highway rights-of-way (ROW) are closed until May 1 this is where the trail runs on the side of M & US Highways allowing a trail to connect. 

MI-TRALE has several ROW’s listed below that will limit connectivity. 

LL Route in the town of Watersmeet by the Casino on US45, you cannot go north of the Casino on the LL 

LL Route in the town of Paulding on US45 

ES Route south of Lake Gogebic on US2 

OR & NR Route in the town of Ontonagon on along M64 

P Trail in Bergland along M28. 

  1. Ottawa National Forest trails and roads are being used as a snowmobile trail. 

MI-TRALE encourages you to ride our trails and stop by all of our great sponsors, say thank you and spend some money. These are very difficult times for all of our local services due to the lack of snow this year. Don’t let the winter Blues get to you-enjoy the UP winter in a different way!

Download our free map app “Michigan UP Trails” all the trails above are there including all the Ottawa National Forest roads and trails. https://mi-trale.org/atv-orv/maps/

More info and the MVUM maps can be found on these links https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/ottawa/recreation/ohv/?recid=12303&actid=93

February

Cattail and Frog Bit Removal
Volunteers remove cattails and European frog-bit from shallow water near Alpena, Michigan.European frog-bit was first detected in southeast Michigan in 1996 and has since spread along the coastal areas of lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan and to some inland lakes. Kevin Kapuscinski, associate professor and assistant director of research at Lake Superior State University’s Center for Freshwater Research and Education, has been studying the aquatic invasive plant and its effects on native ecosystems and water quality since 2019. In “What’s the Damage? Ecology and Effects of Invasive European Frog-bit in the St. Marys River” (9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7), he will share what’s been learned about plant reproduction, removal efforts and impacts based on research in the St. Marys River in the Upper Peninsula.

The series will take a break in December, leaving ample time to catch up on episodes you might have missed. Find recordings of all the past NotMISpecies webinars or register for new ones at Michigan.gov/EGLE/Outreach/Not-MI-Species-Webinar-Series.

Michigan’s Invasive Species Program, a collaborative effort of the Michigan departments of Natural Resources; Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; and Agriculture and Rural Development, coordinates and supports invasive species initiatives across the state and provides support through the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program.

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the resident Recreation Passport vehicle fee increases from $13 to $14, while the cost for motorcycles will not change.

The Recreation Passport is valid for 12 months when purchased at time of license plate registration renewal through the Secretary of State. Although some residents have already received their registration renewal notices (reflecting the old fee), the new rate takes effect Jan. 1 for all in-person and online transactions.

There’s a $5 convenience fee (except for Belle Isle Park) when the Recreation Passport is not purchased at the time of license plate registration renewal through the Secretary of State, and is instead purchased at a state park or recreation area.

The nonresident Recreation Passport fee annual pass also will increase slightly, from $39 to $40, but the nonresident daily pass will stay at $11.

The monies generated by the Recreation Passport goes into a restricted fund that supports state park infrastructure and operations, a local grant program for community recreation agencies, state forest campgrounds, nonmotorized pathways and trails, cultural and historic resource restoration, and marketing and promotion.

The moderate fee change is the result of a statutory provision that ensures Recreation Passport funding keeps pace with the economy. Basically, the law says that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources does not determine the cost of the Recreation Passport; instead, adjustments are based on the Detroit Consumer Price Index, as determined by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Fishing on Frenchmans Lake, Mackinac Co.

A real recreation value

DNR Parks and Recreation Chief Ron Olson said that at just over a dollar per month, the Passport remains a great deal that delivers.

“Michigan’s state park system is largely self-supporting, with the Recreation Passport playing a key role,” Olson said. “Approximately 97% of state parks funding is generated by user fees, including the Recreation Passport, and royalty revenues. Just 3% comes from Michigan’s General Fund tax dollars.”

The Recreation Passport provides year-round vehicle access to 103 Michigan state parks and recreation areas, 1,300-plus state-managed boating access sites, 140 state forest campgrounds, and parking at thousands of miles of trails and other outdoor spaces, while helping protect the state’s natural resources for future generations.

Even at $14, the new resident Recreation Passport fee is more than 40% lower than the $24 people routinely paid in 2010 for the state parks window sticker – the program that the Recreation Passport replaced. Compared against the cost of annual state park passes in other states – Indiana ($50), Minnesota ($35), New York ($80) and Wisconsin ($28), for example – Olson said Michigan’s Recreation Passport is an undeniable bargain he hopes even more people will discover.

