Doc_d

Michigan
Michigan Trail Condition Thread - Please post

310 posts in this topic

Can anyone "up-north" let us know how much snow you got? I had heard forecasts of up to 12 inches which is really going to suck.

http://www.weatherstreet.com/weather-forecast/michigan-snow-cover.htm

Looks like the map could be fairly accurate. Gaylord area got about 10-11", I hear Alpena 12", and somewhere over there (Atlanta maybe?) was the peak at 19". I remember the number but not the town, can't seem to find the news report again.

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I would expect snow, slushy snow,or wet depending on how much fell. Trees , limbs branches down from wind and ice damage.

I'm by Cadillac 28* and sunny as I type this high's of 50 forecasted.

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The best time to ride is the spring. Just after the trail hardens and before the clean up crews hit.

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How many trails actually get groomed or cleaned up by the DNR?  Seems like every trail I rode last year was wooped all to hell and has trees close to the trail if not in the trail. 

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Looking to ride evart this weekend. If anybody has info on the storm results that's coming it would be appreciated.

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How many trails actually get groomed or cleaned up by the DNR?  Seems like every trail I rode last year was wooped all to hell and has trees close to the trail if not in the trail. 

 

You've ventured into a big issue here. Please be aware that there are two kinds of public ORV trails you ride in Michigan, federal and state. If you are riding on a federal trail in federal forest in Michigan than the US Forest Service is responsible for trail maintenance.  If state trail on state forest than DNR is responsible. Big user fee increase you've seen in last couple of years mostly goes to state, not federal trail maintenance. While you can get generalities from state and federal about how many miles trails they groom every year it gets more difficult to get specifics about a particular trail. There are only 23 riders who follow this North forum here on Thumpertalk. What I would like to see is that number grow and for us bring coordinated feedback to state and federal about trail conditions. Tell your friends to join this forum and lets share info. about trail conditions. If we could submit to a forest service a petition of 100 riders complaining about whoops on a particular trail, we might actually see some action.

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How would one find out what trails are federal and what trails are state?

Are DNR officers on all trails Or not?

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You've ventured into a big issue here. Please be aware that there are two kinds of public ORV trails you ride in Michigan, federal and state. If you are riding on a federal trail in federal forest in Michigan than the US Forest Service is responsible for trail maintenance. If state trail on state forest than DNR is responsible. Big user fee increase you've seen in last couple of years mostly goes to state, not federal trail maintenance. While you can get generalities from state and federal about how many miles trails they groom every year it gets more difficult to get specifics about a particular trail. There are only 23 riders who follow this North forum here on Thumpertalk. What I would like to see is that number grow and for us bring coordinated feedback to state and federal about trail conditions. Tell your friends to join this forum and lets share info. about trail conditions. If we could submit to a forest service a petition of 100 riders complaining about whoops on a particular trail, we might actually see some action.

Just a quick note. Not everyone "follows" the forum, but still read it regularly. Edited by BlueHeart
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How many trails actually get groomed or cleaned up by the DNR?  Seems like every trail I rode last year was wooped all to hell and has trees close to the trail if not in the trail. 

 

 

Zero Trails are groomed or maintained by the DNR.

 

All maintenance is done by grant sponsors (generally volunteers). Maintenance is sign replacement, downed tree removal and brushing. On a regular ORV Trail, the brush is supposed to be trimmed back to 50" wide by 8' tall. 

 

Grading is a separate activity with a few groups (mostly Cycle Conservation Club affiliates) that have the specialized rigs to run through the trails. They are also grant sponsors/volunteers.

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Ok let me ask this, what machine is used to remove whoops from trails?  Is this just a box spring drug by a quad or is there more to it?

 

I was always under the assumption(I know) that the money for the stickers paid for trail grooming, maintenance, tree removal, etc. 

 

We frequent Tin Cup, that trail has several sections that are quite wide so it seems like it would be quite a process to smooth the trail out and make it nice. 

 

Trying to find trails for beginners on small bikes is quite a choir. 

