Trail signs improved
LANSING – The Department of Natural Resources announced today that snowmobile and offroad vehicle trail riders will soon notice a reduction in the types of trail markings along the more than 10,000 miles of Michigan’s designated motorized trail system. The DNR implemented these changes to improve safety and provide consistent guidance to the more than 90 non-profit organizations that maintain the trails.
A citizens’ advisory workgroup (comprised of trail-riding enthusiasts, trail maintenance organizations, members of the DNR’s Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup and the Michigan Snowmobile Association) made recommendations to the DNR, resulting in these upcoming changes. Technical support for the workgroup was provided by recreation and law enforcement staff of the DNR and the U.S. Forest Service.
Changes include the elimination of 10 workgroup-selected snowmobile signs, the addition of five new snowmobile signs (plus guidelines for placement), and a reduction in the size of regulatory signs in the ORV program to make them consistent with snowmobile signage (already implemented in 2011). The changes also include replacing ORV trail markers with new, highly visible, yellow markers. Installation will be phased in over the next several years.
The following snowmobile trail signs will be removed:
• Bridge Ahead
• Deer Crossing
• Drift Area
• Narrow Bridge
• Narrow Trail
• Trail Crossing
• Truck Traffic
• Two Way Trail
• Winding Trail
According to Bill Manson, executive director of the Michigan Snowmobile Association, “Several of the other snowmobile states and Ontario have reduced their signs and have seen a reduction in accidents. Our objective is to provide a safe, family-oriented trail system for snowmobiling in Michigan.”
“The changes to the motorized trail signage program is the result of a collaborative process with stakeholder groups and should be a real improvement for trail users,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division.
For additional information, contact Steve Kubisiak, DNR Recreation and Trails Program coordinator at (517) 373-1665 or via e-mail at kubisiaks@ michigan.gov.