Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Reports

2004-2005 Season (Archived)

Houghton Lake Michigan has over 200 miles of snowmobile trails.

Michigan snowmobiling season begins most winters by December and continues through March. This website is dedicated to Michigan snowmobiling and strives to give accurate snowmobile trail reports with pictures. Michigan snowmobiling relies on the efforts of volunteers to help maintain and improve the trail conditions. Check out the webcam page to see current conditions for Michigan Snowmobiling in Houghton Lake. We are avid snowmobiling fans ourselves, and volunteer every year for trail maintenance and grooming. Please support the clubs in the area where you ride by volunteering or donating. Michigan snowmobiling is a sport to be enjoyed by the entire family.

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Click here for our Michigan Snowmobile Trail reports posted by you...our guests!!Click here for a link to Houghton Lake Fishing, by Lymans on the Lake, for all your fishing reports and suppliesClick here for Michigan snowmobile trail reports from the 2000-2001 seasonClick here for Michigan snowmobile trail reports from the 2001-2002 seasonClick here for Michigan snowmobile trail reports from the 2003-2004 season

 

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SNOWMOBILE REPAIR & STUDDING

Please donate to this website if you find it useful. We added a paypal link so you can donate using your paypal account. We have some specials on studding, as well as pre-season prep. Stainless steel Woody's studs installed for $2.50 per stud, 24 hour turnaround. Many styles of backers available. Tunnel protectors extra if required. Pre season prep ($170.00) includes the following: 1. Check all fluids 2. chain-case oil changed 3. grease suspension and bearings 4. Charging system and all lighting check 5. Track tension adjustment 6. Engine compression test. 7. Wearbars check and slider replacement if necessary. 8. General inspection and bolt tightening. 9. Power wash and cleanup 10 Battery test. 11. Coolant system check 12 Belt inspection. Carbide replacement is 10.00 and carbides are approx 45.00/60.00/75.00/90.00 for 4/6/8/10" respectively for most sleds. Carb cleaning is included. 

Another snowmobile season is upon us and the Road Commission says they will do what the can to work with us on the areas that snowmobiles and vehicles have to share. Lets give them a chance and see what happens this year. If you see signs of teamwork from their organization helping the community, give them a friendly thank you.

 

2004-2005 Season (Archived)

I am leaving this at the top so everyone can read it. Please contact these individuals, and give them your opinions. 

This picture was taken Dec 24 2004.  It is a picture Owens Rd, the key access road to get to the trailhead. Seems it's necessary to scrape the shoulder of this road completely down to dirt, at a speed so great as to throw all of the dirt well past the shoulder into the ditch. The one we ride along to get to the trail. Now I bring you information on those folks responsible for our County Roads. Maybe give them a shout, let them know how much you appreciate their efforts.

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Snow Routes The road commission is responsible for 1043 miles of road. This consists of 184 miles of primary roads, 678 miles of local roads and 181 miles of trunklines or state highway. Snow removal is done on a priority system. State Highways have the highest priority. We are obligated to say on most of these highways until they are clear of snow. Many of our Primary Roads (our numbered routes)are tended to at the same time. we are plowing State Highways. When the State Highways and Primary Roads are clear, we move to the Local Roads, also known as "side streets." We strive to have all roads plowed, at least with a single pass, on the first day. This is not always possible due to unforseen circumstances, such as continuing snowfall, equipment breakdowns or employee illness.

Owens road was plowed today 12/22/04, before 10:30 am, I watched them drive by. On another note I know of a daycare provider that still has not been plowed today as of 1:00PM.  E-mail us your opinions on this!!!

George E. Pappas, Former County Road Commission Chairman (Demoted by his peers))

George E Pappas GeorgePappas.jpg (171056 bytes) Call George Here: 989-366-7217

Or his Barber shop: 989-366-5875

Georges Barber shop 710 West Houghton Lake Drive Prudenville MI

 


3420 S Gladwin Rd (M-18)
Houghton Lake, MI 48629

Michael D. Van Wormer, New County Road Commission Chairman (promoted by his peers)

Michael D. Van Wormer Michaelvanwormer.jpg (158455 bytes) Home: 1-989-389-3638

Call him at work: 989-366-0333 

 

 


10576 Ivalee Ct. Richfld. Twp.  

Larry V. Paxton, County Road Commission Board Member

Larry V. Paxton larrypaxton.jpg (41200 bytes) Home: 989-275-2804

Call Him at work:989-366-0333

 

 

 


2329 W Mapelhurst Dr. Roscommon 


The Board meets the second and fourth Thursday of every month. The meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. at the Road Commission Office, 820 E. West Branch Road, Prudenville. The public is welcome to attend!

Update 9/22/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 7:00 AM  The Houghtonlaketrailblazers are organizing groups to do signing and brushing on the trails every weekend thru November. They are meeting at the Houghton Lake Chamber of commerce on Saturday mornings, and heading out from there. Contact the Chamber of Commerce for more information, we need your help. A lot of signs were damaged during the fire this summer. The west trail needs a lot of work as well, so anyone who can volunteer some time would be greatly appreciated. The forecast for the winter looks to be a good one (or so they say). The warm summer has increased the temp of Lake Michigan, to a point that they say it will take a long time to cool this winter, bringing more lake effect snow. Lets hope they are right. Don't forget to join the clubs where you ride, they do a lot for our trail system. The webcam is now live again with several new cameras that will be operating this winter. We will get some at ground level and a new snowgage. If you are runing any firewall protection, you will have to modify it in many cases to see the cameras. If you can't get it to work, e-mail us we will try and help. Webcams require a bit of finess to get them working, and I have had friends try it from all over the state with excellent result from 1 frame per secont, up to 7 frames per second. If is snowing, you will see snow. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 9/8/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 7:00 AM  It's time to think about riding again, and getting our snowmobile trails in shape for the winter. We will need help again with brushing and signing so call the chamber of commerce and throw your hat in the name bucket to volunteer. Mike Jacobs was out many times during the summer on the west trail, looking things over and submitting reports to the DNR, so we can get grant money to fix up that trail. Also support our local clubs by joining. That money goes to good use, and those club members do the bulk of the work on the trails around Roscommon county and Ogemaw county. Visit the Houghton Lake Trail Blazers site or call the St helen snowpackers by visiting out CLUBS page. The trailblazers newsletter is published online.

Update 5/16/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 4:00 PM  The ORV reports are updated weekly at a minimum. Please visit that page for ORV information and updates on our goal of opening up more roads in Roscommon County for better ORV access to food and fuel. CLICK HERE!!!!

Update 4/10/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 8:00 AM  The ice is pretty much all gone from the lake, yesterday it was blowing back and forth across the lake. Today there is ice no-where in sight. I saw a waverunner go by yesterday, so I guess spring has sprung. 

Update 3/28/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

For accurate snowfall forecast, check out John Dee's snow central

 8:00 AM  There was snow snow in the woods this past weekend, and people were riding the lake. That will probably be the end of the season. A few pictures from Pete are posted below. Keep checking back as we are continuing our fight with the Road Commission. For all of you that offered your support the time will come when we ask for it. For now we are getting the facts. Thanks for visiting and please donate to this website if you found it useful. There is a paypal link at the top of this page. The lake still has plenty of ice on it for fishing and there are a few sleds out on it todayBE CAREFUL IF YOU RIDE THE LAKE, AND CHECK ICE CONDITIONS BEFORE YOU VENTURE OUT THERE. 

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Update 3/20/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 12:00 PM  We didn't get the snow they forecasted, just a couple of inches. Probably was the last weekend to get a last ride in for the season, but who knows. The lake still has plenty of ice on it for fishing and there are a few sleds out on it todayBE CAREFUL IF YOU RIDE THE LAKE, AND CHECK ICE CONDITIONS BEFORE YOU VENTURE OUT THERE. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 3/18/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 8:00 AM  The low last night was -4, and it's -2 right now. Winter is not wanting to let go. The weather is calling for 1-2 tonight, and 3-4 tomorrow. Around 2 inches on Sunday. John D. believes Northern Lower may get 5-10 over the next 4 days. The lake is still frozen with 12-20+ inches of ice on it. There is enough snow to get out of here now going north, but it is a little rough. The sun may take a toll today before the snows start tonight. this weekend is a crapshoot, but the forecast looks promising. There is enough snow to ride the lake if that's in your plan. If this snow comes down the trails would be in much better shape. BE CAREFUL IF YOU RIDE THE LAKE, AND CHECK ICE CONDITIONS BEFORE YOU VENTURE OUT THERE. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 3/17/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 3:00 PM  The funeral for Ray is tomorrow, 10:00am at the Chrysler Funeral Home. There is a showing tonight from 4:00-9:00pm. Our prayers go out to his family and friends. 

 We went out and looked at the trails today, and the seasonal roads. There is still enough snow to ride two-tracks, and some sections of the trails. We got about 1-2 inches of snow over the last couple of days, so they look fresh in the pictures, but they are still very icy underneath. a couple of guys from Saginaw rode to starvation Lake from the parking lot at the first Higgins Lake Exit. They said it was icy, and there were some bear spots. Trail 7 into Grayling was worse than trail 6 and the Cranberry Lake trail. they are grooming up there, but not able to get the moguls out as the are VERY hard packed. Trails south of town and east towards St. Helen are icy as well with a little fresh snow on top. Fair to Poor, depending where you want to go, but some sleds are out. Pictures are posted below. Probably the last ride of the season for this area. 

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Update 3/15/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 8:00 AM  We lost another very good friend this week, Ray Nowland the former owner of the resort passed away. Many of the guests who frequent this page were also friends of Ray and Ellie. If you are reading this I apologize for you finding out this way, but she thought it might help to post it here. I saw Ray last week, and he looked great. They left for a long vacation in the motorhome and had some trouble with it. Ray was working on it when it happened. They are working on the Funeral arangements, and I will post it here when I find out. She said it looks like Wed-Thursday this week. It will be at the Chrysler Funeral Home. Here is the number of a local florist if you wish to send flowers.

  Town & Country. 989-366-5385

 

On a separate note, the trail report will be updated later in the week. The weather is so hit and miss right now, so we won't bother looking until later in to the week. 

We are taking donations for the "RECALL OUR ROAD COMMISSION SHIRTS".....GB and MVW.......CONGRATULATIONS....more styles available soon!!!!!!

Update 3/11/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 12:00 PM  Another dusting of snow last night was about it. Things are still icy and bumpy. A few pictures are posted below. The DNR  groomed the Cranberry lake trail and most everything north of M-72 got it as well. We have the same amount of snow, but I don't know if the groomer can get and of the hardpacked snow flattened out. I may go out it try it today as it warms up a bit.  THINK SNOW!!!!

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Update 3/10/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 8:00 AM  The trails got a little more snow on them over the last couple of days but there is still an icy base. People are out riding, but it is not the best of conditions. The temps remain in the single digits, are are supposed to remain below freezing feezing for the next week or so. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 3/8/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

2:00 PM  The trails are very icy at this point, and we are not able to groom until we get more snow. The forecast looks promising, but I would not come up today and expect to ride trails. There is still plenty of snow in the woods for off trail riding. We will have to see what the next couple of days brings. 

11:00 AM  The low last night was about 0, and it's 8 degrees right now. We are going out to look at the trails and see what we can do. We are supposed to get some more snow this week so keep your fingers crossed. The webcam is back up, it may be live in the very near future now that the cable modem is working. Satellite internet is still decent when there are no other options, but BYE, BYE Hughes Network Systems for us. Hopefully our elected officials at the Road Commission will be next. 