DNR celebrates reopening of Dollar Bay to Lake Linden trail segment

By JOHN PEPIN

Deputy public information officer

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Supporters and partners joined the Michigan Department of Natural Resources today in Houghton County to celebrate the reopening of a roughly 8-mile segment of snowmobile and off-road vehicle trail devastated by a historic storm in 2018.

In what is likely the Michigan DNR’s largest trail repair project, $10.5 million was spent for work that took contributions of time, money and expertise from numerous sources and years to complete.

“The bottom line of why we do this stuff and why we spend the money and the resources and that’s to provide people with an enrichment and in the end it’s lifelong memories,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division. “’Cause when you ride down a trail like this, what you remember is what’s important and the experience that you have.”

Olson said the trail also provides opportunities beyond economic benefits and tourism for improved health and well-being. He said a trail outing can help reduce stress.

“You can ease yourself and you can enjoy yourself and forget about some of the problems of the day,” Olson said.

The Father’s Day flood in June 2018 dumped 7 inches of rain over the Houghton-Hancock area in the span of only a few hours.

Coupled with the steep terrain of the surrounding hills, the rain rushing downhill washed out or plugged numerous culverts and damaged or destroyed roads, homes, streets, trails and other places where the water sought its level.

Among these features was the Dollar Bay to Lake Linden segment of Trail No. 3, which was constructed from a decommissioned railroad line.

In the wake of the historic storm, repair work was needed at 171 sites along the 7.8 miles of recreation trail. Just over 100 culverts needed to be replaced and 34 major washouts needed repair.

“Some of the washouts were 80-feet deep and 240-feet across,” said Ron Yesney, Upper Peninsula trails coordinator for the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division.

The damage to this part of the trail was so great that many feared the trail segment might never be rebuilt. But with the help and considerable efforts of several state agencies, lawmakers and other partners, the nearly $11 million project to reopen the trail has now been realized.

“Getting this project engineered and constructed was a monumental task,” Yesney said. “I’m real proud of the effort to restore this trail and I am thankful to all those who participated in the reconstruction.”

Speakers at today’s ribbon-cutting commemoration, along the trail in Dollar Bay, included Olson, Yesney and DNR U.P. Field Deputy Stacy Welling-Haughey and state 110th District Rep. Greg Markkanen, Daryl St. John of the Keweenaw ATV Club and Ryan LaPorte of the Keweenaw Snowmobile Club.

“This trail is just incredible,” Markkanen said. “I want to commend the DNR for their commitment to this project, and they finally get it done, everyone’s here today, it’s just a very emotional moment.”

Markkanen also praised the “phenomenal” work done by construction crews on the trail restoration project.

He applauded restored access to recreation opportunities going north from Dollar Bay to Lake Linden.

“It’s so important to our economy, to our local businesses, to our groups and to our communities as a whole,” Markkanen said.

Those gathered for the ceremony stood on the trail behind a red ribbon drawn tautly to be cut by St. John in celebration of the trail work’s completion.

“Everyone here had something to do with this, please come and stand here with us,” Haughey said.

About 60 people attended the event.

Funding for the $10.5 million project was derived from numerous sources, including $4 million in a state general fund appropriation allocated through the Michigan Economic Development Corp., $2 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, $2.1 million from state ORV funds compiled from fiscal years beginning in 2018, $1.5 million in federal Land and Water Conservation Fund granting and $.5 million in snowmobile program money.

DNR partners on the project included the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, B&B Contracting, DP Construction, Bacco Construction Co., MD Contracting, Blue Line Sit Solutions and OHM Advisors.

Find out more about Michigan’s thousands of miles of recreational trails.

Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories in our archive at Michigan.gov/DNRStories. To subscribe to upcoming Showcasing articles, sign up for free email delivery at Michigan.gov/DNREmail.

Trail counts are in for 2023. While we see a year to year steady flow of riders we are also seeing busier weeks throughout the year Below are the monthly counts for 2023 and a Pie chart of the trails compared to each other. We know that Twin Lakes is a heavy use area and the we are also seeing a steady flow from Wisconsin-Maybe more than from Iron River/Crystal Falls area.

Feel free to reach out to the club if you have any additional data you would like to know such as weekly or a specific date.

