DNR secures easements for more than 100 miles of recreational trail

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- DNR News -

March 24, 2022
Contact: Matt Torreano, DNR land and easement analyst, (906) 202-3219

DNR secures easements for more than 100 miles of recreational trail in Baraga and Marquette counties

Two snowmobilers ride along a trail in Marquette County on a sunny afternoon.

In partnership with Lyme Great Lakes Timberlands, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has purchased nearly 103 miles of primarily snowmobile trail easements in Baraga and Marquette counties.

The easements were purchased by the DNR for $1.8 million from the L’Anse and Escanaba-based company, with funds from the DNR’s permanent snowmobile easement fund.

“Trail networks are integral to the economy of the Upper Peninsula and enjoy year-round use. We’re pleased to once again work with the DNR to provide permanent public access to the trail networks in Marquette and Baraga counties, which pass through some of the most scenic parts of the area,” said Bill O’Brion, general manager of Lyme Great Lakes Timberlands. “Our partnership with the DNR continues to grow and strengthen as we work together to protect the trail network across all of Lyme’s ownership in the Upper Peninsula.”

Eight of the trail miles will be designated as multi-use, including off-road vehicle use, with the remainder for snowmobiles only. See a map of the trail sections included.

Ron Yesney, the DNR’s Upper Peninsula trails coordinator, said the permanent snowmobile easement fund was developed to provide a funding source to ensure snowmobile trails would be available for current and future generations to enjoy.

“Trails are critical to the Upper Peninsula’s economy, and we are proud to partner with Lyme to secure these trails forever,” Yesney said. “Michigan is a leader in snowmobile access and use, continuing to grow its network of permanent trails.”

Michigan has roughly 6,500 miles of groomed snowmobile trails managed by the DNR and snowmobile clubs, with about half of those miles located in the U.P.

Karen Middendorp, executive director of the Michigan Snowmobile and Off-Road Vehicle Association, said her organization is pleased with the easements purchase made by the DNR, which will help add permanence to the state’s trail system.

“Acquiring permanent snowmobile trail easements is a priority for the snowmobile community,” she said.

For more information on snowmobiling in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/Snowmobiling.

Note to editors: An accompanying photo is available below for download. Caption information follows. Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Trail: Snowmobilers enjoy an afternoon on Trail No. 417 in Marquette County.

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