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Trail Conditions Straight from the guys who groom them!

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Old 01-14-2019, 10:16 AM   #1
Snow VP
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Default Trail Conditions 1-14-19

Gee, get good snow, post up good trail conditions and kill alot of the trail downstate and wonder what happens? Saturday is what happens! Reports came in far and wide that is was the busiest trails in the EUP for the last 5 years at least! Lots of smaller gas stations ran out of premium gas, some everything all the way from Moran to Grand Maris. Moran did run out just as the delivery truck showed up so no harm-no foul there. The lines for gas in Moran stretched out both driveways to M-123 and Dukes road! St. Ignace saw 75 trailers in the ice rink lot, many more in area hotels.

I have had a couple of messages, yes there was an accident in the South rink lot Saturday at noon. It appears that a guy unloading his sled had a stuck throttle and hit a parked pickup. I do not have an update on his condition - thoughts and prayers to him and his family. Remember folks, no machine is worth your life, if something happens, bail and let it go!

With all of the traffic you can bet that trails took a beating. Just no possible way to hold the trails in good shape with that kind of traffic. Some clubs will try day grooming in this situation, but I see the benefits (for us) to be very limited with time, and diesel much better spent in the evening and overnight. That said, every single person I talked to said yes our trails got a bit choppy, but were holding up better than other areas - a testament to our method and the guys driving our machines.

Big thumbs up to my guys who ran the tractors over the weekend, they are not used to running at 7mph all night to get things back into shape. Be advised that many times on the Brevort end Bobby & Ken will cover the entire Northern end in one evening - however when it gets rough, and it is slow going they need to revert back to the 'normal' grooming schedule which grooms the North loop to Trout Lake, and then EITHER the Caffey trail to Rexton, OR the Cut River trail to Epoufette. The alternate trail is then groomed on the following night to cover the entire system. Our Cedarville connector is generally groomed 2-3 days a week depending on traffic, along with the lower loop on every run out of Iggy.

So what are we left with? Groomers are running nightly and have the trails whipped back into shape. Trails are good to go again, but we are developing a bit of issues. Please remember that we started this whole season last Monday with 8-14in of snow. It has created a great base, but that base is beat down in a few places and the sleds running picks and large lugs have dug a few rocks up from under the snow and mixed them in. They are the typical problem low-snow areas of Hay lake and Moran area on the RR grade. I understand the pipeline wore a bit thin in a couple spots too. None of this is anything to really worry about right now, however this is no decent snow on the horizon which could post a problem in the coming weeks as the snow will not hold up forever.

Weather for this upcoming week is fine. Good for riding, just no good snow in the forecast. Supposed to get 1in on Wednesday, not much else. This coming weekend will prove to be very busy again. If you are thinking about heading up for the 3-day weekend, book now! Trails should be in fine shape, but forecast right now is for the HIGHS to be in the single digits. This is by far the coldest stretch of the year, so bring an extra layer or two.

Groomers are going to run as needed to take care of the trails, and to not wear the snow out. Please do not ask the schedule - no I do not give it out, except to say that for the most part they are running in the evenings and overnight.

Everybody site back, regroup and hit it again next weekend!

ALSO forgot to add, that the bay almost froze all the way to the island on Sunday. There is some movement out there now, but the lake is making ice for pond hockey. Keep good thoughts for the cold temps this weekend to freeze it in, and hopefully the ferry can do its thing without hurting the bay too much.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-14-19

Rode trail 473 from Rexton to Trout lake on Friday (Only bad stretch I found in the area). Is this trail on the regular grooming schedule?
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-14-19

If you are talking about the trail straight from Rexton to Trout Lake, along the RR grade portion of 473, that is a TASA trail not ours. It is alot of swamp and they normally take quite a bit of time to get it into shape.