 I saw Gloria Burns and Michael Van Wormer at the Chamber of Commerce last week. They had a meeting with the Chamber and the DNR. Surely they are out doing DAMAGE CONTROL. Most likely we will see an article soon in the Resorter that details how they are working with the DNR to come up with solutions for snowmobilers. This will be PR and more damage control. These folks only care about their own existence and could care less about those of us that are here for recreation. Since they don't think we are serious, the best thing for this county, will be new faces in those positions. They mocked my five years here as opposed to their 27 years. I believe they have forgotten who they work for, it's time they be reminded. They went so far as to say "when this board" allowed snowmobilers access to the county roads years ago etc, etc. This board...who are they kidding. That board makes decisions on the wishes of the PEOPLE. They don't make those decisions, we do. If they had not made that decision, someone else would have been in their positions that would have. GO AWAY GUYS, READ THE PAPER. YOU AND YOUR POLICIES ARE NOT WANTED HERE. When Michael, George and Larry are recalled,  who will Gloria and David be sucking up to? Anyway guys, congratulations you are now the but of a joke, and made it to a tee-shirt. This is only the beginning. We will distribute these at any local merchants that wish to do so. E-mail us, to get yours now. Any proceeds will go to the "Recall our Road Comission" fund, and will be used to obtain copies of public records, printing supplies, etc. 

Update 3/7/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

8:00 AM  The warm temps over the weekend took a toll on the trails. We were not able to broom Sat night as it was 27 degrees. i tried from the parking lot to Emery Rd, but it just wouldn't pack and kept balling up in the drag. The temps are supposed to drop today, then more snow this week. We will go out and groom if its possible. The webcam is down, while we get the cable modem working.

Update 3/5/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

11:00 AM  I took a look at a couple of trails this morning, and there were a lot of people out. They were holding up well, the west trail is taking a beating and there are some brown spots in the low areas. We will groom tonight, not sure how much of the system we will get done, but it wont be until the temp drops. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 3/4/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

12:00 PM  We got everything groomed last night, I wish I was riding. They look awesome. The west trail also got two full grooms, Meredith last night, Leota Wed night, and Local loops got done last night. I'm going riding!!! THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 3/3/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

8:00 AM  We have a special the next few weeks, cabin for 2 nights with 2 snowmobiles for 1 day for 550.00, there is a limited number of these available. Some pictures of the trail work yesterday are posted below. The west trail is getting two full grooms this week befor the weekend. THINK SNOW!!!!

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Update 3/2/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

8:00 AM  We have a special the next few week, cabin for 2 nights with 2 snowmobiles for 1 day for 550.00. We got about 1-2 inches since yesterday afternoon. We went out grooming today and had our share of troubles. We got part of the Prudenville loop done and 655 to Meredith. The trails we have groomed so far are in excellent shape. We are going to take both groomers out to the west trail, as we are afraid of breaking thru in the swamp. Hopefully by this weekend it will be straightened out. St Helen was out on 3/28 to Roscommon and Houghton Lake. They are going out again today. THINK SNOW!!!

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Update 3/1/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

8:00 AM  We got about another 3-4 inches over night and it is continuing to snow. They are expecting 3-4 more today. Lets keep our fingers crossed. I will go out and tale some pictures today. Please keep on the Road Commission people as we need to bring about some change in this community. Most of the schools in Northern MI were closed today. The webcam is having problems due to the snow on the dish, or the falling snow. The satellite signal is low. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 2/28/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

12:30 PM  I groomed to Meredith and Leota yesterday. The trails are all in excellent shape, still the west trail has not been groomed. Mike Jacobs says he needs to check it. It started snowing last night just as they predicted, and has not stopped since. We have 5-6 inches of fresh snow and they are calling for a lot more. Get out during the week this week for the best riding of the year up to this point. THINK SNOW!!!!!

Now for the update on the road commission. Here is a letter to the editor, that I am dropping off today. click HERE.

Update 2/26/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

For accurate snowfall forecast, check out John Dee's snow central

8:30 AM  I groomed to Meredith and back to the trailhead at Owens Rd. Big Joe did the local loop last night, 654 and also 6 to Reserve Rd and back to 655. We will try and get Leota and the West trail today. St Helen groomed up to us at 655 and 6. It got down to 1 degree last night, and it is only 2 now. Lots more snow in the forecast for the coming week, so make your reservations and get your late season riding in. THINK SNOW!!!!!

Update 2/25/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

4:30 PM  Here's an update from Bob Geary from the St. Helen Snowpackers. I guess that means everyone in this county has a fresh groom going into the weekend. Happy riding!!!

Art, 

The Roscommon groomer is out now and I just got the other tractor fixed and it will be going out tonight doing Houghton Lake.  Thank's 

Bob Geary St. Helen 

1:30 PM  We got a bit more snow last night and this morning. Things look great heading into the weekend. How well it lasts will depend on how much traffic the trails get. We will groom again over the weekend, if it gets bumpy. And for those of you that think we groom and then go tear it up ourselves the next day, here's how mine went on Tuesday. I groomed from 11:00PM to 7:00AM. Then I went home and tried to sleep until about 3:00PM. I didn't get out on my sled until everyone else got their shot. Big Joe did Leota late at night also. We do this in the late evening, early morning hours, so they will get a chance to set up before the traffic hits. We have more volunteers for grooming, so we will be able to split shifts when everyone gets trained. Hard to train guys when that was only our 4th groom for the season. THINK SNOW!!!!

 As far as the road commission goes, we are dedicated to stay on these guys. We are looking for ideas for printing on t-shirts to sell. So e-mail us with your ideas. No matter how warped they may seem. We have pictures of all of the members, and David Carrick and Gloria Burns will not be left out. Also for those of you that ride O.R.V's we will throw Mr Vanwormer into that subject as well since he obviously opposes any changes on that subject. We will sell these shirts for around 10.00. We are not into this to make money, but make ourselves heard. 

Update 2/24/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

2:45 PM  We took a look at all of the trails around Houghton Lake. They are all in good shape heading into the weekend. We also rode north and the DNR was out doing the Cranberry Lake trail again today, down to trail 6. The Jordan Valley guys were out doing around Starvation Lake. The Ausable Valley guys say they wont go out again till Friday as their trails were in good shape. If you ride here or have a place here, get a copy of this weeks Resorter. The Road Commission Chairman Michael Van Wormer and Gloria burns are trying to label me as a radical that needs to get his facts straight. These people need to get a clue. Nobody ever asked them not to plow the shoulders of any roads. I asked them to be more sensitive towards snowmobilers and not scrape the shoulders of some key access roads down to dirt. In Grand Marais just a week or so ago, their county road crews brought snow into town on the thru town trail. What a far cry from these idiots we have in office here. Great job with the 1000.00 bonus and the 2.5 percent pay raise. When I have their salaries and benefits package, I will post it here, along with my videotaped meeting I had with them. Maybe I will throw in as a bonus the voice recorded face to face meeting. What a bunch of pompous idiots. When John Q Public watches, the proof will be in the pudding. I guess if I'm going to be radical, what do we need a road commission for. Why do we even need to plow? If they had a CLUE they would come to the community and ask how they could help. This is for our loyal MDOT reader, we are getting the ammo you need. 

CALL THESE PEOPLE AND VOICE YOUR OPINION

Michael Van Wormer 989-389-3638

George Pappas 989-366-7217 or here 989-366-5875

Larry Paxton 989-275-2804

And if you have a number to reach Gloria Burns, e-mail it to me so I can post it again (or text message me). She has changed it.

7:05 AM  Big Joe groomed to Leota down trail 6. The only thing in our system that is not groomed is the West trail. They are checking to see if it is safe to take the groomer across the swamp. We passed the Rosco-Higgins guys today, so their system has been done as well. This is a message from Bob Geary of the St Helen Snowpackers.  "I sent the groomer out on the Houghton Lake trail yesterday afternoon.  I rode it after he was done and for the most part the trail is in good shape, ice in the corners, and clear cuts, not much snow. Today I sent him out on the Roscommon trail, will be riding later to see how he did". It snowed about 1 inch last night. A few pictures are posted below.  BE CAREFUL IF YOU VENTURE OUT ON THE LAKE.  THINK SNOW!!!

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Update 2/23/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

For accurate snowfall forecast, check out John Dee's snow central

2:05 PM  I groomed to Meredith and the loop of 654. It panned out the best that it has all year. some pictures are posted below. We are supposed to get snow every day into the weekend. This is a great time to come up and ride, don't miss out if you have been waiting.  BE CAREFUL IF YOU VENTURE OUT ON THE LAKE.  THINK SNOW!!!

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Update 2/22/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

For accurate snowfall forecast, check out John Dee's snow central

12:05 PM  We rode to Bear Lake, Starvation Lake and Fife Lake in the last 24 hours, and the trails are all nicely covered with snow. We also rode some of the Prudenville loops. Watch for ice in the corners, which is pretty much the story for all of lower MI and the Eastern U.P. We are grooming tonight so that tell a lot. They are calling for snow every day this week, and temps below freezing. Weekday riding this week will be better than it has for almost a month, so now is the time to ride. I will post pictures later today.  BE CAREFUL IF YOU VENTURE OUT ON THE LAKE.  THINK SNOW!!!

Update 2/21/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

12:05 AM  We got between 6-10 inches of snow yesterday, depending where you go on our trail system. The lake is covered, and access to the trails from town is not a problem. This is the week to come up and ride. I will post pictures tomorrow.  BE CAREFUL IF YOU VENTURE OUT THERE. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 2/20/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

12:45 PM  We got a trace of snow last night, but it is snowing hard now. We rode to Grayling from here yesterday, and it was in much better shape than we expected. It was a little rough getting from the lake to the trail, but once we were on the trail it got better the further north we went. BE CAREFUL IF YOU VENTURE OUT THERE. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 2/19/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

10:45 AM  Just a trace of snow last night, but more is on the way for Sunday and Sunday night. I talked with some friends that took their trailer and went to Bear Lake. They rode through up to Lakes of the North, then headed towards Jordan Valley. They said the snow tapered off considerably near Jordan Valley. That area got another 1-1/2 inches last night and they are getting lake affect right now. There does not look to have been more than a couple sleds down the trail 655 off Owens Rd. this morning. there is a couple of inches on an icy base. BE CAREFUL IF YOU VENTURE OUT THERE. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 2/18/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

9:45 AM  About 1/2" of snow came down last night, and about another 1" near Kalkaska. I have heard totals for around Frederick and Grayling to be in the 3-4" and Jordan Valley is reporting 10. North and West is where most of the snow has fallen. People are riding from here, but it will not be the best. The lake is an option and you can ride it with the decent snow that fell the last couple of days. BE CAREFUL IF YOU VENTURE OUT THERE. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 2/17/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

9:45 PM  About 2" of snow has fallen so far today, and as you work your way north and west, it increases to 10+. We are supposed to get more tonight and through the weekend. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 2/15/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

11:45 AM  About 1/2" of snow fell yesterday evening, but the temps climbed into the night. Its 33 right now, but they are predicting snow every day from today through the weekend. I will post pictures as conditions improve. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 2/14/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

11:15 AM  It started snowing last night at about 10:30, and we got about 2". Then it turned to freezing rain. Most the schools in northern MI were closed and now it's 33 degrees. When this spell is over I will go out and take some pictures. Snow predicted for most every day this week. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 2/13/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

10:15 AM  The guys that went riding yesterday, watched the snow melt and had to ride two tracks to get back to the lake. A lot of people were riding the lake yesterday, and have already started riding on it today. They are calling for freezing rain tonight, then possibly snow, then rain again tomorrow. Who knows what things will look like by next weekend, but there is snow in the forecast. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 2/11/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

4:30 PM  I posted the wrong number for Town & Country. It is 366-5385. The trails are melting fast, so it goes from bad to worse.

12:30 PM  For those of you that want to send flowers for Di, here is a name of a local florist. Town and country Florist. Their number is 366-6385. Mar & Di's address is posted on yesterdays update. They probably have it as well.

