Snowmobile association touts work done in 2012
MANISTIQUE – The Schoolcraft County Snowmobile Association and Sportsmen’s Off-Road Vehicle Association of Schoolcraft County have spent time over the past year to more effectively manage the motorized trail systems in Schoolcraft County. As grant sponsors for the Recreational and Snowmobile Grant Program and Off-Road Vehicle Trail Improvement Grant Program, the organizations have managed budgets of almost $200,000. The funds are used for infrastructure and maintenance of the trail systems.
The SCSA manages 144 miles of snowmobile trails, while SORVA manages 65 miles of ATV trails. Management includes: grooming operations in the winter, grading, brushing, signage, bridge maintenance, trailhead maintenance, land owner permissions and easements, and equipment maintenance year around.
The organizations manage the Haywire Grade, The Big Spring Loop, Dalias Run, Trails 2, 7, 41 and 413 and Danaher Plains Trail. There are four trailheads: Gulliver at Mobil Crossroads (snowmobile), Haywire Trailhead at Intake Park (multi-use), Jack Pine Trailhead (proposed multi-use) and the United States Forest Service Trailhead and parking lot near Camel Riders Resort (multi-use).
The trail system is meant to allow local residents to enjoy motorized recreation throughout the county, as well as to access an extended motorized trail system across the Upper Peninsula and the entire state. It is also intended to allow visitors to explore the state, county and city as an alternative form of recreation. Both associations claim the trails provide tourist dollars to the area, with residents, business and government entities benefitting from additional tourist dollars and tax revue.
In 2011, a comprehensive yearround motorized trail system was developed in Manistique for resident ATV owners to legally access the trail system from their property and transient snowmobilers and for ATV owners to have easy access to food, fuel and lodging from the trail system within city limits.
This year the two organizations have completed: resurfacing of the Haywire Grade from Manistique to the “S-Curves” on M-94; preliminary resurfacing of the Haywire Grade from Steuben to Shingleton; matting and chipping of a half-mile of Brace Creek Swamp; trail relocation projects in the Hiawatha National Forest near Star Lake, 5.8 miles in the roll-a-way area and a section of Bear Creek Swamp; a project started last year on Smith Lake Road was also completed for a total 2.4 miles of trail; a two-year trail closure on the west side of Manistique should be re-opened this winter season; re-signage of the complete trail system to meet the new state motorized trail signing standards; mechanical and hand brushing; and repairs to the city bridge, which will be completed in early 2013.
Upcoming winter events include the Relic Ride at Jack Pine Lodge on Feb. 9 and the MXR Racing Snow X on Manistique Lake on March 2 and 3.
Both organizations are currently seeking more volunteers and monetary donations to help support the work and trail system.