Subscribe to receive an e-mail when events and news are published here:

Keep it safe, ORV riders

A person riding a dirt bike drives down a sandy slope; in the foreground, a road sign indicating a twisting path is slightly blurred.A friendly reminder to off-road vehicle operators to keep it safe while riding this holiday weekend and into the colder seasons.“Conservation officers see an increase in riders during holidays and on the weekends. Please keep the extra traffic in mind when you’re taking a turn and going over a hill,” said the DNR’s Cpl. Mike Hearn. “ORV accidents often happen when people get caught up in the moment of riding and keep increasing their speed, aren’t familiar with the terrain or their machines capabilities, or take a turn, hill or jump too fast without knowing what’s on the other side.”Speed and rider inexperience are the primary contributing factors for ORV accidents, serious injuries and death. Make sure to Ride Right and keep these tips in mind:Ride on the right side of the trail.Keep lights on when riding.Always wear a helmet.Ride sober.Understand and operate within the limits of your ORV and your own capabilities and experience.For more ORV safety and trail etiquette information, go to Find places to ride, rules and regulations, ORV events and more at Questions? Email Cpl. Mike Hearn.

Get your MI-TRALE Route Maps from our sponsor local businesses or at

Ottawa National Forest -Planning on exploring the Forest on your OHV? Be sure to stop by any of the National Forest Offices and pick up your free Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). Motor Vehicle Use Maps show the designated roads, trails, and areas for motorized use. Know before you go!

The U.S. Forest Service, Ottawa National Forest announces road maintenance on Forest Roads (FR) 400 and FR 630 on the Ontonagon Ranger District, northeast of Bergland, Michigan.Beginning Monday, June 20, 2022, the Ontonagon County Road Commission will be performing work on FR 400 and FR 630 to install ditching, culverts, gravel and other associated road re-conditioning work. Work is being done through an agreement between the Ontonagon County Road Commission and the Forest Service. Work is expected to begin on FR 630 and will continue over 3 to 4 weeks until completed. The road may be closed during construction, but will be open and accessible at the end of each day. Travelers can expect some disruptions as culverts are being replaced. Please plan accordingly.Please remember to use caution when traveling on forest roadways, adhere to speed limits, and directional signage. To receive updated information on road conditions, please call your local Forest Service office.

128px-Logo_of_the_United_States_Forest_Service.svg.png (128×142)

May 2022 – MI-TRALE as posted earlier has been holding youth DNR ATV safety classes with our DNR registered trainer at various local schools in April and early May. To go along with that training MI-TRALE puts a hands -on training for those students-Camp Nesbit. YOUR CLUB DOLLARS and VOLUNTEERS AT WORK!! Thanks to the club trainer, Jim Fooce, the support volunteers, and the local business who donated additional necessary equipment such as ATV’s, Helmets, Goggles, etc. this event could not happen. We are one of the few Michigan clubs that provided this service to its students. MI-TRALE has use of Camp Nesbit located in the Ottawa National Forest to hold this event. These students are the future of our Sport and Trails.

Check the Club Calendar and volunteer your time to support these club events. You wont regret seeing the smiles and joy in the leaders of tomorrow.

Special Thanks to Headwaters Polaris, Pat’s Motorsports and 906 Sports for their generous donations!

Whether you want to wind through the woods Of Ontonagon, Iron, Houghton and Gogebic Counties, or go the distance anywhere in Michigan, or just share the outdoors with friends and family, it’s time to set your sights on 365 days of off-road adventure. ORV license and trail permits are valid for one year, which begins April 1 and ends March 31 of the following year. You can get your Permit sticker here:

ATV/UTV Permit link

Help Fight the Bite in Michigan!

As any UP Michigan resident knows, ticks and mosquitoes are quite the nuisance. But more than just an annoyance, they can also spread many illnesses to people. Preventing bites from ticks and mosquitoes is the key step in avoiding these illnesses.


The two types of ticks that most commonly bite people or pets in Michigan are the deer (black-legged) tick and the wood (dog) tick. A third type of tick that can bite people or pets in Michigan the lone-star tick, is less common. Bites from all three of these ticks(link is external) can make you sick. In Michigan ticks can spread anaplasmosisbabesiosisBorrelia miyamotoi(link is external)ehrlichiosisLyme diseasePowassan virusRocky Mountain spotted fever, and tularemia. Illnesses spread by ticks can be prevented if you take the proper steps.


Not all of the 50+ species of mosquitoes in Michigan bite humans, but many of those that do can spread diseases. In Wisconsin, mosquitoes can spread Eastern equine encephalitisJamestown Canyon virusLa Crosse encephalitisSt. Louis encephalitis, and West Nile virus. There are also illnesses that you can get from mosquitoes when you travel outside of the United States. Some of these diseases are chikungunyadengueJapanese encephalitis(link is external)yellow fever, and Zika virus. Illnesses spread by mosquitoes can be prevented if you take the proper steps.