 I don't know what the trails look like, but I'm sure they are not that great. Some guys are going out from here today, so I will update with what they have to say. While driving down Duck Lake Rd. yesterday, I passed a group of riders, and they were making the best of it. It looks like we might have some snow coming in next week, so THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 2/11/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 12:45 PM  On a special note we have lost a friend very near and dear to our heart, Diane Stripling. Di was the wife and Co-owner of Marv & Di's Pressure Crack Pub in Prudenville. She passed away early today, she had been to the hospital on Tuesday complaining of a severe headache. She was the one always wearing the outrageous costumes and getting the crowd laughing. Both her and Marv helped us out tremendously when we bought the resort in Houghton Lake. They were our neighbors as well as our friends. She will be sorely missed by many. A couple pictures of Di, Marv and friends are below. Many of our guests made the Pressure Crack one of their stops coming off from the lake. 

Diane 

Marv, Di and Wally

Marv & Diane Stripling 

121 Twin Elm

Houghton Lake MI 48629

 

8:45 AM  I am going out to take a few pictures of the trails. There is not much of a base in areas, so get ready to replace your carbides. They look ok in the pictures, but there has been very little traffic on them. The Michigan Lake Racing Association has their races this weekend, out in front of Arby's on Houghton Lake. They have permits from the DNR I'm told and are setting up now. Below is a post from the web. THINK SNOW!!! 

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We are in for permits and everything looks good for our first race @ Houghton Lake the weekend of Jan. 8 and 9, 2005.
Membership dues are $25.00.
You must be a member to participate.
Send your money NOW....I cannot guarantee we will be accepting new members at the race track...we will be racing, not playing cashier.
Help support Lake Racing in Michigan and insure you have someplace legal to run your expensive sled..... Join the MLRA today!

More info @:
mlra1.com

Thanks,
Kerry
secretary/treasurer
MLRA

Update 2/10/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

8:45 PM  Been trying all day to get to this, sometimes it just doesn't work out. Our snowfall total was about 3" with just a trace last night. They are calling for some more snow Friday, but who knows. The lake is nicely covered once again, so at least that is an option. The trails need more snow, but people are riding them. We have some guests here that made it all the way to Lewiston. They said there were bad spots and good spots. I guess it's better than not riding if you can afford carbides and hi-fax. I will say this again...Come on folks get off those wallets and help support these clubs. Our club link page is here. If your club is not listed, e-mail us and we will list it for FREE. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 2/9/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

8:45 AM  Mother nature finally gave us some snow. So far about 1-1/2 -2 inches, but its better than nothing. At least we can ride the lake again, and get to all of the restaurants on it. If you are ice fishing, you can use your sled once again. Not sure how much more we are going to get, but I will post again later today. Please join the clubs where you ride. I went to a Trailblazers meeting last night, and they didn't have a single new member in January. Come on folks get off those wallets and help support these clubs. Our club link page is here. If your club is not listed, e-mail us and we will list it for FREE. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 2/8/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 8:45 AM  The warm temps seem to be gone for now, but the damage has been done. We got a trace of snow last night, and the temp is now 20. The snow is gone from the lake, and the slush from yesterday is now frozen. What did not melt down completely on the trails, is now an ice base. A repeat of the first week in January. I'm sure this is the case for all of lower MI and much of the U.P. It will take some decent snowfall to revive them again, but it is only the second week of February so we will have to wait and see. A few pictures are posted below. THINK SNOW!!! 

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Update 2/4/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 10:45 AM  The warm temps continue, supposed to hit 40 today and tomorrow then cool back down and bring us some snow. The Spicers Ride for the special Olympics is today, what a terrible day for that. Sure helps that our County Road Commission got all the access roads plowed before the ride today. Seems these people are out of touch with reality, and this community. Best thing we can all do is stay off the trails this weekend, as this warm spell goes all the way to the UP. Good weekend to get the sleds tuned up and ready for some more cold and snow. Over 18" of ice on the lake out front here, so ice fishing might be a good way to spend the weekend. A t-shirt, and a bucket to sit on. No shanty needed in these temps. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 2/3/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

9:45 AM   No snow overnight, and the warm temps continue. Probably be a good weekend to skip snowmobiling, as traffice on trails at 39 degree temps will probably destroy them. The cooler temps and snow are supposed to return next Monday. Seems these County Road Commission people just do not understand the Houghton Lake is not a booming Metropolis. They have found it necessary to waste more taxpayer dollars and scrape the shoulder of Owens Road of, taking what little snow might have survived this warm spell, and pushing it into the ditch. They have also been plowing the entire county, when we haven't received any new snow in almost 10 days. I will call them today, and post what they have to say.

Update 2/2/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

12:45 PM   We got the ok to groom, so we will go and do the Meredith and Leota, plus the remainder of the local loops.

8:45 AM   Just a trace of snow yesterday morning, and the temps are starting to climb. We rode to Starvation Lake and back. trail 6/7 just north of the Muskegon River is getting bad. Getting to the trails from the north side of the lake is getting a little harder, with the shoulder on W. Houghton Lake drive melting down a bit. The Rosco/Higgins guys were out on 6/7, probably the rest of their system. The DNR groomer was out from the Shell on M-72 down the Cranberry Lake Trail. Jordan Valley was out from M-72 north on 79 and 679. It also looked like Alpine Valley was out of Grayling/Frederick. It was a great ride, but we need more snow on trail 6/7. Mike J went out on 654 and the DNR has to check it before they will let us out for a full groom in Houghton Lake. The corners need to be pulled in if nothing else before more sun hits the bare icy corners. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 1/31/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 8:45 AM   No new snow, man this is getting old. The trails took a beating over the weekend, and are getting a little snirty in places. We were told last week no more grooming, but the trails sure need it right now. We rode to Starvation lake yesterday, got back around 6:30. trail 6/7 north was getting snirty, and the corners are all blown out. 76 was not to bad on the corners, but is was BUMPY. Nothing up there had a fresh groom on it, they are probably going to do it in the next couple of days. I will take some pictures and post them later today. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 1/29/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

9:45 AM   No new snow last night, and the low was about -5. It's -10 now. I will go and take a look at the trails today, the only thing saving them thus far has been the bitter cold temps. We desperately need more snow. Most of lower MI has gone without snow for almost a week. Be sure to post your opinion on the visitor trail report page by clicking the button near the top of this page, or HERE. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 1/28/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

7:15 AM   No new snow last night, and the low was about -15. It's -11 now. The trails are in good shape, the cold has frozen up the snow in the corners, so it will last a little longer. I took some pictures yesterday, they are posted below. We rode from H.L. to Lakes of the North. Trail 6 and 76 were freshly groomed, I think Rosco Higgins does some of that. The Jordan Valley guys were just north of the parking lot on M-72 near Dingmans grooming. Everything we rode was in great shape. I talked to some riders at the Shell who came from Frederick, they said that was freshly groomed. The last two pictures are of a pressure crack that has formed on the lake. It goes from about 200 yards east of Long Point, all the way to the west shore. This is in the North West portion of the lake if you are coming from Prudenville or H.L. There may be more, the lake is really making ice. THINK SNOW!!!!

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Update 1/27/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 9:15 AM   No new snow last night, but it was bitter cold. Minus 21 when I got up at 6:30 this morning. This should firm up the trails after the groom on Tuesday. Hopefully the corners didn't get blow out before this cold spell came in. I will post some pictures of the trails today, but they should be in good shape for the weekend. As far as the guy in the truck goes, everyone can have their use of these roads, but common sense would tell you to stay off groomed trails, not much wider that cars during weekends. This is an accident waiting to happen. It would be like be sitting 50 yards across from this guys deer blind, during rifle season, with my rifle.

Update 1/26/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

4:15 PM   I got an e-mail from the St. Helen Snowpackers, and they wanted me to post this message for them:

 Groomers went out Mon., 5/24. They groomed from Houghton Lake 655 to Ogemaw trailhead and Roscommon
trail.
We notified our DNR contact for St. Helen, and was advised no more grooming until we receive more snow. 

Our DNR contact for Houghton Lake called us and gave us the same information. Our trails are in decent shape, but the corners still remain icy under the snow we pulled into them. 

Please join one or more of these clubs, as these are the guys getting the job done. They are also the ones out getting community support to better promote our Winter AND Summer recreation. Follow this link to the clubs in our immediate area. If you are a member or have a club or organization that we do not have listed, e-mail us and we will get you a listing and a link if you have a web page. THINK SNOW!!!!

9:45 AM   We got an inch of snow yesterday, a wintery mix last night, and the low was bout 12. Big Joe groomed to Leota and the Prudenville Loops. Mike J groomed the west trail, and I groomed to Meredith and a portion of Leota. Everything has a fresh groom on it, and I spent some time pulling in the corners that were blown out and icy. I rode towards Grayling on the trail and got off where the split is to go to Fife Lake or North towards Kalkaska. The trails were in great shape, but I do not know when they were groomed last. Some pictures from last night are posted below. The guys in the truck were out driving on all of the freshly groomed trails while trying to avoid hitting snowmobilers. Thank him if you see him out. I believe he was hunting with dogs, as they had antennas they were holding out the window. It had a green MSU plate on the front, giving us MSU alumni a bad name. I would also like to any feedback of the shoulders/ditches of roads you use to get to the trailheads. E-mail us here. TRAIL REPORTER  THINK SNOW!!! 

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Update 1/25/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

9:45 AM   We got a trace of snow last night, and the low was bout 1. It has been warming since early morning, and it is now 20. The trails held up remarkably well after TUT, with still some icy corners with the snow blown out into a burm. I will take pictures later today and post them. If you ride here post your feedback on the visitor trail report section. We made a trip from H.L. Saturday, through Bear Lake, Frederic, Lovells, Luzurne, At. Helen and back into H.L. It took about 9 hours. The worst area was between Luzurne and St. Helen with the snow getting a little sparse. The trails were about the same as here, probably a little bumpier as there was more snow off to the north. I have never seen as many sleds in lower MI as I saw last weekend. An inch is expected for today and warmer temps than we have seen for most of the week. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 1/21/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

9:45 AM   We got about 2" of snow last night and it is still snowing now. The temp is about 9 degrees. A guest for TUT tried to cut through the ice with an 18" chain saw, and couldn't get through. they still had to pick through another 4" or so. That was 2 miles out. The trails held up decent yesterday, and with this new snow coming, it will probably be the best conditions so far this year. I have pictures from yesterday posted below. THINK SNOW!!! 

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Update 1/21/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 8:45 AM   Just a trace of snow last night, but most of the Houghton Lake trails were groomed last night. The Prudenville loops, 655 to Meredith, and 6 to Leota were also groomed. Bob from the St. Helen snowpackers e-mailed yesterday, and they sent their groomers to Houghton Lake and Roscommon yesterday. The lake has some nice snow cover, and its getting packed around the shoreline. Still loose snow elsewhere on the lake. 

Update 1/20/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 7:45 AM   We got another 1/2 or so last night, and it looks as though another clipper system will roll in on Friday some time. I may take some more pictures as we check out the trails today. Not sure what the schedule is for grooming, but I will post it as soon as i know. If you have some issues or heavily traveled roads that you cannot get to the trails on, even on the shoulder or the ditch, call the Road Commission and voice your opinion. I just took some guests to the trails. They were a little icy in some spots, but nice and flat. The lake has a lot of snow around the shoreline, and drifts/barespots further out. There is plenty of snow for lubrication.  THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 1/19/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 7:45 PM   We got another inch or two today, and they are calling for 1-2 tonight. We went out to see if the overpass on Canoe Camp road was plowed, and sure enough, plowed and salted. This road goes NOWHERE and is a part of Trail 6. Just West of this overpass (Maybe 100 yards) is a SEASONAL RD. that trail 6 follows towards Leota. This was done before noon today. I will call tomorrow and see why they needed to plow this overpass and the shoulders leading up to it over 50 feet wide. I measured it on a second trip out. Below are some pictures from this afternoon.

