Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials announced today that various sections of snowmobile trails in Cheboygan, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm and Ottawa counties will not be groomed due to the extremely large snow drifts blocking the trails. The affected sections of snowmobile trails include:
- Trail #9 from Cheboygan to Mackinaw City, and sections of Trail #9 on the east side of Mullet Lake;
- Trail #5 in parts of Kent, Mecosta and Montcalm counties, from Polk Road to Russell Road; and
- Trail #19 in Ottawa County and Ravenna Township.
Snow drifts as high as 5 feet to 8 feet tall are making it impossible for the grooming equipment to lay down a smooth trail surface. Current grooming equipment is designed to smooth out the trail surface, and not designed for plowing through tightly compacted snow drifts. The DNR and local snowmobile clubs are looking at options to break through the drifts, including bringing in heavy equipment such as front-end loaders and backhoes to remove the drifts. Grooming will commence once trails are sufficiently cleared to allow the grooming equipment to run without getting stuck. Snowmobilers are urged to either avoid these sections of trail, or use extreme caution if riding in these drifted areas. Questions may be directed to Todd Neiss, DNR trails specialist, at 231-775-9727 ext. 6045. Information regarding other snowmobile riding opportunities may be found on the DNR’s website at www.michigan.gov/snowmobiling.