With the winter sports season underway, the Department of Natural Resources announced today that fewer cross country ski trails in state forests would be groomed this winter due to budget cuts, but that some trails would remain groomed.
The DNR has 23 cross country ski trails in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, but only eight will be fully groomed this year. Parking lots at all cross country ski trailheads will be plowed, however. The eight trails that will be groomed this season are:
State Forest Trails
“The state forest pathways are offered for public recreation at no charge, and are entirely supported by the state’s General Fund, competitive grants and local volunteer efforts,” said Lynne Boyd, chief of the DNR’s Forest, Mineral and Fire Management Division. “Like every other state department, the DNR saw its General Fund tax dollars cut for this fiscal year, and the Forest Recreation Program is heavily dependent on those dollars to operate. Unfortunately, the budget cut will make it impossible for us to offer as many programs as we have in the past.”
A 2009-2010 State Forest Cross-country Ski Pathways list, including county name and contact information numbers, may be found on the DNR Web site at http://www.michigan.gov/dnr, select Recreation, Camping & Boating, followed by Seasonal Recreation Opportunities. It is suggested that people call the contact numbers to check conditions and grooming status prior to their trip.
For more information on the state forest cross-country skiing program, please contact Mark Mandenberg, DNR Trails Program technical designer, at 517 335 3037.
State Parks and Recreation Areas
Cross-country skiing is also allowed in all 98 state parks and recreation areas. However, not all trails within these state parks or recreation areas will be groomed for cross-country skiing. This season, 22 parks and recreation areas will be groomed (more details here):
Northern Lower Peninsula
Southern Lower Peninsula
“Cross-country skiing is a great way to ‘GO-Get Outdoors’ to experience the winter season, enjoy nature and get physically fit at the same time,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. “Twenty-two state parks and recreation areas throughout the state will have groomed, cross-country ski trails this winter season.”
Information regarding cross-country skiing in state parks or recreation areas is also available on the DNR Web site, under Seasonal Recreation Opportunities, or by contacting the park.
All motor vehicles entering a state park or recreation area must display a valid Motor Vehicle Permit, available for purchase at the entrance. Cost is $24 for a resident annual and $6 for a resident daily. A non-resident annual is $29 and a non-resident daily is $8.
The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, accessible use and enjoyment of the State’s natural resources for current and future generations.