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 6:45 AM   Mother nature is finally gave us some snow. The low was about 10 degrees and we got 3-4 inches of snow. It is still snowing right now and it is supposed to continue through noon today. The lake is nicely covered and I am going out to take pictures of the trails. The lake has 14+ inches of ice on it, and there were several cars & trucks out on it yesterday. Some interesting facts for you sledheads, there were 357,000 registered snowmobiles in Michigan in 2001, and they spend an average of $4,000 dollars per year on snowmobiling. That's not counting the average price-tag of over $5,000 for a snowmobile. They spent 7 Billion dollars in 2001. And for the folks in St. Helen, from the E-mail I received yesterday morning, I see that the same issues exist over there. Just wish I would have had time to read those before I went to the meeting. I was told there were not any issues in that area. Think of us as you are doing your job RCRC. Check the ice carefully before you venture out. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 1/18/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

  6:45 PM   I attended a meeting with Michael Van Wormer (RCRC Chairman) and Gloria Burns (RCRC Manager). I began after they introduced themselves by stating "I would like to start over, however we can do that". They both understood and we began talking about the issues. They stated that they DO want snowmobilers here, and they WANT to work with us. I mentioned that neighboring counties are not using the same practices. They stated that they would call around, and see if there is something they can do with regards to being more sensitive to snowmobilers. They asked about specific roads, and although I know of a few, I do not know any on the North side people are using. I thought their drivers would certainly know the heavily traveled routes, and could give them some feedback. They also stated that they would not be opposed to allowing us to proceed with making a "snowmobile trail" along Owens Rd. They didn't need the 66 feet, and could help us come up with a plan. They cannot pay for it, but they will give us county support. They were also supportive with contacting gas stations, maybe Wal-Mart, to see about getting a route for gas across Nestle Rd, along side WM to their new gas station. There was also the issue of plowing Canoe Camp, over old 27 heading towards Leota. That is a seasonal Rd, and they said they could see what they could do. The section down Grass Lake Rd. they claim is plow by the pipeline company, but sanded by them. Again, they would try to help us work on that, even if it means re-routing the trail out there. 

 I thought it was a positive meeting, certainly better than the last one. Maybe when we get some more we can see if they act on any of this. I hope so, the "Mad Snowmobiler" just wants to ride. If you see some other "problem areas" e-mail me and I can get them to Gloria. If you see change, please call them and thank them. I hope after tonight's snowfall that all of the trails and the Lake will be in better shape for riding and TUT 2005. We are supposed to get snow tonight, 3-5" and more tomorrow. THINK SNOW!!!

 7:45 AM Another night of no snow, and the low was about -15. It is -10 right now. They are calling for snow tonight, and there is a snow advisory for the western side of lower Michigan. The trails remain an icy base, and a little loose stuff on top. We desperately need snow. I called a friend in Cadillac, and a friend that lives 1 mile north of Dingmans on M-72. No new snow there either. These are not businesses that I call, they are snowmobilers, so they are honest reports. We are thinking of  making signs for businesses that are snowmobile supporters. They will be able to display them in their establishment, or outside. This way the riders that come here will know where to drop their dollars.  This will be in addition to a list posted on this website. For you weekenders, please use these lists as a guide, when visiting H.L. I imagine other clubs will think this is a good way to rally for support on a much larger scale. Also use the visitor trail report link to view comments from other riders, or post your own trail report for the surrounding areas. For the ice fisherman, I will try and pop a few more holes in the lake for ice thickness. I'm sure with the ridged temps, the lake has turned into an ice making machine. Check the ice carefully before you venture out. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 1/17/05 12:45 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

  7:50 PM The rumor on the street tonight, is that we are going to get some snow tomorrow. I also updated all of the Board members telephone numbers. Initially I was told some were unlisted. I guess that is not the case. Please take the time to call these individuals and voice your opinion. 

 12:45 AM We got a trace of snow and is it somewhat snowing right now. It is about 4 degrees outside. There was one trailer at the Owens Rd. parking lot. Wish I had something good to put on here, but we are just hoping for more snow. I will update again if anything changes. I spoke to a lot of business owners over the weekend, and will make changes to the flyer we are printing about our Road Commission. We should begin the distribution by the second weekend of Tip-Up-Town. I will post it in Adobe illustrator format so all of you who wish to download or print multiple copies can do so.  Here's a picture of our ongoing community efforts.

Update 1/16/05 10:05 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

  I just went to the trailhead at Owens Rd. I met a couple of riders from Pinckney who just came back in from the trails. The said they were in decent shape, especially considering the amount of snow we had. I will take my sled out later today and take more pictures.

 We got a skiff of snow last night, and the low was about -4. It's is 0 right now. I didn't get a chance to look and see what the traffic did to the trails, but I will today. They are calling for snow showers almost every day, hopefully we will have more snow on the ground for the second weekend of TUT. I don't know if you can make it north out of here, but a friend from Bear Lake said he went north through Starvation Lake and Lakes of the north through Jordan Valley. He said there were isolated pockets of snow along the way, and the riding was decent north of Starvation Lake. They also went into Frederick, Mancelona and Alba. There were a lot of cars and trucks on the lake yesterday, but still not much snow on the lake for riding. Check the ice carefully before you venture out. THINK SNOW!!!  

 I received an e-mail stating I was being a little harsh and I might be doing more harm than good, with respect to the Road Commission. I was ridiculed when I attended my first meeting with them. My 3 years of phone conversations have not done any good. EVEN on sections of the trail that are on Seasonal roads, and have nothing to do with vehicular traffic. There is no way that they could not know their actions are severely affecting snowmobiling in this community. They instructed me to call about sections of trail that I am concerned about, and to call Lansing. Like I haven't tried that already.

 When you travel to neighboring counties, these methods of plowing are not being used, making Houghton Lake a less desirable place to snowmobile. I'm sure that if this continues, it will affect the purchase of second homes in this community used by families seeking recreational activities. Especially those homes that do not have direct lake access, or easy access to snowmobile trails. There are far more homes in this county that do NOT fit that criteria. 

 Simply put if ANY PUBLIC organization is doing things that make this County a less desirable place to vacation, or purchase a vacation home, than our neighboring Counties, they are NOT serving this community well. Houghton Lake is the closest major recreational community from the major cities in Michigan, and we are losing out because we do not take advantage of it. Tourism is all we have to survive, and we should be bending over backwards to revive it. Super Wal-Mart brings in jobs. But it would not be here without the weekenders and the vacationers. Nor would many of these other local businesses. 

 I do not want those county jobs, nor do I know anyone that does. I would rather see some change in policy placing Roscommon County on a more even playing field with our neighboring counties. I would publicly praise them , apologize to them for past comments, whatever it takes. I do not wish any ill fate upon any of them. Nor do I wish to displace anyone's past efforts in regards to Tourism or Recreation in Roscommon County. But this is 2005, and it's the world we are all living in TODAY. These policies affect us all RIGHT NOW. If these people in charge now do not understand this, than they are the wrong people for this community.

 A fellow rider reached Gloria Burns Saturday morning. He had a 20 minute conversation with her and he said it was a good conversation. 

Update 1/15/05 8:05 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

  No new snow last night, and the low was about -4. It's -2 right now. Supposed to stay in single digits at night and the teens during the day for the next week. A lot of guests from the resort went riding yesterday, and said it was icy but not all that bad. Beets sitting home watching TV. They are calling for snow most every day this week, guess we just have to keep our fingers crossed. The pictures from yesterday pretty much tell the story. I will take some more today, and post them if I get a chance, hopefully this time it will be from my sled. Remember about the 654 trail reroute just south of Waco Rd. They are supposed to fix that culvert in the next week or so. I will also post some TUT pictures taken from the lake. Check the ice carefully before you venture out. THINK SNOW!!!  

Here is a link that a guest sent us showing the mentality of the people we are dealing with. Although I do not know the circumstances surrounding this investigation, the fact that some were not available for comment usually spells trouble.

CLICK HERE

 Please keep those e-mails coming with regards to the county and their plowing efforts. Let Gloria Burns (Manager) and Michael Van Wormer (Road Commission Chairman) know that they work for the people!!!! As I said earlier, these reports will continue only if I get enough support for this sport. A few hundred e-mails is a small number considering the traffic this site receives daily. Tell all of your friends about these efforts, and get them to call and write as well. 

GLORIA BURNS 1-989-366-0333 or 1-989-422-5646

 

Update 1/14/05 3:05 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

  I just got a call from the guys that went to Meredith and then Elbow Lake. They said the trails rated a 7. I guess they are better than we all expected. Even Big Joe thought they were in decent shape. There are a lot of sleds on the lake now, and it is definitely getting busy around here. 

 I went to the Owens Rd trailhead and took some pictures. The trails did not melt down, but they are covered with about 1-2 inches of ice, then about 1/2 to 1 inch of snow from yesterday. A couple groups of guys are going to Meredith and Elbow Lake, and I have asked them to call me when they get there. The lake is snow covered in some areas, and bare in many others. There have been a few sleds out on it by the resort. Bottom line is you can ride, but it will be like early season, bumpy and icy. The pictures are posted below. there is plenty of ice, 12+ where I checked it. Check the ice carefully before you venture out. THINK SNOW!!!!! Please keep those e-mails coming, we need everyone's help to get rid of these idiots. I was instructed to direct questions about road plowing, and suggestions for change, to GLORIA BURNS. 

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Heres another e-mail, I will start a section where I can post all of them. 

I would like to share a road commission experience with you.  My wife and myself are property owners on the North Shore of Houghton Lake, Long Point Dr. to be specific, and have been for almost 12 years.  We where up vacationing the week between Christmas and New Years, and where dumbfounded and shocked at what we saw the Road Commission trucks doing.  If you remember it got rather warm and rainy as the week progressed, when about 90% of the snow was melted (Wednesday/Thursday) the snow plow trucks started showing up.  What amazed us was that the road was essentially clear, except for some small patches that still existed.  The trucks continued to plow a clear road, two to three times a day until New Years, they even went as far as to plow the road side, which I have never seen them do on this road before.  On the first day we where kind of joking that someone was milking the clock and racking up some overtime hours, but by the third day it was absolutely ridiculous, I mean these guys where plowing a dry road and a road side that had been stripped of grass all the way down to dirt.  Now I know we don't live in Houghton Lake year round, but its our tax dollars as well that these jokers are wasting.  If they will so blatantly waste money directly in front of taxpayers, where else are they cheating the system.  I think some one should look into their overtime expenditures for the week after Christmas and see how much it cost the tax payers to have a dry road plowed and re-plowed and then plowed again.  I support you in your efforts to expose this neglect of power and hope that people will listen and get involved. 

CALL GLORIA BURNS !!!!! 1-989-366-0333

Or here at 1-989-422-5646

Since TUT is this weekend, I will be passing out her home phone, and it will be on the flyers we are distributing. Many of you who have vacation homes can call her as she will probably not be in the office over the weekend. I will also post Van Wormers Address so you can stop by if you have time. 

