Nearby Michigan Extends Snowmobile Season, Why Can’t Minnesota?
Here's a question for fellow snowmobilers: Do you ever remember being able to ride on the last day of the year on actually good trails? The answer for many of us would be no. This has been one of the snowiest winters in forever, and trails are still in great shape. However, the season ends Friday at Midnight.
That's because the agreement for Grant In Aid snowmobile trails ends at midnight on March, 31st. So 21,000 miles of trails will be shut down, sitting with some fresh snow from this upcoming round that's going to impact parts of Minnesota.
In Minnesota, landowners graciously allow trails to pass through their property. They receive grant money from the state. However, those landowners can pull those rights if they feel like the agreement is being violated, such as people going off trail or having a loud exhaust. These trails are instrumental in linking together state trails, lakes, and businesses such as bars and restaurants.
Michigan also has had late-season snow and many of its trails are still in good shape. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that they would extend the season with certain conditions for one more weekend, ending Sunday, April 2nd.
The following criteria must be met according to the Michigan DNR.
- There is enough snow on the ground to groom.
- The club is fully insured.
- The club has adequate unused grooming funds remaining in its 2022-2023 snowmobile grant.
- The club has landowner permissions that extend into April 2023.
I'm sure a lot of people would like to see just one more weekend in Minnesota. Yes, the public land is still open, but a lot of establishments that could use the extra revenue rely on grant-in-aid trails for access. Sadly, that's unlikely that we'll see some type of exception in Minnesota. Maybe we could get some groundwork in place for the coming years? It's been getting snowier in March!