DNR asking snowmobilers to exercise caution on riding trails

LANSING — With varying amounts of snowfall so far this season across the northern section of the state, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is urging snowmobilers to use caution riding trails.

Groomer contracts went into effect Dec. 1, kicking off the start of another Michigan snowmobile season. Trails are being groomed in most areas. However, snow depths are limited in many places, making trail grooming difficult.

“We always want snowmobilers to use caution, but especially during this early season riding,” said DNR trails specialist Paul Gaberdiel. “Riders should keep to trails they know or trails they know are situated on dry ground.”

Limited snowfall can reveal potential hazards including rocks and wet areas.

“Many areas have not had enough cold weather to freeze swamps and have soft ground or unfrozen water covered by snow,” Gaberdiel said. “Several groomers have gotten stuck because of unusually high water and warm temperatures in swampy areas.”

In those areas, DNR staff is working on bypass routes. Before riding trails, check with local trail grant sponsors for current trail conditions.

For more information on snowmobiling in Michigan, visit the DNR’s webpage at: www.michigan.gov/dnr.