MonthLL – SouthPSB EastSB-WestSL-EastTwin Lakes
2023-05-01621936295892201481
2023-06-016472544763633041921
2023-07-0110273797705383813471
2023-08-017454006485193192695
2023-09-019045468246243323053
2023-10-019625907215714901545

Share or view as webpage  |  Update preferencesNews ReleaseSpotted lanternfly billboard. "See it. Squish it. Report it."Sept. 19, 2023
Invasive spotted lanternfly:
See it. Squish it. Report it.
Now is the prime time to be on the lookout for the invasive spotted lanternfly! Late summer to early fall is the most likely season to spot the colorful planthoppers, and the departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development are urging Michiganders to report any potential sightings of these destructive invasive pests.An adult spotted lanternfly, with wings closed, rests on the palm of an open hand.“We’ve heard reports of spotted lanternflies swarming New York City and covering beaches on the Jersey Shore. We’d like to prevent similar scenarios in Michigan,” said Rob Miller, MDARD’s invasive species prevention and response specialist. “Everyone can help by looking for spotted lanternfly and reporting suspected sightings.”The spotted lanternfly spreads to new locations by hitchhiking or laying eggs on vehicles and equipment that have traveled through infested areas. If you are returning from out of state, it’s important to look for and destroy spotted lanternfly insects and egg masses that may be hiding on cars, trailers, firewood, camping gear or anything that’s been outside.The Michigan Invasive Species Program’s new campaign – “See it. Squish it. Report it.” – reminds Michiganders and visitors of the simple steps they can take to prevent new introductions of spotted lanternflies in the state.“If you see a spotted lanternfly, yes, we really do want you to squish it if you can. Then, take a photo or two and report it to us through the online Eyes in the Field reporting system,” said Miller. “It’s important to get to know what the spotted lanternfly looks like, though, because we don’t want to target harmless native insects with pretty wings.”Billboards along major freeways and print material available through Michigan’s cooperative invasive species management areas were developed with support from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.How to spot the spotted lanternflyAn infographic showing the life stages of the spotted lanternfly from egg mass to adult.Take a few minutes to become familiar with spotted lanternfly life stages.Adults are roughly 1 inch long. Their folded wings are gray to brown with black spots. Open wings reveal a yellow and black abdomen and bright red hind wings with black spots, transitioning to black and white bands at the edge. Most visible August through October.Egg masses resemble old chewing gum, with a gray, waxy, putty-like coating. Hatched eggs appear as brownish, seed-like deposits. Most visible September through May.Nymphs are about 1/4  inch to 1/2 inch long. They are wingless and beetle-like, first appearing black with white spots and developing red patches as they mature. Most visible May through September.Be aware of look-alikesPublic reports to Eyes in the Field have helped identify some insects commonly mistaken for the spotted lanternfly.Several native moth species have red underwings, but their upper wings are striped or mottled.Some insects have spotted wings that are translucent or differ in color from spotted lanternfly adults.Common insects including boxelder bugs and red milkweed beetles have similar colors and patterns as spotted lanternfly nymphs, but their shapes are distinct.To better identify spotted lanternfly life stages and rule out look-alikes,

VISIT the spotted lanternfly look-alike page.

Status in Michigan Currently, there is one confirmed population of spotted lanternflies in Michigan. The infested site, a county-owned parcel in Pontiac, is being managed by a team including Oakland County, MDARD, Michigan State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service staff. Management includes treatment and/or removal of invasive tree of heaven – spotted lanternfly’s preferred host – and regular survey and monitoring of the insect population. Extensive surveys in August found no evidence of spotted lanternfly spreading beyond the originally infested site.Why be concerned?The spotted lanternfly feeds on more than 70 different plants, including grape vines and hardwood trees. It sucks sap from host plants while secreting large amounts of a sugar-rich, sticky liquid called honeydew. This honeydew and the resulting black sooty mold can kill plants and foul surfaces. The honeydew often attracts other pests like yellow jackets, flies and ants, affecting outdoor recreation and complicating crop harvests. Swarms of spotted lanternfly adults can reach nuisance levels that hinder outdoor activities.More information on the spotted lanternfly, including identification, look-alike species and how to report, is available at Michigan.gov/SpottedLanternfly.Michigan’s Invasive Species Program is cooperatively implemented by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; the Department of Natural Resources; and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development./Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Caption information follows. Billboard: These “See it. Squish it. Report it.” campaign billboards are showing up along Michigan freeways.SLF hand: Spotted lanternflies are more likely to be seen with wings folded. Look for grey to brown wings with black spots, and black-striped wing tips. Photo courtesy of MDARD.SLF wings: Adult spotted lanterfly’s bright wing coloration is hidden when wings are closed. Photo courtesy of Robert Gardner, Bugwood.org.SLF egg mass: Spotted lanternflies may lay egg masses on vehicles, outdoor furniture or other items that can be transported to new areas, leading to new infestations. Photo courtesy of Emilie Swackhammer, Penn State University, Bugwood.org.SLF early nymph: Early stage spotted lanternfly nymphs are black with white spots on their bodies and legs. Photo courtesy of Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State University, Bugwood.org.SLF late nymph: Late stage spotted lanternfly nymphs are red and black with white spots on their bodies and legs. Photo courtesy of Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State University, Bugwood.org./DNR Logo 24 bit PNGDept of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy logoMDARD Logo

