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Categorized | Outdoors

Cross-country skiing in Michigan state forests, parks and recreation areas

With the winter recreation season underway, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment announces that several of the state’s 23 cross-country ski trails are groomed and ready for skiers.
Michigan state forests have 23 cross-country ski trails in the Upper and northern Lower Peninsulas.  A total of 14 trails will be groomed this season.  Three pathways will be groomed under a grant funded contract by local organizations; Blueberry Ridge in Marquette County, Ogemaw Hills in Ogemaw County, and VASA in Grand Traverse County.  Seven pathways will be groomed under volunteer agreement; Chippewa Hills and Norway Ridge both in Alpena County, Black Mountain in Presque Isle County, Tisdale Triangle in Roscommon County, Days River in Delta County, Canada Lake in Luce County, and Indian Lake in Schoolcraft County.  Also, four pathways will be groomed by DNRE staff due to private donations; Muncie Lakes in Grand Traverse County, Cadillac in Wexford County, Algonquin in Chippewa County, and Pine Baron in Otsego County.  The remaining pathways will be available for ungroomed cross-country skiing and only a few will have plowed parking lots available.
A 2010-2011 State Forest Cross-Country Ski Pathways (XC) list may be found on the DNRE website at www.michigan.gov/dnr under Recreation & Camping, Seasonal Recreation Opportunities.  The XC list will include all pathways, county name, contact information number, and their grooming status.  It is suggested that visitors call the contact numbers to check conditions and grooming prior to their trip.
“State budget issues continue to challenge the DNRE’s Forest Recreation Program,” said Lynne M. Boyd, chief of DNRE’s Forest Management Division.  “With the help of local groups and a small Recreation Trails grant we will be able to provide some services for skiing, but not to the extent we have been able to in the past.”
For more information on the state forest cross-country skiing program, please contact Mark Mandenberg, DNRE Trails Program technical designer, at 517-335-3037; or via e-mail at mandenbergm@michigan.gov.
Cross-country skiing also is allowed in all 98 state parks and recreation areas. However, not all trails within the state parks and recreation areas are groomed for cross-country skiing.
“Cross-country skiing is a great way to ‘GO-Get Outdoors’ to experience the winter season, enjoy nature, and get physically fit at the same time,” said Ron Olson, chief of the Recreation Division. “Twenty-two state parks and recreation areas throughout the state will have groomed, cross-country ski trails this winter season.”
Information regarding cross-country skiing in state parks or recreation areas is available at www.michigan.gov/stateparks under Seasonal Recreation Opportunities, or by contacting an individual park.
The Recreation Passport replaced the state park and boating access site permits and provides resident motor vehicles access to all state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access sites.  It is a new way of funding Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities, also helping to preserve forest campgrounds, nonmotorized trails, historic and cultural sites in state parks, and providing grants to local communities for park development. The cost is $10 for resident motor vehicles; $5 for resident motorcycles.  To purchase the Recreation Passport, simply check “YES” on your Michigan license plate renewal form. To discover where Michigan’s $10 Recreation Passport can take you, call 517-241-7275 or visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.
Nonresident motor vehicles must still display a valid Motor Vehicle Permit to access a state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access site, which can be purchased at any state park or online through the Michigan E-store at www.michigan.gov/estore. The cost is $29 for a nonresident annual; $8 for a nonresident daily.

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