As snow covers much of the state and thousands of snowmobilers get their sleds out of storage, the snowmobile season has arrived in Michigan.
In addition to registering a snowmobile with the Secretary of State, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds anyone operating a snowmobile in Michigan to buy a permit.
The Michigan DNR also reminds riders that 80 percent of U.P. snowmobile accidents last year were caused by excessive speed, so use caution on trails. For additional safety tips, check out the Ride Right website.
Before you head out, check out the trails using interactive maps.
Some snowmobile trail sections in the Curtis area of Mackinac County have been temporarily closed by the Michigan DNR because of recent weather conditions.
Trails crews continue to work on clearing trails, especially in Chippewa County. In some places, riders have disregarded closed gates and found trouble along the trails.
“Emergency crews have pulled sleds out of heavy water areas over two consecutive nights,” said Paul Gaberdiel, eastern U.P. trails specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Parks and Recreation Division. “These areas with swamps have a lot of water holes in the trails. Conditions there may not improve until significant snowfall and much colder temperatures occur, which are needed to freeze and firm-up the trails.”
Disregarding closed trail signs or gates could jeopardize rider safety.
“It is paramount that snowmobilers ride cautiously in other areas of the eastern Upper Peninsula,” said Rob Shields, a DNR forest fire supervisor.