GENESEE COUNTY — Snowmobilers will see many changes this season, including a reduction in the signage found on trails, making it safer for everyone, plus an increase in snowmobile usage fees put into action in 2008 also took effect last season.
Michigan is known by snowmobilers nationwide for its unique combination of abundant and dependable snow, exciting terrain and extensive trail network, says state officials and the Michigan Snowmobile Association (MSA).
With more than 6,200 miles of designated snowmobile trails located throughout the state of Michigan forests, three national forests and many acres of privately owned lands, Michigan is one of only three states that offer a large system of interconnected snowmobile trails. Approximately 50% of the snowmobile trail system is located on private lands; 20% federal; 25% state; and 5% other public.
More than 150 grooming tractors are used by more than 65 grant program sponsors to groom the 6,200-mile trail system.
New snowmobile trail signs include:
Combination Horizontal Alignment/Intersection (left and right). These bright, yellow signs with directional arrows may be used on snowmobile trails to give notice of changes in horizontal trail alignment less than 90- degrees where an intersection occurs within or immediately adjacent to a turn.
Private Drives Ahead. These signs may be used to warn trail users where driveways cross a snowmobile trail.
One-Direction Large Arrow (left and right). These signs will be used on snowmobile trails to give notice of changes in horizontal trail alignment of 90-degrees or more. One-direction large arrow signs are 10 x 20 inches, yellow reflective signs with a black arrow and border. The DNR will continue to mark 90-degree turns with “sharp turn” warning signs supplemented with a new directional arrow.
Next (number of) Miles, supplemental plaque. These signs may be installed below “Private Drives Ahead” signs to indicate how many miles long the stretch of trail with private drives runs.
Trail Closed to Wheeled Motor Vehicles Ahead. These signs will be placed on state or federal land prior to the point where a designated state snowmobile trail enters private property where wheeled motorized vehicle use is prohibited.
No longer used and to be removed:
Bridge Ahead; Narrow Trail; Trail Crossing; Deer Crossing; Drift Area; Two Way Trail; Winding Trail; Narrow Bridge; Truck Traffic; Steep Hill; Chevron.
The DNR has implemented motorized signage changes to improve safety and provide consistent guidance for trail riders. A citizens’ advisory workgroup made recommendations to the DNR, resulting in these changes.
For additional information contact DNR Parks and Recreation Division at 517-373-9900 or for more Michigan snowmobile information, visit www.michigan.gov/snowmobiling.
Fee increase to be implemented for 2011-2012
Snowmobilers are reminded that the snowmobile trail permit fee for 2011-12 is $45. A state law signed in 2008 provides for incremental increases in snowmobile trail fees. The Michigan Snowmobile Association (MSA) advocated and supported incremental trail permit increases in 2008. MSA sent out a survey to snowmobilers in and out of state, and the DNR was pleased to see that 80 percent supported the increase. In 2008 the fee was $25, it increased to $35 in 2009 and 2010 and 2011-2015, the fee goes up to $45.
Revenue from the sale of every trail permit fee is allocated by law as follows: Fifty cents for department administrative costs; $1 for agent selling the permit; and the balance deposited in the recreational snowmobile trail improvement subaccount.