Doc_d

Michigan
Michigan Trail Condition Thread - Please post

375 posts in this topic

Yeah I decided against it. Easy decision after I seen 20 deg at 8 in the morn. Not to mention it's supposed to be in the 60's next weekend.

Not even 20* here yet. Dusting of more snow over night. Sun is shining. Edited by Padilen

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My place is just off 115 where it crosses the Muskeegan River. Too cold for me just yet to make the trip..Im looking at the 23rd before I spend my gas money.

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me an Midgrade Greg are looking at evart (an maybe tin cup) on the 22nd weekend,,,

anybody gets up there before that please post up conditions...

thanks ahead...

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Very slick out side roads are ice rinks. Snow, freezing rain and rain with rising temps. So roads should improve if temps get above freezing. Temps rise and sun appears mid week. Upper 60's and lower 70's for coming weekend.

That's all

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We are doing tin cup next Sunday, should be a blast.

 

cool man,,, please lemme know... :thumbsup:

 

 

Very slick out side roads are ice rinks. Snow, freezing rain and rain with rising temps. So roads should improve if temps get above freezing. Temps rise and sun appears mid week. Upper 60's and lower 70's for coming weekend.

That's all

yeah gonna be a lot nicer,,,

sheeesh its cold outside...

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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.

 

 

Just a few comment on this so that everyone who enjoys dirt biking in Michigan is as educated on this subject as humanly possible - what 2TrakR is saying is that USFS and MIDNR staff do not necessarily go out and do all the grunt work themselves, and they do no trail grading at all. Anyone who wants can bid on a contract to grade/groom the trails. A certain amount of money is set aside, awarded in grants, for grading/grooming and certain people spend most of the summer running up and down trails with grading equipment.

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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?

 

2TrakR responded with photos of a machine designed and employed to grade 50'' trails. This was very helpful. I've encountered a man with a machine (towed behind similar tractor) of his own design that is more involved than the one pictured by 2Trakr (more moving parts) and able to get into and out of very tight spots. If any of you encounter this machines this season, it would be great if you snapped some photos and posted them here.

Edited by suppresst

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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?

 

Okay, for starters you need to understand that the federal government manages just under 3 million plus acres of forest in Michigan and the State of Michigan 3.9 million acres. You can look at online maps of these forests to get some idea whether trail you are riding is in state or federal forest. An easier way is to go to this link of all ORV trails in Michigan. Click on any trail. Notice the color of background for the area encompassed by the trail. In lower portion of the map you'll find a color code. Kind of a tawny color for federal forest, and a light green for state forest. Also, most trail heads will have signs telling you whether you are on state or federal trail.

 

Now another thing you need to understand is that Michigan has powerful incentives to promote off-road recreation - it's good for tourism in Michigan. Republican Governor Synder has made a big deal out of promoting the Pure Michigan website which has links to off-road recreation opportunities in Michigan.

 

On the other hand, the U.S. Forest Service is headquartered in Washington D.C. where it is pressured by the environmental lobby (tree huggers) to not allow ANY human activity to harm the national forests. The federal government really could care less about promoting tourism in Michigan (or any other state). I think you will find MIDNR a lot more receptive to pressure from people like you to build trails and maintain them properly. You will find U.S. Forest Service resistant to trail construction and trail maintenance. In fact President Obama, who is in charge of U.S. Forest Service (as chief executive) has been busy placing millions of acres of federal land off limits to off-road recreation under his powers to designate federal lands "wilderness" or "national monuments". If you want to fight for access to your federal forests for dirt biking, join the American Motorcycle Association as a "Defender" class member . They will send you e-mails that keep you informed about threats to riding off road.

 

Finally, when you vote, keep in mind if you vote for a candidate who is making big noise about protecting the environment, you are almost certainly voting to have you're access to off-road recreation curtailed, and to have less money spent on maintaining the trails that do exist.

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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.

 

The federal officers responsible for trail maintenance in the Huron-Manistee national forest insist that device exists for grading single track trails, it was out of order for a while but is still available. However, I see zero grading on single tracks.

 

Now Evart is a state, not federal trail. Now if you want to apply pressure to improve conditions at Evart, here is link to the contact information https://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/DNR_customer_service_guide_407568_7.pdf) for the DNR and go to the letter "O" for ORV related phone numbers. You could also e-mail members of the Off-Road Vehicle Advisory Workgroup http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-65134_65143_65335_65424---,00.html. Or contact your personal State of Michigan legislator. I've never ridden Evart but I'd be happy to join in any campaign to improve conditions there. All for one, one for all.

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. Taking care of trail sounds easy on the surface but between the politics and getting volunteer help its tough.

 

For those interested, both state and federal forests have contact information to people who enlist and coordinate volunteers. If anyone wants that contact information, send me a private message.

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what 2TrakR is saying is that USFS and MIDNR staff do not necessarily go out and do all the grunt work themselves, and they do no trail grading at all. 

 

 

Mio Ranger District (USFS) does their own "trail" grading on the Bull Gap and Meadows systems. They widened the trails to accommodate their rig (60"+).  That's why I was particular about only saying the "DNR" does no grading.

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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.

 

2TrakR, are you able to post links to any websites that specify these rules/regs/specs? I'd sure like to see them, so I can judge compliance where I ride. I've stumbled upon websites that detail how much forest services obligated to grade (miles) but can't find them now. They do have to account somewhere for how they are spending taxpayer money designated for specific purposes, such as grading.

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do the trails or more specifically

does evart or tin cup require trail permits or just ORV permits???

 

Need the ORV Permit and the ORV Trail Permit.

Safest "rule of thumb" is that if it's marked with an ORV system marker, both stickers are needed. There are details that prove to have exceptions regarding ORV Routes, but the safe bet is to get both stickers.

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Mio Ranger District (USFS) does their own "trail" grading on the Bull Gap and Meadows systems. They widened the trails to accommodate their rig (60"+).  

 

Would you say that these trails (the grading) are in detectably different condition (better or worse) than other USFS trails?

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Need the ORV Permit and the ORV Trail Permit.

Safest "rule of thumb" is that if it's marked with an ORV system marker, both stickers are needed. There are details that prove to have exceptions regarding ORV Routes, but the safe bet is to get both stickers.

thanks man...

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