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....Almost imposible to clear whoops in single track. A better solution would be to run new parallel trail or serpentine over existing. That being said, it would be easier to  pull your own wisdom tooth with a pair of tweezer than to get all the ruling bodies to agree on changes. A trail like Evart could really use it in some sections. As for maintenance, Evart would require roughly 150 + man hours to do an spring and fall cleanup. That's not including drive times and spot checks,( tree down on trail that needs cutting )  I followed a groomer on a Friday once on the Little Mannestee  orv trail once. Six feet wide , it was smooth as glass, for about 24 hours. Soft sand just becomes a mess in no time. As for kids. Any hard pack is better than soft sand. My kid cut his teeth on Evart and Long Lake on an xr80. Sure it took us four hours but he had blast. Taking care of trail sounds easy on the surface but between the politics and getting volunteer help its tough.

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....Almost imposible to clear whoops in single track. A better solution would be to run new parallel trail or serpentine over existing. That being said, it would be easier to  pull your own wisdom tooth with a pair of tweezer than to get all the ruling bodies to agree on changes. A trail like Evart could really use it in some sections. As for maintenance, Evart would require roughly 150 + man hours to do an spring and fall cleanup. That's not including drive times and spot checks,( tree down on trail that needs cutting )  I followed a groomer on a Friday once on the Little Mannestee  orv trail once. Six feet wide , it was smooth as glass, for about 24 hours. Soft sand just becomes a mess in no time. As for kids. Any hard pack is better than soft sand. My kid cut his teeth on Evart and Long Lake on an xr80. Sure it took us four hours but he had blast. Taking care of trail sounds easy on the surface but between the politics and getting volunteer help its tough.

Well, if all you do is smooth sand into holes where the cut portion is still hard and the in between where a whoop was is soft...then yea, the soft sand will be dug out pretty quick lol. So, the parallel trail part of it sounds to me like the best possible way with maybe smoothing out the old in the process and allowing time (and water) to eventually cause some degree of compaction. But I know from talking with you guys that that will probably never happen. Id have to imagine the only way to really groom those the harder packed whoops would be cutting them down to the level near the whoop valleys, smoothing it all out, and starting over in those sections. But that is pretty hard to do in areas where bike bars barely fit. lol. If only bobcats could fit.

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Ok let me ask this, what machine is used to remove whoops from trails?  Is this just a box spring drug by a quad or is there more to it?

 

Here's one variation. The DNR and CCC built this one quite a few years ago. Basically a box scraper with a following roller, has hydraulic turning/pivot to help it make it through the trails. Typically it takes a there and back pass, some times more than one. This is for 50" trails. There was one for 24" trails but not currently in service that I'm aware of.

CCGrader1.jpg

CCGrader2.jpg

CCGrader3.jpg

CCGrader4.jpg

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Zero Trails are groomed or maintained by the DNR.

 

I'm not sure that's entirely true, I have seen a DNR crew at cedar creek trimming back trees. They stopped me and a buddy to check for stickers a gave us trail maps. They even asked if we had come across any trees down and they cleared it for us. 

A couple years ago a different friend was riding and came up on a prison work crew working a trail over. He said they had about two or three armed guards watching them as they pulled back brush and shoveled the top of whoops flat on a 24" trail.

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I'm not sure that's entirely true, I have seen a DNR crew at cedar creek trimming back trees. They stopped me and a buddy to check for stickers a gave us trail maps. They even asked if we had come across any trees down and they cleared it for us. 

 

 

 

Cedar Creek is on National Forest and yes, the National Forest Staff do some work on trails on their land. State Land, Department of Natural Resources staff, do not do grading and only rarely do they perform actual maintenance. It's not their role to do so, they are managing it, not working it.

USFS is not beholden to the State's rules/regs/specs for maintenance and so usually do not conform, but are similar enough that the average rider won't know the difference.

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All depends on what's to bad. Not a lot of snow but cold, teens at night and near freezing for day time highs.

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