Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Reports

2005-2006 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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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.

 

Come up and join us for Michigan's Largest winter Festival

TIP-UP-TOWN 2007

Tip-Up-Town has been re-vamped this year to bring more fun for the entire family. Please support TUT 2007 and bring the entire family. Click the writing above to be directed to the official TUT 2007 website at the Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce.

 

2005-2006 Season (Archived)

HAPPY TUT 2006

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Update 9/11/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

6:20PM   Trail brushing and signing is underway on the Houghton Lake Snowmobile Trail system. The Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce along with the Houghton Lake snowmobile Association and the Houghton Lake Trail Blazers are looking for volunteers to help with the trail system in preparation for winter. Please come up and help out if you ride here. The following is the post from the Houghton Lake Chamber of commerce activities board. Mike Jacobs has been grading sections of the trail, and Jim Debo has already been out brushing. Let see if we can get these guys some more help out there.

                                               ATTENTION SNOWMOBILERS!!!
Looking for Volunteers for brushing the trails. The Houghton Lake Snowmobile Association and
The Houghton Lake Trail Blazers will be meeting every Saturday 9/9 thru 11/11.
Meet at the Playhouse at 10:00am - For more information please call 989-366-5644

Update 5/23/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

6:20PM  We are organizing a trail cleanup for June 3rd-4th. Anyone wanting to help please send an e-mail here or visit the forum on Hardcoresledder.com by clicking HERE. Also it is an election year for Michael Van Wormer (Road comission Chairman). There is a meeting May 25 and there has been some problems out there. Click HERE to read the article. Larry Paxton seems to be the guy wanting to get some things done differently. We need to see who's running and where they stand on helping tourisn thrive in this county. THINK SUMMER!!!

Update 4/3/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

6:20PM  The ice went off the lake Sunday, and now we are looking at whitecaps with all of the wind. I'm suprized we didnt get any more riding in in March with the big dump of snow we got at the end of Feburary. Some guys were out riding orv's this past weekend....their report is below. Thanks for all that contributed to the website, I will be making improvements throughout the summer and get the webcam working in Meredith, and hopefully along 6/7 north by the Muskegon River Bridge.  Click on the members trail report page here and scroll down to 3/4 and 3/5. THINK SUMMER!!!

ORV Report from 4/2/06

Art

Yes we did get a ride in.  Losing the hour to daylight savings meant we got
a late start on Sunday, but we put on 50 miles.  Mainly on Leota, with a few
of the miles on Denton Creek.

We started from Canoe Camp and Cambridge roads.  We rode down to the
Jonesville Bridge, then up the middle of the loop and back down the west
side.  After a little break we went a few miles into Denton Creek and back.

We were a bit skeptical when we woke up to a mainly frozen East Bay, but the
ice/snow was not a factor on the trails.  The moisture kept the dust down so
the trails were excellent.  A few downed trees to deal with, but other than
that it was a great first ride of the season.  When we got back to the lake
there was no more ice, at least on the East Bay.  We timed it perfectly,
when we finished unloading, the rain started.

Thanks, talk to you later.

Mark

Update 3/12/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

9:20AM  The low last night was around 45, so we lost a lot of snow. I don't think we will have any more riding this season the way things look right now. I did just see a guy tearing up and down the lake out front of here, not sure what he was riding on. Thank's to all that donated to this site. We will try and organize some fundraisers for the grooming club, so next season we will have enough money to groom whenever we feel it's necessary. There will be more webcams up for next season, so check back to see our progress. I also posted the pictures from our last ride here las weekend. Hard to believe those pictures are only a week old. It was the best riding around here all season, and Chris and I worked ou buts off weekend to get that snow flat. I read the trail report from Gaylord, and they are saying there is 6-12 inches of snow in and around Gaylord. Don't count on a ride up there either, they seem to be a bit optimistic, I am a realist, but I don't think winter is over yet. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 3/9/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

9:20AM  We got rain last night and a low of about 34. The highs on Saturday are forecasted to be in the 50's so even lake riding may be out of the question. Temps next week don't look much better for snowmobiling. I can say keeping the groomer here was convenient and letting it warm up before I got in it was nice. But the 10 hours of working on it in the cold was not much of a trade off. It's easy to get in the tractor, and let someone else worry about the lights, blades, and general maintenance. We need a groomer barn, and we will try and get some organized fundraising events so we can get these tractors inside. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 3/7/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

9:20AM  The colds temps last night prevented much of the snow from melting. Most of the trails are still ridable, and the two-tracks in the woods are still nicely covered. Today and tomorrow may be the last days you can ride in this area, so if you are dying for another ride, and know your way around the woods, its still an option. Getting to the trails from the lake is pretty much out of the question.  THINK SNOW!!!