FOR more info visit https://www.michigan.gov/invasives/id-report/insects/spotted-lanternfly

BECOME A 2024 MEMBERNew or Renewal

MEMBERSHIP TIMEFrom the MI-TRALE Membership Committee

We have begun our annual membership drive. Membership renewal applications for 2024 will be sent out via post mail soon. Applications can also be found on the MI-TRALE Web Page: www.mi-trale.org for New or renewal members.

Your support is very important and much appreciated. Your membership helps to cover administrative and trail maintenance costs and the equipment needed to maintain nearly 600 miles of various types of trails. Feel free to share the contact information from the Membership Application with your friends, and any businesses, that you think would like to support the trails. You will find more information on the MI-TRALE website under the Club Stuff tab/Membership option.

Members will receive a “welcome package” to convey our thanks: the attractive 2024 decal that you can proudly display on your ORV to show your support, your membership card and a free MI-TRALE paper Trails Map. You can also find MI-TRALEs popular Map App, Michigan UP Trails, in Google Play, the APP Store, Android or iOS. All of MI-TRALEs members are notified via email of our monthly meetings. They are very informative and also open to the public.

You might want to consider how else you could become involved with MI-TRALE. We can always use your help to keep this vital trail group moving forward for future generations of trail enthusiasts. Visit our webpage, (www.mi-trale.org), to learn more. Please feel free to contact us if you need more information. Thank you for your interest and support of the recreational trails here in the beautiful Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We could not do this without you!

Here are just a few of the successful projects accomplished, due to your support:

  • Allocated $1.6 million from the DNR for Trail Maintenance in the last 8 years, all monies come from ORV License fees.
  • Brushing and Signing 300+ miles of DNR designated trails and 200+ miles of Club trails.
  • Representing you on all Governmental Levels: Local, State & Federal
  • Annual Senior Citizen Fall Color ORV Tour.
  • Annual S.P.O.R.T (State Park Off Road Trek) Ride.
  • Developing, Signing and Mapping new trails for all types of recreational users.
  • Development of the FREE Map App & paper Map showing 500+ miles of MI-TRALE maintained trails & over 2,200 miles of Ottawa National Forest roads for ORV use.
  • We have also completed the long-awaited improvements on the Courtney Equestrian Trails and at the Courtney Lake Campground. More updates are in the works for 2024!

Your membership is very important to MI-TRALE. We truly appreciate you and all the support we receive from every single one of our members and volunteers. We hope you will join us for another great year of trail riding in the beautiful Western Upper Peninsula!

SHORELINE RIDE: Lake Superior Shore Misery Bay DUE TO EROSION THIS IS NOT A VIABLE OPTION FOR RIDING AT THIS TIME.   We will keep you posted as seasonal storms often recreate and rearrange the scape of the shoreline, and it may once again offer a beautiful favorite destination to ride in the future. Please enjoy one of our other suggested rides or one of your favorites and enjoy the wonderful U.P. outdoors.

Just a reminder as the recreation sports change from snow to dirt. ORV Highway right-of-ways (ROW) are closed until May 1 this is where the trail runs legally on the side of Highways, MI-TRALE has several ROW’s LL Route in the town of Watersmeet by the Casino on US45, LL Route in the town of Paulding on US45, ES Route south of Lake Gogebic on US2, OR & NR Route in the town of Ontonagon along M64 and the P Trail in the town of Bergland along M28.

Ottawa National Forest has seasonal roads which are closed until May 16 this includes P Trail north of the town of Bergalnd & LL Route in in Paulding through the woods. Use the Ottawa National Forest MVUM maps or our free map app Michigan UP Trails, you can touch the trails to find the seasonal designation