Ticks 101:

  • Basics. Ticks are arachnids, related to spiders, mites, and scorpions. In Wisconsin, there are three types of ticks that spread disease: the deer (black-legged) tick, the wood (dog) tick, and the lone star tick. The deer tick spreads the most illnesses in Wisconsin. Most people get sick from a tick bite in the spring, summer, or early fall, when ticks are most active and people are outdoors.
  • Life Cycle. There are four different phases in a tick life cycle. This cycle includes egg, larva, nymph, and adult stages. During this life cycle, which can last up to three years, the tick will have three blood meals and usually feeds on small mammals, birds, and deer. Ticks feed by biting into the skin of a host and, while they are attached, illnesses can be spread. Once a tick is attached to a host, it will feed for 3–5 days. Usually only nymphs and adult female ticks are able to spread illnesses.
  • Habitat. Ticks live in wooded areas and areas with high grass. Ticks do not jump or fly and usually stay close to the ground to find a host. They crawl onto animals or people as they brush against leaves or grass and then will attach to the host for a blood meal. A warmer and wetter climate can increase the risk of getting an illness from a tick. In Wisconsin, this has created favorable conditions for ticks to survive in more areas of the state, and made the active tick season longer.
  • Prevention. The best way to avoid getting sick from a tick is to prevent bites in the first place. There are many ways to prevent tick bites, including doing daily tick checks, wearing insect repellent, and wearing appropriate clothes when you are outdoors. 

Mosquitoes 101:

  • Basics. Mosquitoes are a type of fly. In Michigan, there are many types of mosquitoes, but only some types can spread illnesses. Most people who get sick from a mosquito bite will become ill in the summer and early fall. This is when mosquitoes are most active and people are outdoors.
  • Life Cycle. Mosquitoes have a life cycle that includes four different stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs on or near water, and the eggs hatch after coming into contact with the water. After hatching, the larvae will feed until they have enough energy to change into pupae. The pupae then grow into adult mosquitoes, the only flying stage. Only adult female mosquitoes bite humans and other animals to get blood meals, after which they lay their eggs on or near water, starting the cycle again. The life cycle of a mosquito usually takes two weeks. However, it can range from four days to one month.
  • Habitat. Mosquitoes live in areas with slow-moving or stagnant water, as well as forests, marshes, and tall grasses. Mosquitoes fly and land on animals or humans to bite the host’s skin and consume blood. Warmer and wetter climates can increase the risk of getting an illness from a mosquito. In Wisconsin, climate change has created favorable conditions for mosquitoes to survive in more areas of the state, has made the mosquito season longer, and allows infected mosquitoes to spread diseases faster.
    In general, mosquitoes can be divided into two different types based on the habitats where they lay their eggs: standing water mosquitoes and floodwater mosquitoes. Most mosquito eggs need small amounts of water to hatch and develop into adult mosquitoes. For more information on the mosquito life cycle, and how to prevent mosquitoes around your home, please visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website.(link is external)
  • Prevention. The best way to avoid getting sick from a mosquito is to prevent bites in the first place. There are many ways to prevent mosquito bites, including wearing insect repellent and wearing appropriate clothes when you are outdoors. 



Click here for an online map showing active areas of Oak Wilt  à OAK WILT MAP 

Help prevent the spread of oak wilt:   

Know what to look for; 

  • Avoid pruning or wounding oak trees between April 15 and July 15;  
  • Use caution when grading and performing routine maintenance on Michigan’s Trails System 

 The following guidelines against pruning and preventing damage to oak trees can help prevent the spread of the disease. 

Oak trees have a reputation for being mighty, but these majestic trees need our help in spring and early summer to prevent the spread of a microscopic killer. From April 15 to July 15, oak trees are at high risk for oak wilt, a serious fungal disease that can weaken white oaks and kill red oak trees within weeks of infection. During this time of year, flying beetles can carry oak wilt fungus spores from tree to tree and the fungus can infect trees through wounds left by pruning or storm damage. The fungus can move from an infected oak to neighboring oaks through root grafts. Depending on tree size, adjacent oaks may be connected to other trees, or grafted, through root systems. Roots of large trees can reach 100 or more feet. Left untreated, oak wilt will continue to move from tree to tree, killing more red oak over an increasingly larger area. As more trees die from oak wilt, more fungal spores are produced, which allows the beetle to carry infection to new locations. Trees in the white oak family are more likely to survive an infection because they are capable of compartmentalizing the fungus. 
  • Red oaks are especially vulnerable; can die within weeks of infection 
Trees in the red oak family are most susceptible to oak wilt. These trees have leaves with pointed tips and include black oak, northern red oak, and northern pin oak. Trees in the white oak group have rounded leaf edges and include white oak and swamp white oak. They are less susceptible. Symptoms most often appear from late June through September. Affected trees will suddenly begin to wilt from the top-down, rapidly dropping leaves, which can be green, brown or a combination of both colors.  If you have an oak tree on your trail that gets damaged during the risk period from April 15 to July 15, immediately cover all wounds with tree-wound paint or latex-based paint. 
  • Contact a local DNR forest health specialist for more information 517-284-5866. 
  • Contact your local Forestry Assistance Program forester for a site visit in select counties. 
  • Seek verification from Michigan State University. Find instructions at or call 517-355-4536. 
  • Get help from an oak-wilt qualified specialist. Visit for a listing and more information. 
Red and White Oak leaves

