• Travel and Fanfare

67 miles of UP Snowmobile, ORV Trails Sold for $1M

By Justine Lofton


With the purchase of 67 miles of permanent trail easements, the connectivity of snowmobile and off-road vehicle trails in the western Upper Peninsula is secured for future generations. The Department of Natural Resources recently bought 30-foot easements on several trail segments, including 56 miles primarily for snowmobiling and 11 miles for multi-use, for $985,969.


“This certainly is good news,” said Ron Yesney, U.P. trails coordinator with the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division. “Having permanent trail easements is an important advance for our western Upper Peninsula trail network.”


56 miles to play

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently acquired 56 miles of 30-foot trail easements in Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron and Ontonagon counties for $832,969. Most of the trail segments are designated for snowmobile use.Michigan Department of Natural Resources


The 56 miles of mostly snowmobiling trails are in Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron and Ontonagon counties. The DNR purchased 30-foot trail access along the route from the Keweenaw Land Association of Ironwood for $832,969. The transaction was funded through the Michigan Permanent Snowmobile Easement Fund. The land will be managed by the DNR in collaboration with seven snowmobile clubs and three off-road vehicle clubs.


“We are excited to work with the DNR to ensure that trails in the western Upper Peninsula are permanently available for future generations to enjoy,” said Keweenaw Land Association President Mark Sherman. “We recognize the important economic role that recreational trails play in our communities … and we care about the viability of our communities and people.”


While most of the 56 miles is currently for snowmobile use, Yesney said the trail segments could be multi-use in the future. However, that would require a trail proposal process and permission for neighboring landowners.


11 miles to ride

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently acquired 11 miles of 30-foot trail easements in Ontonagon County for $153,000. The trail segments are designated for multi-use by snowmobiles and ORVs.Michigan Department of Natural Resources


In a second deal to acquire 11 miles of 30-foot trail easement in Ontonagon County, the DNR paid $153,000 to Lyme Great Lakes Timberlands LLC of Hanover, N.H., with funds from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.


The trail is designated for multi-use, including snowmobiles and ORVs. It will be managed by the DNR with the MI-TRALE ORV Club and the North Country and Superior snowmobile clubs.


The trail segment, which has been enjoyed for a long time, is an asset to the public and supports tourism, said Lyme Timber CEO Jim Hourdequin.


“We are pleased to have worked with the DNR to provide people a permanent place to recreate and experience the beauty of our natural resources,” he said.


Hourdequin also hinted that his company may sell more U.P. trail easements to the DNR in the future.

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