 I went to the road commission meeting this evening. I listened through 95 percent of the meeting, including the 95k additional they will be paying for insurance benefits this year they will be absorbing if they do not amend their plan. After they were done the chairman stated the opinions of the snowmobilers. First they patted themselves on the back for a fine job they were doing. This came from the Vice Chairman Michael Van Wormer. They then joked about the subject of snowmobilers, with Gloria BurnsMichael Van wormer, Larry V. Paxton and Dave Carrick  all laughing about the subject. Mind you I walked in wearing a snowmobile jacket, and it was apparent what I was there for. I came with my spouse, as I thought it best to hear their opinions without public support. These people are a JOKE. When they were done patting themselves on the back they asked for public opinions. I then spoke up requesting that the plowing of key access roads to the snowmobile roads and the plowing of snowmobile trails on sections of Grass Lake Rd. was creating a problem for snowmobilers. They commented that snowmobiles do not belong on the shoulders of the roads, but in the ditches along side of the roads. This came from ex-chairman Dick Cranium, (I don't remember his name). He said 27 years ago snowmobiles were not allowed on shoulders of roads, but only in the ditches. I then stated that they were pushing the dirt into the ditches as well as the shoulders. They laughed again, and then Shalayne, (normally quiet) stated that this is no laughing matter. Gloria Burns then started spatting with her, and it ended with Michael Van Wormer slamming his gavel and stating that this was an organized meeting. It then came to order once again. Then they stated that 22k residents of Roscommon County were pleased with the job they were doing. I said at what cost, there is no industry in Houghton Lake. Who's paying for this. I wish all the residents of HL and Roscommon county had those benefits that I just heard about. We might be able to afford them if we had more TOURISM DOLLARS. It ended with the statement that George Pappas was retiring or was fired, I don't know which. Michael Van Wormer is the new man in charge. I have never seen such a public display of un-professionalism in my life. They stopped my conversation, Michael did this which is against my rights as a taxpayer, by saying that he has heard all he wants to hear. Bottom line is, these people are in Public service and work for ME. I will post all of their home, work an any other numbers I can find. They have created a cushy job, an astronomical building, and a huge waste of taxpayer dollars to build this money making machine they call the Road Commission that is costing HL millions of dollars in lost tourism. The supervisor David Carrick even tried to displace me by stating that I have only been in HL for five years as opposed to his 27. David, you are the KING, get ready to fall. I stated that the money they are spending to scrape these roads, then rebuild them in the spring from pushing the dirt into the ditches goes unseen. I will dig for OT records, truck mileage, etc and show it to the taxpayers. This is a poor community and we do not have sufficient income to support their efforts. These guys are a joke. The best part is Shalayne was yelled at for speaking out of turn. Then while I addressed David Carrick, as directed by Michael Van Wormer, Gloria Burns could not keep her mouth shut and spoke out of turn. I stated that I was speaking to David, and this was an organized meeting, she needs to wait her turn. Michael Van Wormer shut me down and said this meeting was over. These people need to go. They are overpaid, vote on their own raises and benefits, and are living in a fantasy world. I video taped my whole conversation with them and have spoken with two local television  stations regarding this. I have one message to these guys, WAKE UP. YOUR 27 YEARS OF PUBLIC SERVICE HAS SUITED YOU WELL. YOU MAKE GOOD MONEY, WHEN YOU ARE OUT OF A JOB HOW WILL YOU REPLACE YOUR INCOME AND BENEFITS. ADDRESS US WITHOUT LAUGHING. HE WHO LAUGHS FIRST LAUGHS LAST. BYE BYE. I WILL CRAWL UP YOUR *** WITH A MICROSCOPE. YOUR MONEY TRAIL WILL BE YOUR DOWNFALL. IF YOU THINK THIS IS A THREAT MICHAEL VAN WORMER, YOU HAD BETTER UP YOUR DOSAGE OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICINE, OR MEET THE COMMUNITY NEEDS. I AM YOUNGER, FULL OF TIME, (HAVE GREAT BLOOD PRESSURE) AND HAVE RESOURCES THAT YOU WISH YOU HAD AT MY DISPOSAL. SIT ON YOUR HIGH HORSE AND PLAY GOD, YOUR DAYS AT THIS POSITION ARE LIMITED. HOUGHTON LAKE WILL DIE WITHOUT TOURISM. EVER HEARD OF SIM CITY. GO GET IT AND SEE HOW LONG YOU SURVIVE. WE DON'T NEED YOU OR YOUR POLICIES. I HAVE A VIDEO OF YOU DISPLAYING THE MOST UNPROFESSIONAL DISPLAY OF A PUBLIC SERVANT THAT MANY WILL EVER SEE. YOU HAD BETTER CALL US TO SCHEDULE A MEETING AND RESOLVE THESE ISSUES, OR WATCH A YOUNGER MORE QUALIFIED GENERATION REPLACE YOU AND YOUR CRONIES. WE ARE TONIGHT PRINTING AT 60 PAGES PER MINUTE, A TRANSCRIPT OF TODAYS MEETING. IT CAN GO OUT TO EVERYONE THAT COMES TO TUT 2005. WE AIM TO PUT RECREATION BACK IN HL. WANT TO PLAY BALL!!!

GAME ON!!!!

 Now with that said, the lake was ridable with the fresh snow on top, The trails had not frozen up yet at 9:00pm, but I will check them tomorrow morning. This rain has not been good. TUT 2005 needs a good start. I will update by 11:00am with pictures. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 1/13/05 11:05 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 The rain turned to snow, let's just hope it keeps coming down like it is right now. The trails did not melt down completely, I will go out later today and tomorrow morning and take some pictures. These will not be the best conditions, but they may be ridable. Depends how much snow we get. PLEASE KEEP THOSE E_MAILS COMING!!!! I cleaned off the dish!!!! Give those Road Comission people an earful. I will post one from a gentleman that spoke to George Pappas today. 

CALL GEORGE PAPPAS HERE!!!!      989-366-5875

We just called Pappas . What a trip.
Basically he was rude and did not want to hear it . What a great public official to work with.
All he could say was the road commission will get sued. Why do they have insurance ?
I made  light of the mixed messages that have been sent by the local powers to be  and I was a person that  had been in the Houghton lake area for years ,not just one week end. I think with his feisty,attack attitude ,  a local could have his job in a heart beat!  I'm sure his benefits and retirement are from the commision ,not the hair cut shop. Would he miss those? That would cool him off  quickly.
 
a tax payer, downstater for 20 plus years 
 
p.s. this problem of peeling the road sides is a given for the low snow times and a double for the tut week ends. how can he defend his position except ot go on the attack as he did with me

 

 I have had thousands of visitors since I asked for your help and e-mails yesterday. Snowmobiling does not just happen people. It happens because of volunteers. Please take a few minutes and write an e-mail so we have something to beat these people with. These reports will NOT continue if we don't get more support. About 8 people donated to this site this year, and the number of visitors is up by about 40 percent. If you don't donate, then at least write. Do I need to make this site such that only e-mails with support will be given a link to an updated page? Get typing, you should hear some of the rude people who call when this site is not updated. I will update again when I get time, Our rain changed to snow. The dish is frozen, so the webcam is down. If you want me to climb on that roof, e-mail me...LOL. Getting ready for TUT 2005. The road Commission meeting is tonight at 7:00PM.  

Update 1/12/05 11:15 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 I groomed to Leota and Mike J groomed the west trail. Trail 6 from Reserve Rd to Old 27 was in bad shape. The west trail needs more snow, but Mike did what he could to flatten it out. Next year we are targeting the Leota trail and the west trail for major improvements and grading. We woke up this morning to find everything covered with a sheet of ice. Most of the schools around our area are closed. Looking at the Radar the precip. should be moving out of our area, so we will have to wait and see. Still calling for rapidly falling temps tomorrow, and a chance of snow. We are in the process of contacting all of the local businesses and many residents and getting rid of these county people who are destroying recreational activities and Tourism in our area. While grooming to Leota yesterday, I came to a section on trail #6 that runs down Headquarters Rd. for about 1-2 miles. The county had spread sand  on it and scraped it down. What is the purpose of having a trail run down a road if you are going to plow it and put sand on it? Either move the trail or leave some snow on the road. I do not know of a single house on that road, only gas and oil pipelines. Same thing on Reserve Road south of Waco. Who is paying for the plowing of all of these roads? Seems we are spending tax dollars and destroying tourism along the way. We have not had that much snow this year, but I can honestly say that the trails were in decent shape as we have been making good use of what we had. The county's efforts are making our job much more difficult. There are a handful of elderly people who do not take part in the recreational activities that Houghton Lake has to offer, and they seem to be making policy changes that effect all of us. Many of these homes are second homes and they were purchased so the owners could enjoy what Houghton Lake has to offer. I know the barber (Road commission Chairman George Pappas) does not rely on tourism dollars for his business so why does he care. These people making these decisions need to smell the roses or get out of town. We don't need them. Move to Flordia if you don't like snow, or move to Siberia if you don't like having neighbors....but just MOVE ON!!! I am asking everyone that reads this to call these people and give them an earful. There is no industry to speak of in Houghton Lake or Roscommon County for that matter. Without tourists and weekenders we would not have a Home Depot, Super Wal-Mart etc. I will be posting a document on this page listing all of the businesses that support these changes. In addition I will list those that do not. A business that does not decide either way, will be placed in the non-supporter column. Please spend your money with the ones that are in your court. We are getting at least 5000 different visitors a day, and I want to hear from all of you on this subject. Please E-mail us with your opinion. Many of you own places around here and visit this page to get a view of the weather and conditions. I don't care if you donated, money, peanuts, hammers or time to this website up to this point, please take the time to e-mail us and call the numbers at the top of this page. I will update again on the trails as the conditions change over the next 24 hours. Come visit Houghton Lake for TUT 2005. Check the ice carefully before you venture out. THINK SNOW!!!!!

E-mail us by clicking here!!!

CALL GEORGE PAPPAS HERE!!!!      989-366-5875

Update 1/11/05 11:15 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

  Big Joe and I groomed last night, I went to Meredith and he did the Prudenville loops. We pulled the snow in from the sides, and covered most of the bad spots. The weather is now the big question. We tried to cover everything in case of rain with hopes of it not doing too much damage. I took pictures last night and I am going to Leota today to see if I can do anything with it. I will post pictures later today. The trails are not the best but they are ridable, and good enough to let the rentals go out. Check the ice carefully before you venture out. THINK SNOW!!!!!

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Update 1/10/05 11:15 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

  I went and poked some holes in the ice at the end of Jefferson St, two streets east of the Tip-Up-Town site. There was about 12" of ice, and about another 5" of water below that to the bottom. This was about 100 yards from shore. It appeared to be thickening as I want out another 100 yards. Use this only as a guide, check the ice carefully before you venture out.

 Went to Elbow Lake last night and the trails held up decent for the winter we are having. It seems we have more snow than many areas around us. Cadillac was reporting 10-12 inches of snow. I called there on Friday and a friend said he had about 5" in his yard and he is between 33 and 31 mile Rd on M-55. I wish more people were honest about the snow. We were going to ride to Fife Lake, but decided against it. I believe we are going to groom today or tonight, so I will wait till then to do a better report with pictures. We got a little snow and drizzle last night, so we are going to pull in all of the snow on the sides, and back into the corners. I am on my way to measure ice thickness in front of the resort and the Tip-Up-Town site. We are about 150 yards apart. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 1/9/05 9:15 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 The trails are getting snirty and need more snow. The corners are very icy. The seasonal roads and two tracks still provide good riding, without most of the ice. The high today is supposed to be around 30. I don't know if they can groom again without more snow. The lake is almost perfectly flat, with the exception of a few pressure cracks here and there, with a lot of snow cover on it. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 1/8/05 10:15 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 Big Joe groomed 655 all the way to Meredith, and I groomed 654 of the Prudenville loop, and trail 6 down to Grass lake Rd last night. The corners were icy and we covered them as good as we could. The west trail and the trail to Leota will probably get groomed tonight. Some pictures are posted below, the daytime pictures are before the groom yesterday. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

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trail04.jpg (181805 bytes)    trail05.jpg (210647 bytes)    trail06.jpg (164939 bytes)

 

Update 1/7/05 8:45 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

  We got 6-8 inches of snow from Wed-Thursday night. We now have that snow on a ice base so it should be pretty hard to get down to the dirt. The ice base will make the corners very slippery, so ride with caution. I'm not sure what the grooming schedule will be but I will post it as soon as I know. It would be good to try and pack this down before everyone comes for the weekend. It looks to warm a bit, so this would help us with packing this new snow, as long as it is not too warm. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 1/4/05 10:45 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report 

No snow last night, they are calling for some accumulation on Wednesday. Maybe this time when we get the snow on our access roads to the trails, and overpasses, our county Road commission chairman George Pappas will do the right thing for snowmobilers and this community. We encourage everyone who visits to write or call these folks, especially those of you with cabins or second homes in Roscommon county. We have generated some flyers that we will begin distributing all around this county, showing folks how these policies are messing with millions of dollars in revenue. If we can't get some change here then we will begin to fight for someone that understands tourism and will work with the community to bring about changes that are necessary. THINK SNOW!!! If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 1/3/05 10:45 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 We have a couple of openings for T.U.T. 2005, call for more information 1-866-366-6464.

