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Trail Conditions Straight from the guys who groom them!

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Old 02-16-2017, 09:53 AM   #1
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Default Trail Conditions 2-16-17

So it is a nice 20d this morning, but the bad news is that is the coldest we will see for the foreseeable future. Trails as of this morning are a 9.9/10 and just plain fantastic. Some areas are low snow, but are still covered and flat and super fast. On the RR grade the base is thin, some ice under and topped with 3-4” of packed workable snow. Everything in the woods is in really good shape. Todays rides will be full of nothing but smiles.
That’s the good news, the bad news is the forecast. And it is a tough one to swallow, as this will be the 3rd major meltdown that the EUP as seen this winter. Temps are going to start to climb tonight and by tomorrow it will be in the 40’s which is expected to stick around. NOAA is saying we have a 90% chance of much above normal temps through the 25th, and a 75% chance of being above normal temps through March 3rd (which is the longest that forecast is going out).

What does all this mean for the Straits trails? Ride today because there is no tomorrow!!! OK, not quite that dramatic, but the idea is there. Trails will be fantastic today, and begins gradual decline for the next few days. I am going to use my crystal ice ball (which will be melting soon) and predict that the RR Grade South of Moran, and the Southern 3 miles of #471 will be seeing major problems on Sunday. I think you will have no issues riding them Friday and Saturday, begin to think about trailering out of town on Sunday, and Mon-Wed still being in the 40s (+sun) it is almost a guarantee. Now the outer trails will be just fine through the weekend. There will be no issues ringing throughout the system and town to town. Of course every town is going to have the issue of roadsides melting and tough to get to gas – we will be no different as most pavement is almost bare now, and will be dry and black by Saturday night. I will attempt to groom the town trails before the weekend, which will help out the Mackinac Bridge crossers, just realize you will have to deal with some road grinding no matter what on that issue.

ALERT: This weekend is the big UP LaBattBlue Pond Hockey Championship. We have several thousand people competing again this year, but due to the low ice conditions of Lake Huron, the Tournament has been moved from Lake Huron, to Chain lake, which is right adjacent to the trail as you leave St. Ignace. Thus, we are sharing about ½ mile of trail with the hockey folks. If you are planing on riding here – you must call ahead and get a room, as 99% will be booked, and you may only fine a cancellation to get into. I know the visitors bureau was keeping a list of open rooms at one time, not sure if that is still available – call them if you really need a place to stay. If you are considering day riding – you must park logically in the SOUTH ice rink lot, and if that fills up you park just North of the ice rink LOGICALLY as just North of that is the parking for several hundred pond hockey cars for the game which will be lining the majority of the old RR yard North of the ice rink. There will be a shuttle system moving these people North and under the overpass onto the Mackinac Bridge trail, then back crossing the main trail to Cheeseman road. You will have a tough time going through the rail yard but I will plant a new trail on the West side through the small trees like last year. You will have to share the trail of that 500 feet as you go under the overpass to the first driveway, then it will be clear sailing. This Tournament is very important to our town, so thank you for working with us and understanding the issues.

ALSO, if you are in the area yo may want to stop by the ice rink on Friday night for the FREE Detroit Red Wings Alumni game, and with a free exhibition of the (ice hockey) roller derby girls, along with the super popular LaBatte Blue Ice Girls free giveaways. Must be 21 to enter, and it is sure to be a good time.

So with all of that I implore you to get out and ride this weekend. Ride somewhere, ride anywhere and have a good time. I fear that this next 5-7 days is going to knock out a majority of the state’s trails, and if you are able to ride again next weekend, it will be a bumper to bumper parade as 3 states worth of people all try to cram into a couple of trails North of 28.

Be safe out there, watch of ice developing on the inside of the corners, remember that the mashed potato snow is going to cause people to plow through the corners, so slow down and remember to be courteous to all on the trails. Have fun and bring everybody back to do it again.
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-16-17

Thanks for all you and your club does for us snowmachiners Neil.

Great update
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-16-17

Thanks Neil and crew ..going to get up there tonight and get so riding in...
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Old 02-16-2017, 03:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-16-17

Thanks for the update. Heading up tonight with wife and granddaughters. First time oldest is able to ride UP trails, looks like she will have the best of trails!
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Old 02-16-2017, 05:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-16-17

Welcome to the site.

Ride safe this weekend--There is going to be a lot of sled traffic. Everyone in six States is chasing snow,

Don~
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-16-17

Thanks for the good news Neil. NOT !!!!! The next 10 days are with two days all sun, 41d. Two days partly sunny 37d. One day rain, ouch!!! The rest just above frezzing. Not getting below 32d for three nights. We are coming up for the week, so we are there rain or shine. Does anyone rent 4 wheelers this time of year.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-16-17

ANOTHER UPDATE HERE

18d early this morning and about 24d now, heading to 34. Trails are fantastic, and will hold well through teh day. THey dropped tomorrows temp by 2d, hoping that little bit helps out and I think trails will now be soft, but good through the weekend.

REMEMBER, we are sharing the trail for about 1/4 mile with pond hockey people & shuttles. Trail will get nasty in this area, so watch for people and vehicles, and it it really isn't that bad. Watch for the road work ahead signs.

Bonus trail candy for you, just past the pond hockey trail sharing area
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-16-17

NOTICE
Pond Hockey has destroyed the area North of the ice rink lot. It is very difficult to get from staging to the overpass where trails improve dramatically.

I have reports that the trail is starting to get bad South of Moran. I would not recommend trying to ride out of Iggy tomorrow. Trail to at least Moran and ride from there.

Brevort is difficult getting into. as of last night.

Consider this mid-March riding.
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-16-17

Rode out of Brevort Saturday, coming back in at 5pm a couple 100 feet of gravel and asphalt. Straits trails held up really good, others not so much. You sure can tell when we hit the Straits trails. Looks like trailering out will be effect till or if we get more snow.
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Old 02-19-2017, 11:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-16-17

I am going to call trail toasted South of the Cedarville Connector (#47 East) as of this morning.

Central trails held up OK, but it is only a matter of time.

Most trails were groomed last night, and that will very likely be the last grooming until we are supposed to get more snow.

Sunday's pond hockey was cancelled and moved indoors. I seriously doubt that Youth for next weekend can happen.

After today I think we all will be looking for the big March storm that we always have.
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Old 02-19-2017, 11:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-16-17

For what it is worth, mlive.com said that Detroit was warmer the L.A. on Saturday.
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