Comments On The Issue
There are a lot of people talking about this issue and we will attempt to cover this very hot issue on this page.
Last year the trail was paved from Cadillac south to LeRoy. The “Friends” raised the funds that paid for this project!
Knowing that this is a prime area for snowmobile use during the winter months we paid approximately an extra $20,000 per mile for a special topcoat of asphalt that was supposed to be resistant to snowmobile stud damage. This total cost of $340,000 for the extra protection could have paid for nearly 3 more miles of pavement as the construction cost was approximately $140,000 per mile including the special snowmobile stud resistant mix.
In spite of the special mix there has been an unacceptable level of damage to the new pavement in one season; more specifically due to studded track snowmobile use of the trail when there was not sufficient snow on the trail.
Stud damage after one snowmobiling season is considerably worse on the Cadillac to LeRoy section than the section from Russell Road to Sand Lake which has had 3 snowmobile seasons impact.
Another part of this problem is the riding of the trails when they are quite simply "Closed"! Acording to the Michigan Snowmobiling Association web-site the trails are open from December 1 through March 31. We have have considerable snowmbile use as early as October and as late as May with little to no snow on portions of the trail.
The “Friends” fully support the use of the trail by the snowmobile users, we do not support the unacceptable damage to the trail by the machines with studded tracks.
We welcome your input.
This page will be updated as necessary!
Pictures From The Affected Area
Prior to damage
Damages as follows - - - - - - - - >
Vandalisim - One of 4 holes dug nearly through the asphalt by snowmobiles
Links To Sites Of Interest Regarding The Stud Issue
Article by the TV station out of Traverse City
Hardcore Sledder - Forum
Michigan Fatality Reports
2010 - 2011
2009 - 2010
2008 - 2009
2007 - 2008
2007 - 2008 - Large in-depth report
2006 - 2008
2005 - 2006
MSU Study Done In Kent County Of The Trail
MSU Assesment of Snowmobiling in Michigan 2009
Michigan Snowmobile Association