We are fast approaching the 2022 Riding season and here are a few things to remember. All this information and more is in the MI-DNR OHV Handbook

  • Ride Only Where Permitted. Stay on the trail – they are marked for a reason. Rocks, fencing and barbed wire are just a few examples of what could be hidden in the under growth or the snow.
  • Be considerate of others on the trail and “Ride Right”.
  • Always yield to uphill traffic. Uphill traffic may have difficulty starting again if stopped.
  • Slow down when someone is passing you.
  • When you see non-motorized trail users coming from the opposite direction; please slow down, pull over. Yield right of way to bikers, hikers, and Horses.
  • Leave gates as you find them.
  • Report downed tress and trail maintenance needs to landManagers.
  • Report Illegal riding by calling or texting 1-800-292-7800.
  • Always carry out what you carry in. Leave no trace – pack it in; pack it out. If you see litter, please pick it up.
  • If you love Michigan’s trails, get involved and join MI-TRALE!

We are fast approaching the 2023 Riding season and here are a few things to remember. All this information and more is in the MI-DNR OHV Handbook

OHV Rider Safety Rules and Tips

  • Respect riding conditions and trail closures.
  • During firearm deer season (Nov 15-30) a person cannot operate an ORV in an area where public hunting is permitted from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.
  • During snowmobile season (Dec. 1-March 31), it’s preferred that ORV riders use trails and/or open roads not open to snowmobiles.
  • ORVs are not legal on snowmobile trails located on private and federal lands. Know where you are.
  • Snowmobile trail groomers lay smooth paths for snowmobiles. If you encounter a groomed snowmobile trail, it’s imperative that you ride slowly or choose another trail, so you don’t undo the work of trail groomers or inadvertently tear up the trail.
  • Make sure that you are riding trails with an ORV confidence marker.
  • ORVs can tear up terrain easily (even when the ground is frozen). Reckless and careless operation are civil infractions, including fishtailing, doing donuts, locking up the brakes and riding in a manner that causes environmental damage.
  • Be sure your vehicle is in good mechanical order and has fuel for the ride.
  • Wear protective clothing for the environment you will be traveling in.
  • Always use a helmet and goggles to protect yourself from road debris and twigs.
  • Do not remove or replace factory muffler or air box. All machines must have a spark arrestor to operate on MI Trails.
  • Make sure your lights work properly-ride with lights on for safety (some states like WI require lights on while moving).
  • Ride at a safe speed.
  • Ride Right. Stay Right on Trails and Authorized riding areas.
  • Ride sober and safe.
  • Ride with a group.
  • Operate within the limits of your ORV and yourself.
  • Only transport a passenger when the ORV has been manufactured to carry a passenger (2 Up). Aftermarket add-ons do not permit a passenger to ride on/in a machine legally. Refer to the manufacturer’s user manual for clarification.
  • Stay on the trail an ensure the area you intend to ride is open to ORV activity.
  • Stay off state highways (those designated as M or US).

Be Prepared

  • Expect the Unexpected-Severe Weather, Illness, Injury Mechanical Failure or being Lost
  • Know your terrain and be prepared to adjust for changing environmental conditions.
  • Carry First Aid kit, Current Maps, GPS and Cell Phone.
  • Create a ride plan and share it with others. A ride plan includes the times and locations you will be riding, along with check-in points.
  • Tell Someone where you are traveling and with whom and when you will return.

Attention Horse lovers! It’s time to drag the tack out and prepare for the 2022 riding season. It’s time to start the chore list:

1. Clean and treat all leather surfaces 2. Check all the leather strapping for tears or breaks that might fail when out riding 3. Check, clean and polish all metal surfaces to remove dirt and rust 4. Clean all Horse blankets and pads removing dirt and foreign objects that may injure your animal 5. Check you maps to be sure they are up to date and that the trails you want to ride are or may be closed because of logging 6. Make reservation’s if required at any campgrounds you plan on using. 7. Check your First Aid kits and replace all out of date items.

The Courtney Campground is close to being finished. We have small amounts of signage and ground prep that needs to be done. Please consider helping this fabulous project to a completion by attending a work day. Email the MI-TRALE Equine Director, Cathy, for information on how to help.