Michigan snowmobile season officially begins despite low snowfall in most places

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 6:30 PM EST
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UPPER MICHIGAN, Mich. (WLUC) - While there is not a lot of snow on the ground in most of the U.P. – Thursday is the first day that public snowmobile trails can open in Michigan.

DNR Spokesperson John Pepin says until there is at least one foot of snow on the ground, trails will not be used.

“Technically today is the first day of snowmobile season but what that actually means is the grooming contracts come into effect,” Pepin said. “Until there is enough adequate snow for grooming and trail riding there won’t be any snowmobiling.”

While there might not be enough snow yet in Marquette County, Maple Ridge Resort in Michigamme is preparing for the season.

“This time of year, things are slower, so we are putting away all of the summer docks and picnic tables,” Maple Ridge Owner Nicole Haskett said. “We also bring out the snow blowers, plows and making sure we are ready.”

Haskett says a benefit of staying at the resort is getting an inside scoop on what trails are good in the area.

“We have a lot of inside knowledge of how the trails are looking, what the conditions are and can give guests ideas and suggestions on where to plan their rides,” Haskett said.

Pepin says the western U.P. could see snowmobilers after significant snowfall this week.

A segment of trail two between Bessemer and Wakefield which is a popular snowmobiling route in Gogebic County will not be open this season. That’s after a decision by new ski resort owners.

“That is still an issue that has proved elusive as far as finding a solution,” Pepin said. “There is no alternate route that we can construct for this snowmobile season.”

To use public trails, you need to purchase a snowmobile permit. To purchase a permit or to find a trail near you visit the DNR website for more information.