 No snow last night, but it got cold enough to freeze everything back up. The high predicted for today is 35, and after that it is supposed to cool and bring us some snow. John Dee has us getting some before the weekend, so we need to keep our fingers crossed. I will put some holes in the ice today, but be careful around road ends, and areas that get a lot of water runoff as the ice will surely be thinner. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 1/2/05 3:45 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 Nothing new, but the high today was maybe 34 and it's cooling right now. The lake is freezing back up after the rain, but the ice is thinner along the shoreline.

Update 1/2/05 10:45 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 Nothing good to write about today, yesterdays high was only 25 so everything froze back up. Last night we got rain, freezing rain, and now a light mist. It's a mess out there. High of 47 today, 35 tomorrow. We don't get some new snow soon, next weekend will look grim. There is still a lot of ice on the lake, these couple warm days have not changed much. Looks to cool down after tomorrow with snow showers in the forecast almost every day. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 1/1/05 10:45 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! You can see by the webcam pic, the results of the rain. Hard to believe we got in a 150 mile ride on the 30th. Almost all of our snow is gone, there is still snow in the woods, and there is a partial base left on a lot of the trails. It is bare ice, so no good for riding. The snow on the lake all melted, then the water froze to add more thickness to the ice. Be cautious in areas where there was a lot of water runoff into the lake. There are probably spots that the ice is thinner closer to shore as a result of the warm water running into the lake along the shoreline. We didn't see many sleds on the lake in the slush yesterday, but we did see two shanties go by at about 7-10 MPH from the wind. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/31/04 9:45 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 The rain came down hard last night, and wiped out a lot of our snow. It went all of the way to the Eastern U.P. and even as far west as Marquette. It is supposed to turn to snow sometime today, but a peek at the webcam picture pretty much tells the story. Some people already went by on the lake this morning, it may be the only place to ride today. I will go out and check the two-tracks and seasonal roads, and see if they survived. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/30/04 2:45 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 We rode to Dingmans taking seasonal roads, two tracks, and sections of the snowmobile trail, about 120 miles. They are going downhill fast. It started to sprinkle at about 2:30 and its melting the sides of the roads. This is when we all need to call George Pappas (Road Commission Chairman) and let him know how his methods are helping our sport. Will update later tonight. They are driving cars and trucks on sections of the lake, so there should be plenty of ice for ice fishing.  If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/29/04 5:00 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 We checked the trails south of town, 655 to Meredith was flat, but getting snirty. Trail 654 in the loop was also getting snirty, mainly in the corners. We took trail 6 from Mead Rd to The Oad Barn in Grayling last night and it was a good ride, until we got to the Bluebear. It was very rough where the trail split to go West around Grayling. It was 32 almodst all day, 22 for the low tonight. Still looking to warm this weekend, not sure how much. Will update tomorrow, possibly twice if conditions change rapidly. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 12/27/04 9:00 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 The trails are holding up well, in spite of the lack of snow. The lake has over 8" of ice in front of the resort and there are a lot of sleds riding the shoreline. The cold temps have kept many of the side streets nicely covered. Still looks to warm up by Thursday or Friday, so riding the weekend may not be the best conditions.

Update 12/25/04 7:00 pm.  : MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

 We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from Houghton Lake. Nothing new in the way of snow overnight, and just some flurries so far today. It looks to warm up this next week, so we will have to wait and see what happens. Following is a note posted on the visitor trail report section from the St. Helen Snowpackers. Please check those daily, as there is often times info there that I have not got a chance to read, or post here. You can also post your own reports there, or anything you feel will be beneficial for other snowmobilers to know.

As of today 12/24/04 the culvert on the Houghton Lake trail between the power line (Waco Road) and the bridge going north has been replaced by the St. Helen Snowpackers. Due to the repair there is no snow for approx. 30 yards.
Bob Geary
St. Helen Snowpackers

I have posted an e-mail that we received last night from a visitor of this site. The more people who call and complain about this the better off we will all be as snowmobilers. THINK SNOW!!!!

Hello,
 
    First off I would like to thank you for such an excellent website that you provide to the public.  The information you provide to us is extremely valuable.  I have a cabin near Higgins Lake, and I too know all about the road commission and how they like to scrape all of the snow off of the shoulder of the roads. 
    
    We have the same problem on the overpass at the first Higgins lake exit.  While this is not the only road there are problems with, it will serve as an excellent example.  On the bridge there is almost never any snow left to cross with, so many snowmobiliers have decided to cross through the freeway instead of going over the bridge.  This is obviously very dangerous, but every time I cross the bridge listening to my carbides grind on the pavement, and smelling my slides cook, I see tracks down below that cross the freeway.  I can surely understand why other snowmobiliers have chosen to cross US 127, because if they cross the bridge on the bare pavement, they are being pretty rough on their new machines which can now cost in excess of $8,000.00  This safety issue could be resolved if the shoulder of the bridge actually had some snow left on it for the snowmobiles to use to cross with. 
 
    For a community that heavily relies on the snowmobiliers and the money that they bring to the economy up there, I would think that the road commission would realize this and try to help bring money to their economy.  The more trouble free miles that we can put on our snowmobiles, means we purchase more gas, more refreshments, more meals, and for those who stay at hotels, motels, or resorts it can mean another extra night stay.  If the road commission begins to cater to the snowmobiliers, and Houghton Lake gets its good reputation back on how they cater to snowmobiliers, it could pay back the local businesses 10 fold.
 
    Again, thanks to you for this wonderful site, and If what i had to say in this letter can help in any way, please feel free to share it with whom ever you wish.
 
Best Regards,
 
Dean Sperry

Update 12/24/04 2:00 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

For accurate snowfall forecast, check out John Dee's snow central

 We got about 1" of lake effect powdery overnight and it is currently 0 outside. The trails are starting to look snirty in some areas, there have been a lot of traffic on them this week. Hopefully we get more snow between Christmas and New Years. I haven't had time to go out on the lake, but I will do it today. Please donate if you find this site useful, and thanks for the giant box of peanuts and the donation. Happy Holidays. There is about 7" of ice in front of the resort. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 12/23/04 9:00 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 No new snow last night, only an inch predicted for today. The trails are in good shape, but more snow is needed to build the base. should be some decent riding through the holidays. The temps are supposed to stay in the teens to below zero over the next several days. I will check the ice thickness later today. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 12/22/04 11:00 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 Just got off the phone with the trail administrator, Mike Jacobs. He got a call last night from the DNR telling us to hold off on any grooming until Friday. He called us but we didn't get the message until we got back. I guess one of the DNR officers saw us out last night, and Mike got a call early this morning. We will have a system now where we have a clipboard in the tractor telling us to groom (or not) and where. This is no doubt a necessary change. Now we are in the spotlight once again. Now I know why there are only a handful of volunteers up here helping on the trails. When we left it was about 28 degrees so the snow was wet, and the sides had drifted snow along the trail. It all packed down and froze overnight. Reading various posting from grooming clubs all over the state, one thing they all seem to agree on is grooming when the temps are falling from just around freezing, is the best time as the snow will pack, and firm up overnight. Also they say that just driving a 5-10 ton tractor on the trail drives the frost into the ground and makes the trail like a huge freezer, that will withstand warmer days much better. I figured I used less than 1/4 tank of fuel in the tractor, I'm not sure about Big Joe. If nothing else I will just pay for the fuel myself, or figure out the miles and pay them back 3.50 per mile. Also I saw some of the Houghton Lake Trailblazers this morning, they have almost finished putting in all the posts for the 911 signs. These signs are on both sides of the trails every mile. Imagine how many posts they put in. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

 On another note I have posted some pictures of the trails from this morning, and a picture of Owens Rd, the key access road to get to the trailhead. Seems it's necessary to scrape the shoulder of this road completely down to dirt, at a speed so great as to throw all of the dirt well past the shoulder into the ditch. The one we ride along to get to the trail. Now I bring you information on those folks responsible for our County Roads. Maybe give them a shout, let them know how much you appreciate their efforts.

655emerynorth.jpg (228233 bytes)    655emerynorth.jpg (228233 bytes)    Owens.jpg (187171 bytes)

Snow Routes The road commission is responsible for 1043 miles of road. This consists of 184 miles of primary roads, 678 miles of local roads and 181 miles of trunklines or state highway. Snow removal is done on a priority system. State Highways have the highest priority. We are obligated to say on most of these highways until they are clear of snow. Many of our Primary Roads (our numbered routes)are tended to at the same time. we are plowing State Highways. When the State Highways and Primary Roads are clear, we move to the Local Roads, also known as "side streets." We strive to have all roads plowed, at least with a single pass, on the first day. This is not always possible due to unforseen circumstances, such as continuing snowfall, equipment breakdowns or employee illness.

Owens road was plowed today, before 10:30 am, I watched them drive by. On another note I know of a daycare provider that still has not been plowed today as of 1:00PM.  E-mail us your opinions on this!!!

George E. Pappas, County Road Commission Chairman

George E Pappas GeorgePappas.jpg (171056 bytes) Call George Here: 989-366-7217

Or his Barber shop: 989-366-5875

Georges Barber shop 710 West Houghton Lake Drive Prudenville MI

 


3420 S Gladwin Rd
Houghton Lake, MI 48629

Michael D. Van Wormer, County Road Commission Vice Chairman

Michael D. Van Wormer Michaelvanwormer.jpg (158455 bytes) He's unlisted

Call him at work: 989-366-0333 

 

 


We don't have it yet...but soon!!

Larry V. Paxton, County Road Commission Member

Larry V. Paxton larrypaxton.jpg (41200 bytes) He's unlisted, only at meetings

 

 

 


What is a member you ask??? 

Stay Posted!!!!

The Board meets the second and fourth Thursday of every month. The meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. at the Road Commission Office, 820 E. West Branch Road, Prudenville. The public is welcome to attend!

  Update 12/22/04 3:00 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

For accurate snowfall forecast, check out John Dee's snow central

 Big Joe and I just got back from grooming. I took #655 out of the parking lot and went to Meredith and back. I was only using the very back blade, panning for the most part, but getting the drifted snow along the sides to pack in the middle. Joe groomed #654 to Grass lake, and #6 from M-18 to Reserve Road. on the Prudenville loops. Our part of Leota has not been groomed, or the West trail either. Maybe get Leota tomorrow, but the West trail needs to freeze up better. If you are out riding, ride the west trail to drive the frost in so we can get the groomer out there. The forecast still looks like snow showers every day for the rest of the week. A picture is posted below of the snow on a table on our deck. It gives you an idea how much is on the ground. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/21/04 8:00 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 It is 10 right now and we got an additional 3" last night. There are calling for and additional 1-2 today. The forecast looks like snow showers every day for the rest of the week. A picture is posted below of the snow on a table on our deck. It gives you an idea how much is on the ground. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Deck.jpg (169446 bytes)