In the future, it is counter-intuitive, but you should drop down South on Trail 2 (our Caffey Trail), and then back North on trail 471 (the truck trail) which joins back up. Yes is is several miles longer, however it is a 100% nicer ride, and 90% of the time is the same or faster in time.
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-14-19

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If you are talking about the trail straight from Rexton to Trout Lake, along the RR grade portion of 473, that is a TASA trail not ours. It is alot of swamp and they normally take quite a bit of time to get it into shape.

In the future, it is counter-intuitive, but you should drop down South on Trail 2 (our Caffey Trail), and then back North on trail 471 (the truck trail) which joins back up. Yes is is several miles longer, however it is a 100% nicer ride, and 90% of the time is the same or faster in time.
When I am back up your way in 10 days, I am planning on doing exactly that. I rode your trails on Friday and Saturday, and hey were excellent! Also the Strongs area and the Sault were in very nice shape.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-14-19

Rode the whole system Friday and Saturday. Even coming back in Saturday night everything was great. Sure there were a few choppy spots, but not many really. And after being thru Cedarville and up thru Kinross and back thru Trout lake. It was a breath of fresh air (Snow) to be back on the Straits system. When we turned off that trail going straight from Trout lake to Newberry south the traffic dropped instantly. Props to the straits groomers on an Excellent job! Let's keep the south route a secret, please!
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-14-19

It was crazy how many people were in town for the weekend. It's surely been a long time since our system has seen that kinda traffic. I have never seen 20+ sleds in line for gas at Rexton That being said Wink, Toddmeister, Sno Pro7, Beano, and tyhe rest of our group all agree that every trail we rode was whipped up but our system has teh least amount of snow and held up teh best. Kudo's to our drivers taking care of the system as always!

JRiggs, Unless in a huge hurry and not caring about roughness always take our trail to trout lake. Its not that much further and you will ride (in my opinion) the nicest trail on our system. (The caffey)

Well keep praying for snow and hope to see everyone this weekend.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-14-19

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Originally Posted by conniver04 View Post
It was crazy how many people were in town for the weekend. It's surely been a long time since our system has seen that kinda traffic. I have never seen 20+ sleds in line for gas at Rexton That being said Wink, Toddmeister, Sno Pro7, Beano, and tyhe rest of our group all agree that every trail we rode was whipped up but our system has teh least amount of snow and held up teh best. Kudo's to our drivers taking care of the system as always!

JRiggs, Unless in a huge hurry and not caring about roughness always take our trail to trout lake. Its not that much further and you will ride (in my opinion) the nicest trail on our system. (The caffey)

Well keep praying for snow and hope to see everyone this weekend.
The RexStore ran out of both premium & regular by Sat afternoon. Talked to the new owner, he said it was crazy busy. Both tanks were full in expectations of a big wkd and it still wasnt enough.

@SnowVP, did you guys find the missing wheel/tire?

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Old 01-14-2019, 07:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-14-19

Yes, thanks to all involved with grooming the Straits system. Proved to be the best again last weekend.

After riding beat up trails, it’s good to do the “Home Stretch” on smooth trails.

Friday night was a late one. Didn’t get back to the hotel til about midnight. It will be a long time, if ever, before I try to ride to Drummond Island again. Ran some whooped up trails with lots of “helmet slappers”. Very disappointing.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:48 AM   #9
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-14-19

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@SnowVP, did you guys find the missing wheel/tire?
I do not know the story yet, but yes the tire was recovered on the North end of the caffey, and is back in our position.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:12 PM   #10
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Yes, thanks to all involved with grooming the Straits system. Proved to be the best again last weekend.

After riding beat up trails, it’s good to do the “Home Stretch” on smooth trails.