Update 12/20/04 9:15 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 It is 0 right now and there is an advisory today for 2-3 inches, blowing and drifting snow. they are calling for 2-3 inches tonight. I will check the ice thickness later today.  If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/19/04 9:15 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 Nothing around the way of snow today, and it never reached 2 digit temps. There is about 5 inches of ice, 50 yards out in front of the resort. A couple friends were doing some testing on their sleds, along the shoreline. The ice thickness varies greatly this time of year, so check it carefully before you venture out. It is about -12 here right now, and the high tomorrow is 7. We rode from the west side of the lake to Dingman's on M-72, west of Grayling. We rode trails and two tracks and we definitely need more snow, but it was a decent ride. Pete from Grand Rapids called me last night, and told me he had removed a sign on trail 6/7 on his way back from Grayling. There is a 45 degree turn right, then a 45 left just before you get to the bridge over the Muskegon river going south. The sign at the first right 45, was a 90 degree sign pointing left. We rode past it today, he had pulled it out an laid it on the ground. We are supposed to get 2-3 inches tomorrow. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/18/04 9:15 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 Another 1-2 inches of snow fell  yesterday and last night. It is 16 degrees right now and dropping like a rock. People were riding the shoreline on sleds today, be careful where you go if you are out there. The low tonight in the teens with 1-2 and high tomorrow of 9. Sunday night low -5 or more. Pete from Grand Rapids reported riding today from Houghton Lake to Grayling and said it was a decent ride, with a little dirt showing along 27 near Grayling. A friend from Cadillac reported 10 inches on the ground there tonight. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/17/04 9:15 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 We got about another 1-2 inches of snow, yesterday and last night. it is 10 degrees right now so this is good. The trails were starting to form a base with the wet snow, and now this cold will freeze it up. The lake had 3" of ice on it yesterday, in front of the resort, about 50 yards out. I'm sure many people will be out ice fishing this weekend. I took a sled down through 5 corners checking signs to see if any more had been vandalized. The trails looked good, but sliding into corners was turning up sand. We really need more snow to pack down on what we have to build more of a base. It is probably only about a 1-2 inch base at this point. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

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                                                 Five corners north                            Five corners south                            Owens Rd & M55                            Brave soul                        Washed out culvert trail 654&Waco

Update 12/16/04 10:30 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 I just went out and looked at the trails at 5 corners, Owens&Emery. There are not in to bad of shape, and I was passed by some sledders. Owens Road is still covered as are many of the side streets due to the cold. There is also a brave soul out on the lake in a portable shanty, I would guess at least 200 yards from shore. I will go poke some holes in the ice and post some pictures later today. If you go out on the lake, PLEASE check ice conditions carefully. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/16/04 10:30 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 A couple of pics from the ride yesterday. The high got to 34, and last nights low was only 26. There is a 70% chance of snow today, with a high of 34. This wet snow builds a good base if they go out and pan it. The West Higgins trail was panned after all the wet snow, then it froze setting up a good base. Of all of the trails we rode the ones in the best shape were the ones that had been groomed or panned when the wet snow came down. The rest are very bumpy already, and falling apart. Riding this weekend in lower Mi is possible, but expect marginal trails at best and without more snow they probably won't last more than a day or so. Isolated heavy snow came down in small pockets, so expect a lot of people in those areas. We rode about 150 miles yesterday, and the snow started to get sparse south of M-72. There was still enough to ride at the Parking lot at the corner of Military road and the first Higgins Lake exit. There was about 5" of snow off trail, and I'm sure many bare spots along the way. Without more snow before the weekend this won't be a good ride, but you will probably be able to ride it, just be prepared to replace things when you are done. Probably to be better to hold off riding here until possibly next weekend. I didn't get to check the ice thickness, I will do it today. THINK SNOW!!!.

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Update 12/15/04 10:30 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 We got flurries yesterday, but not more than 1/2" of snow and tenps down to 12. Big Joe went for a blast yesterday, and said someone had already ripped a lot of the trail to dirt. He also said 2 guys rode from the West side of the Lake to Wolverine, and had reported that they had packed the wet snow with the groomer on the West Higgins Trail. I am heading up to Bear lake today, so I will take pictures of the West Trail along the way. I will also check the ice on the lake and post the thickness out in front of the resort for the ice fisherman. THINK SNOW!!!.

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Dec 14 2004 8:45 AM

Update 12/14/04 9:30 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 Just a skif of snow last night, but it looks as thought the lake is now completely iced over. amazing how fast that occurs. There was about 200 yard of ice yesterday morning, now I can't see any open water. I will post pictures later today. Last nights low was about 15, and its only 17 now. Looks like we may be riding sooner than it looked a couple days ago. THINK SNOW!!!!

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Dec 13 8:15 AM

Pics from lake taken today posted soon!!

Update 12/13/04 9:30 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 We didn't get much snow last night, but the lake started to freeze. It is snowing now and we will update later today. People have been riding, but it's not quite ready for us yet. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/12/04 9:45 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 It snowed on and off today, hard to tell how much, it was wet snow and it settled a lot. I would guess that there is about 4" on the ground in my yard. Still calling for more snow tonight, will update again early in the morning. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/12/04 12:15 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 We got about 3" of snow last night, and the forecast for today is calling for 2-5. tonight 1-3. Hopefully they are right. it is snowing on and off, and the lake iced over last night. It started thawing today as the temps climbed, but it is not supposed to be above freezing for the next several days. Will update again later today. The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/11/04 10:45 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 We got a trace of snow last night, enough to make everything look white. Well so much for yesterdays forecast. The high for today is 34, and the same for tomorrow. The temps are definitely dropping and are supposed to stay that way, hopefully for good. John Dee is predicting a significant snow sometime Sunday and into Monday. Local forecasts are calling for snow, but not indicating how much at this point. Still no ice on the lake, the next few days should cause it to start to freeze over. The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/10/04 9:45 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 Nothing good to write about for Michigan snowmobiling,  the warm temps have melted all of the snow. They keep raising the high temp predictions as each day drags on, today 40, tomorrow and Sunday, 36, and 35. one, Please donate to this website, If we save you one drive up here, you would be money ahead. Also support the clubs where you ride, they are the ones getting the job done. The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/08/04 8:15 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 It rained all day yesterday, and then turned to light snow last night. We woke up to almost 30 degree temps, and the high today was about 38. Almost all of our snow is gone, there is still a little out in the woods. they are calling for 43 tomorrow, and 39 on Friday. Snow showers over the weekend, or possibly more rain. I got a response back about HJR-Z (in red). The response is posted below (in blue). I asked what changes were made and I am awaiting a response. THINK SNOW!!!!

The Michigan Snowmobile Association has partnered with Hunters, Fisherman, Boaters ORVers and other outdoor enthusiasts to protect your registration and license fees. HJR-Z was introduced by Representative Richardville and passed the House 108 yea to 0 nay.

This resolution will constitutionally protect your snowmobile dollar. It will prevent the Governor or the legislature from using our $ to balance the Michigan budget.

The resolution is currently being held hostage by the speaker of the Senate. Senator Ken Sikkema has publicly said that he is not for the Constitutional change. He thinks that during tough economic times that the state should have the ability to balance the budget on the backs of snowmobilers, boaters and other outdoor sportsmen. WE THINK NOT! Call Senator Sikkema and tell him to allow the Senate to vote on HJR-Z.

If Senator Sikkema is not your senator, call yours and tell him/her to pressure the speaker to allow HJR-Z to be voted on!

If you can't call, write or email a message.

Dear Art:

Thank you for contacting me recently to express your support for HJR Z which seeks to constitutionally protect certain funds within the Department of Natural Resources.  I appreciated hearing from you on this important issue.

I am happy to let you know that the Resolution was taken up by the full Senate earlier today and adopted.  It returns now to the House of Representatives for concurrence in changes made in Senate Committee.  I fully expect the House to agree with the Senate amendments and for HJR Z to be adopted.

Once again, thank you for writing.  If I can be of future assistance in any matter involving state government, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Michelle A. McManus, State Senator

Update 12/07/04 8:45 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 Well the rain started last night just as they predicted, and it is continuing into today. Last year we had more ice on the lake by this time, so we need some cold weather. These temps are supposed to continue through Thursday, with it cooling back to a high on Friday of 32. The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve.THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/06/04 8:45 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 Woke up this morning to 3 inches of fresh snow and it is still coming down, but it has slowed a bit. Still calling for accumulations today of 1-2 inches, but high of 43 tomorrow and rain. Hopefully they are wrong about the rain. The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve.THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/05/04 7:45 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 We got a rain/sleet mix yesterday morning and a lot of what little snow we had has melted. The lake started to freeze up, but then the temps climbed back above 35 and it melted. This week does not look good with temps reaching the high 30's. Snow predicted tonight and tomorrow with an accumulation of 1-2 inches. Thursday we were out signing, and signed from Grass Lake Rd. to about 1/2 mile north of the parking lot in Meredith. There we ran into a big hole and had to turn around. I went out Friday and filled the hole with the tractor, it took 4 hours. We had a lot of volunteers out on the trails this weekend, and I want to thank everyone that helped out. The group that was with me brushed trail 6 from Waco Rd to Grass lake Rd. , then 655 all the way to Meredith. We also finished the signing. The Trailblazers brought a big group also, so don't forget to give those guys a big thank you if you see any of them. Some of these guys drove 2 hours to get here and help, and then work 8 hours in the woods. I bought everyone in my group dinner at the Meredith Bar, so if you are wondering where donations to this website go, we are overdrawn...LOL. So far I have over 100 hours on the tractor and probably another 50 doing other things like brushing, signing and tractor repair. And it's not snowmobile season yet. I have 11 places to fill during snowmobile season. Seems like with all the hotels/motels and resorts around here we shouldn't be asking for your help, via donations or work on the trails. If you ride here, make sure you call the Chamber of Commerce and find out what businesses are out supporting the sport of snowmobiling in this area. Take you business to those merchants first, maybe more will get on the bandwagon. There needs to be more local support. One last note, the west trail is in terrible shape, with all of the other work to do, we just haven't gotten out there yet. We are going to try and get out there this week, during this warm spell. Some of it is washed out so bad, we can't even get out there with 4wd's to do the signing. Enough of my whining...THINK SNOW!!!

E-mail us with your parts & accessory needs

Update 12/03/04 12:45 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 We got about 1" of snow last might and the low was about 18. The lake started to freeze around the edges. There was 2-3" around Gaylord, but still not enough to ride. The webcam was finally working, then the Satellite takes a dump. It's back to running dial-up until I get a chance to fix the dish. We have been out signing this week, and are still looking for volunteers to come up and help tomorrow at 10:00am. I went to Meredith down 655 signing yesterday, and came up to a big hole in the trail east of M-18. I am on my way out there now with the tractor to try and fix it before the ground freezes any more. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/02/04 7:45 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 Nothing new to report the high yesterday was about 34 and the low last night was about 20. Snow flurries predicted today and tomorrow, with 1-2 inches accumulation expected. Looks right now as though it may warm up this weekend to near 40. Still trying to get volunteers to help sign and brush the trails this weekend. We will be out Sat around 10:00am, meet at the Chamber of Commerce.

E-mail us with your parts & accessory needs

Update 12/01/04 7:45 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 We woke up this morning to about 2" of new snow. It tapers off as you go further north. Warmer temps still expected over the next couple days so who knows if it will stay. Still much earlier than last year.  A few pics taken this morning.

Michigan snowmobiling, Houghton Lake December 1 2004    Michigan snowmobiling, Houghton Lake December 1 2004, Michigan trail conditions

Update 11/29/04 10:05 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 All of the snow we had has melted, and the high today was about 35. Flurries in the forecast over the next few days with lows in the 20's. The lake has frozen over around the edges the past few nights, it's ready to go we just need a few days straight below freezing. We are organizing a group for trail maintenance this Saturday at 10:00 am. E-mail or call the Chamber of commerce if you can help. We still have a lot of work to do. During rifle season we can only be in the woods for around 4 hours per day. Think Snow!!

Update 11/25/04 10:05 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

 The winter began last night with a decent size storm covering most of lower Michigan. There is more snow south and west than there is off to the north. We only got a couple of inches on the ground here. Will update this tomorrow after we get a chance to look around.. 

Update 11/15/04 10:05 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

More pictures of the trail work in progress low last night of 28. The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve. We are still accepting donations for this site, last year we received almost 450.00 and a box of brass hammers...LOL. Also check out the local club, www.houghtonlaketrailblazers.com and join them if you ride here. They are out doing a lot of work on the trails as well. We need more volunteers!! THINK MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILING!!!! Also read this letter being circulated around the internet and contact your Senator. Last year Governor Grandholm took the money in the snowmobile fund and placed it in the general fund to help balance the budget. This actually hits us like a snowmobile tax. 

The Michigan Snowmobile Association has partnered with Hunters, Fisherman, Boaters ORVers and other outdoor enthusiasts to protect your registration and license fees. HJR-Z was introduced by Representative Richardville and passed the House 108 yea to 0 nay.

This resolution will constitutionally protect your snowmobile dollar. It will prevent the Governor or the legislature from using our $ to balance the Michigan budget.

The resolution is currently being held hostage by the speaker of the Senate. Senator Ken Sikkema has publicly said that he is not for the Constitutional change. He thinks that during tough economic times that the state should have the ability to balance the budget on the backs of snowmobilers, boaters and other outdoor sportsmen. WE THINK NOT! Call Senator Sikkema and tell him to allow the Senate to vote on HJR-Z.

If Senator Sikkema is not your senator, call yours and tell him/her to pressure the speaker to allow HJR-Z to be voted on!

If you can't call, write or email a message.

 

Michigan Snowmobile trail maintenance    Michigan snowmobiling, Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling, Houghton Lake Michigan Trail Reports, Snowmobile Vacation,    Michigan snowmobiling, Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling, Houghton Lake Michigan Trail Reports, Snowmobile Vacation,

Michigan snowmobiling, Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling, Houghton Lake Michigan Trail Reports, Snowmobile Vacation,    Michigan snowmobiling, Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling, Houghton Lake Michigan Trail Reports, Snowmobile Vacation,

Update 11/14/04 10:05 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 Woke up to a lake that completely iced over with thin sheet of ice, more good news for Michigan Snowmobiling. The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve. Still lots of work to be done on the trails, signing an brushing going on this week. Please tread lightly if you are out hunting this weekend, and go easy on the trail markers and posts.  THINK MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILING!!!! 

Update 11/8/04 10:05 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 It was snowing in Houghton Lake today, good news for Michigan Snowmobiling. The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve. We had a hard freeze last night, and that is supposed to continue for most of the week. We are still working on the trails, so if you want to help out call the Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce. I went down the trail to Meredith, and it was a muddy mess. About 300 yards from M-18 there were some 3 foot deep holes. I spent all of the day Saturday filling them. The drag broke down and we had to leave it in the woods Friday. Mike fixed it on Saturday.  We are running out of time and there is a lot more work to be done. THINK MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILING!!!! 

Update 11/3/04 8:05 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobile Trail Report

 We repaired the groomer on Friday morning. There was a group of volunteers out Saturday morning brushing the trails. We were out for a few hours Saturday filling in low spots and widening the trails. There is still a lot of brushing to do, and they are going to start signing next week. We are still in need of volunteers so if you are looking for something to do this weekend, look no further. Also keep those trail donations coming, they are being put to good use. Think Houghton Lake Michigan for your snowmobiling this year!! The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve. THINK SNOW!!!! 

Update 10/26/04 8:55 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 The Houghton Lake Michigan Chamber is organizing groups for every Saturday at 10:00 am for help with the trails. The Houghton Lake Trailblazers have been out often, and even during the week so support their club also. There is a lot more volunteers than previous years, but we still need more. The better shape we can get these in pre-season, the better they will be for your ride this winter. We spent 5.5 hours yesterday on both tractors filling low spots and widening the trails, and we probably only got a couple miles done. By filling all the low spots maybe we can prevent the water holes from forming, and causing us a lot of grief during the winter. This coming weekend, we can make arrangements for a free place for your group if you help with the trails Sat&Sun. Call the resort at 989-366-6464 or the Houghton Lake Michigan Chamber of Commerce at 989-366-5644. People are sending donations to the Chamber for grooming, so if you can't help perhaps you can send in a donation. They will only get paid by the State for about 3 full grooms a week. They are stating that they will groom 24/7 this year if conditions permit and it is necessary. They are going to be holding some fundraisers this fall to try and make up some of the difference. This new group and board seems dedicated to greatly improve the trails over past years so lets give them a chance and support them with volunteers and $$$. They may also be putting collection cans in bars and restaurants, much like you see in the UP. Below are more pictures of the trail repair in progress. Not the last picture..wheels on groomer #1 pointing opposite directions. The steering shaft broke and we had to bring it back riding on top of the old drag. The parts are ordered and it should be repaired by Friday. We opted to try and do it ourselves to save time and money. The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve.

Michigan snowmobile trail maintenance        Michigan snowmobile trail maintenance    Michigan snowmobile trail maintenance

 

Update 10/20/04 8:55 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 Still looking for groups of volunteers to help with the trail brushing, signing and repair. If you can organize a group, we can probably make arrangements for a free place for your group to stay for the weekend. Call the resort at 989-366-6464 or the Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce at 989-366-5644. Also please read the post by Mark in the visitor trail report section. CLICK HERE. E-mail your opinions on this clear-cutting to the e-mail addresses in his reply letter from the state of Mi. Some pictures taken today of the work in progress, widening trails, brushing, filling low spots. There is a group going out this weekend, so please come by and help if you can. The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve.

 

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  There is a book going to be coming out called the snowcard, www.thesnowcard.com. This book is expected to sell for around 20.00 and will have discounts from many resorts, hotels, diners etc. that are in snowmobiling popular areas. Five dollars is going to the grooming club of your choice from each book sold.  We have committed to three coupons, 10.00 of any snowmobile servicing, snowmobile rental or cabin rental. Keep you eyes out for these books. The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve. Think Snow!!!!

Update 10/14/04 8:55 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobile Trail Report

 We are looking for groups of volunteers to help with the trail brushing, signing and repair. if you can organize a group, we can probably make arrangements for a free place for your group to stay for the weekend. Call the resort at 989-366-6464 or the Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce at 989-366-5644. Also please read the post by Mark in the visitor trail report section. CLICK HERE. E-mail your opinions on this clear-cutting to the e-mail addresses in his reply letter from the state of Mi. The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 10/4/04 8:55 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 I talked with the chamber today, and the new name for the snowmobile club is the Houghton Lake Snowmobile Association. They indicated the west trail is in bad shape from the 4wd trucks tearing it up. It needs to be graded, possibly with a small dozer before the ground freezes. It also needs to be cleared with a brush hog. If anyone can help with either of those, or knows where they can rent one cheap, call the chamber of commerce and ask for Bob. Also anyone that wishes to donate to the trail fund, can send a check to the chamber of Commerce made out to the Houghton Lake Snowmobile Association. They are still in need of volunteers to help get these trails in shape for the season. Also the Houghton Lake Trailblazers have been helping out on the trails. Please visit their website www.houghtonlaketrailblazers.com for information on joining or contributing. Here are the addresses of the local clubs. The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve. THINK SNOW!!!

Houghton Lake Snowmobile Association, 1625 W. Houghton Lake Drive, Houghton Lake, MI 48629, Phone: 989-366-5644

Houghton Lake Trailblazers, P.O. Box 234, Houghton Lake MI 48629

St Helen Snowpackers, 620 North St Helen road, St. Helen MI, 48656 Phone: 989-389-4871

Update 10/1/04 8:55 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobile Trail Report

 If you are looking for Michigan Snowmobiling, Houghton Lake will be working hard to get you business. They hired a trail administrator for the Houghton Lake Trail system. You can contact him at the Chamber of Commerce if you are interested in volunteering for work on the trail system. The large group of volunteers didn't show last weekend. They are already calling for snow/sleet for next week, so that is some good news. The snowmobile trail reports and conditions will be updated daily as conditions improve. Think snow!!!! 

Update 9/1/04 8:55 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 We are beginning to get all the rental sleds ready for winter, and so we have also begun ordering studs, carbides etc. If you need to get you sleds prepped for winter, we have some specials going for the next several weeks. An inspection consisting of the following is 170.00. 1. Check all fluids 2. chain-case oil changed 3. grease suspension and bearings 4. Charging system and all lighting check 5. Track tension adjustment 6. Engine compression test. 7. Wearbars and slider check 8. General inspection and bolt tightening. 9. Power wash and cleanup 10 Battery test. 11. Coolant system check 12 Belt inspection. Slider replacement is 40.00 for most sleds, and includes sliders. Carbide replacement is 20.00 and carbides are approx 35.00/50.00/65.00/80.00 for 4/6/8/10" respectively for most sleds. Carb cleaning is 60.00 for twins and 75.00 for tripples. Studding is 1.00 each stud, and 1" stainless studs are 37.00 for 24 as an example. These studs are Woody stainless steel traction master studs. Call or e-mail for other combinations. There is a book going to be coming out called the snowcard, www.thesnowcard.com. This book is expected to sell for around 20.00 and will have discounts from many resorts, hotels, diners etc. that are in snowmobiling popular areas. Five dollars is going to the grooming club of your choice from each book sold.  We have committed to three coupons, 10.00 of any snowmobile servicing, snowmobile rental or cabin rental. Keep you eyes out for these books. 

Update 8/25/04 9:55 pm.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 With the 2004-2005 Michigan snowmobiling season approaching fast, things are beginning to happen as far as the trails are concerned. The Houghton Lake Chamber has formed a new snowmobile club that will be responsible for maintaining the trails. They have a Board of Directors that will control all trail operations. The board members are volunteer, but they are hiring a paid Trail Administrator that will oversee the day to day operations of the trail system. They are seeking volunteers for trail brushing, signing and grooming operations. If you are interested contact the Houghton Lake Chamber of commerce at 989-366-5644. We attended the first meeting of about 25-30 people with most being new people that were not involved with the program last year. Rick hacker is a Board member and he was very active several years ago with the trail system so him being involved should be a big help. We heard a lot of complaints about the condition of the trails last year, and myself and a couple others volunteered to do late night grooming on weekends. This generally started at 1:00-2:00am and took longer than 8 hours on the smaller loops. From the messages we received on the trail report page and all the thumbs up we saw on the trails on Saturday mornings, it helped a lot grooming weekends. The problem with late night grooming is people still out on the trails. I had one very close call last year and if I had not raised the bucket on the front of the groomer, the person would have hit me. I only thought of this because another driver told me of the same situation a week or so earlier. Be aware that groomers will be out at any time during the day or night. I was told they are paid for three full grooms a week, and from the traffic we saw last year this is simply not enough. They will need outside support in the form of donations, fundraiser etc, to be able to groom more often. Also we will post the names of the County Road Commissioner and telephone number here so you can contact them regarding the grinding of the shoulders on key access roads to the trails down to dirt. As one person pointed out in the meeting, this is a voted position, and it sounds like it is time for a change of policy here or a change in personnel. We need everyone that rides here to help us bring about change. Please support the local clubs where you ride. I will get information for the local clubs in this area and post it here. THINK SNOW!!!!!

Update 6/24/04 9:55 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobile Trail Report

 Nothing good to write about here. The State has been doing a lot of clear-cutting in this area. There have been several articles written in the Resorter with a lot of people being upset. If you vacation here, have a place here, or just visit the area for recreation, please take the time to write in and voice your opinion on all this clear-cutting. Michigan snowmobiling won't be much without trees. They are calling it forest management, but clearly this is about money, not management. They are leaving a mess behind, and I have yet to see a new tree planted in any of these areas. It looks like a bomb went off when they are done. Michigan will soon look like Ohio if this trend continues. Surely this is just another quick buck scheme by our very short-sited Governor. If that is not the case then someone needs to control this clear-cutting, and force these loggers to re-plant. With Michigan's Industries dying out, the last thing we need to mess up is our tourism and wildlife for a few bucks. We will post some pictures of this soon. Funny how than close off all of these two tracks to ORV's because of the so-called damage they cause. I'm sure anyone would rather look a few few bumps in the road, while driving through the forest than look as this devastation. THINK TREES!!!!!

Update 3/30/04 9:55 am.  : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobile Trail Report

 The lake still has ice on it, but surely not for long. They are riding ORV's around here already so that season has begun. Check out the ORV page for those updates. There are still people ice fishing, but be careful if you go out on the lake. Don't ride the Lake unless you have checked it out carefully. THINK SNOW!!! 

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