Friday night was a late one. Didn’t get back to the hotel til about midnight. It will be a long time, if ever, before I try to ride to Drummond Island again. Ran some whooped up trails with lots of “helmet slippers”. Very disappointing.
So Wink, I'm bringing a group up for the long weekend and we were thinking of going to Drummond. So was it the route to Drummond or the trails on the Island that were the issue?
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:37 PM   #11
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So Wink, I'm bringing a group up for the long weekend and we were thinking of going to Drummond. So was it the route to Drummond or the trails on the Island that were the issue?
It was the trails to Drummond that were the problem. It was good till just before the mill;ion dollar bridge and then after that it was a mess. You can make it to Hessell although they send you down St Ignace rd and there was not alot of snow on the shoulder and then after Cedarville there was a approx 6 miles of trail being logged and after getting a good bit into it it was down to dirt and mud. Winks track melted to his hyfax when we had to stop for our engines overheating. After we made it to Detour we headed back via Kinross then down to Rudyard etc. That wasnt much better until we left Rudyard and headed back to Trout Lake on Chippewa's trail system. That club to the east Les Cheneaux didn't do much of anything. Tons of branches hitting you in the head and marginal at best trail conditions. I used to love that roiute and haven't been that way in years because of teh lack of snow and I was the one that talked everyone into going that way on Friday because they had just got over 12" on Monday and let me tell you I agree with Wink it will be a long time before I head that way again. hope this helps you. Feel free to ask anything else you need to know.
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:20 AM   #12
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-14-19

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It was the trails to Drummond that were the problem. It was good till just before the mill;ion dollar bridge and then after that it was a mess. You can make it to Hessell although they send you down St Ignace rd and there was not alot of snow on the shoulder and then after Cedarville there was a approx 6 miles of trail being logged and after getting a good bit into it it was down to dirt and mud. Winks track melted to his hyfax when we had to stop for our engines overheating. After we made it to Detour we headed back via Kinross then down to Rudyard etc. That wasnt much better until we left Rudyard and headed back to Trout Lake on Chippewa's trail system. That club to the east Les Cheneaux didn't do much of anything. Tons of branches hitting you in the head and marginal at best trail conditions. I used to love that roiute and haven't been that way in years because of teh lack of snow and I was the one that talked everyone into going that way on Friday because they had just got over 12" on Monday and let me tell you I agree with Wink it will be a long time before I head that way again. hope this helps you. Feel free to ask anything else you need to know.
Last Saturday morning we left Sault St Marie and headed down south to Kinross then on to Cedarville, and over the million dollar bridge to Trout Lake. I agree 100% with your comments. Trail 49 was the worst I have ever ridden (from Kinross to the million dollar bridge was bad). I don't think I will ride on the east side of I-75 for a long time.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:36 AM   #13
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-14-19

Last nights snow in the forecast unfortunately did not show up. It was a bit of rain. Did not hurt anything, and reports are the trails are still in good shape.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:23 AM   #14
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It was the trails to Drummond that were the problem. It was good till just before the mill;ion dollar bridge and then after that it was a mess. You can make it to Hessell although they send you down St Ignace rd and there was not alot of snow on the shoulder and then after Cedarville there was a approx 6 miles of trail being logged and after getting a good bit into it it was down to dirt and mud. Winks track melted to his hyfax when we had to stop for our engines overheating. After we made it to Detour we headed back via Kinross then down to Rudyard etc. That wasnt much better until we left Rudyard and headed back to Trout Lake on Chippewa's trail system. That club to the east Les Cheneaux didn't do much of anything. Tons of branches hitting you in the head and marginal at best trail conditions. I used to love that roiute and haven't been that way in years because of teh lack of snow and I was the one that talked everyone into going that way on Friday because they had just got over 12" on Monday and let me tell you I agree with Wink it will be a long time before I head that way again. hope this helps you. Feel free to ask anything else you need to know.
Thanks for your honesty, there will be 9 of us staying at our place on Lake Brevoort. this helps in my planning routes for the weekend. any suggestions of good places to hit? none of us have done any riding on the east end of UP because of the snow situation past few years and want to make the most of our 3 days.
Thanks.
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