Update 3/6/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

11:20AM  Nothing much good happening up here, the temps are already above freezing, and things are melting. We got a ride in yesterday to Meredith and Elbow Lake and they were in good shape, very few brown spots, and quite flat. In the 1 hour that we were in Meredith, the snow started to lose it brightness on the hills and high sun areas. This weeks predicted temps will most likely end our riding, without a snap back of cold temps and more snow. We may try to flatten things one more time at night, in case mother nature throws us a cold spell. I think its a bit early for spring...so for now I'm THINKING SNOW!!!

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These two vehicles were driving North on trail 655 at about 9:30 PM. An accident waiting to happen. 

They apperaed to have been drinking, Chriss called 911 for me an I gave him the license numbers.

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These were taken when we started on Sat night at 9pm. We finished at 10am Sunday. The wheel lift broke on my drag but I opted to stay out and finish. I parked it on Sunday morning in the lot on Owens, as I could not drive it down the road. Doug from All About Welding came out and fixed it in about two hours. Chris passed me at about 60MPH, he was in a hurry to get done.

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We double groomed to Leota anfer finishing all of the local loops, the traffic was heavy coming from Harrison and Leota.

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I took 6 back in, Chris took 655. I cleaned up 655 north of Waco.

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Update 3/5/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

7:20AM  Been too busy to update this page, We groomed Thursday night, Friday Night and Saturday night. Saturday at about 1pm I was finishing up the west trail, and the snow was balling up in the drag. We had to wait till 7PM for the temps to drop enough to groom. It was VERY busy on the trails. Just came back in, the trails are flat as pavement, and ready for another day. I will post pictures later today. THINK SNOW!!!

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These pictures were from a ride on 3/4/05 at about 3PM. If this is your vehicle, bad choice for parking.

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We started in houghton Lake on Owens Rd. and rode to Leota.

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The Leota Bar

Update 3/2/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

12:20PM  Chris measured the snowfall before he came to Houghton Lake....AND PLOWED MY DRIVEWAY...thank's Chris. He measured 12-14 inches in Meredith. He's ready to fire up a groomer...just point him to a mogul...And now I will plug my place, because I rarely do it...2 sleds and a 2 Bedroom CABIN 600.00 for the weekend. Sleds alone 350.00 each for the weekend, from Friday at noon, till Sunday at 5:00pm. Thanks to all that donated and became members, there are about 70 now, and every little bit helps. The members page will be password protected when the webcam's go up. There will be one on Trail 6, one at Meredith, and possibly one at Elbow lake, if Bob understands what we are doing. I am supplying all the hardware for each location, and the internet connection on trail 6 cam. Louie will supply a phone line for the one in Meredith. THINK SNOW!!!!

10:20AM  Just got off the phone with Chris, one of the other groomer drivers. On top of being a driver, he lives in Meredith, so he can give us a first hand snow report. He was plowing when I called him minutes ago, and he said 8-10 inches there now, and still snowing hard. Elbow will have the same or a bit more the way the storm is tracking. We got 6+ here now. A couple of pic's snapped off the deck are below. THINK SNOW!!!!!

9:20AM  Just got off the phone with a friend from Clare. They got almost a foot of snow in the Clare, Harrison area. They closed schools in that area. We have gotten at least another inch since 8 this morning, and its still snowing. Should be good news for our trails as most of them are south of town. Meredith and Elbow Lake will be happy. THINK SNOW!!!!!

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8:50AM

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10:19AM

7:50AM  We got 3-4 inches of snow last night, and they are calling for a bit more by noon today. Highs supposed to me in the 20's today and tomorrow. The way the storm looked more of the snow, may have fallen south, toward the Meredith, Elbow Lake area. With this new snow we should be able to cover up a few of the bare spots on Trail 6. We will have this all groomed and packed by the weekend, so get in some riding this weekend, before it's all gone. Also a quick note reading the Sledheads page that I will pass on here. STAY OFF the railroad tracks, except at marked crossings. The Ausable Valley Snowmobile Association got a letter from the railroad warning sleds to stay off the tracks, or they will lose the right to have the trail there. Sleds pack the snow down and that can lead to a derailment. The carbides also cut into the rails. For those that don't think this is a real problem, call you nearest machine shop and ask them what kind of inserts they use for CUTTING STEEL and IRON...they will tell you CARBIDE....THINK SNOW!!!

 

Update 2/28/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

11:50PM  The rest of the pictures from the 24th, 25th and today are up. Look back at the last few days to see how we made it thru the weekend. Also check out the visitors trail report section HERE, and post you comments if you rode here over the weekemd. I showed Chris all the comments, on here and hardcoresledder so he knows how much everyone appreciates his efforts as well. I'm going grooming....THINK SNOW!!!

8:20AM  We groomed the entire trail system, Meredith and Leota both got two grooms from Saturday Night-Sunday Night/Monday morning. Chris spent 12 hours Sunday night, did 655 to Meredith, the 655 east loop, and the 654 West loop. I groomed Leota from 655 trailhead at Owens Rd, to Waco Rd (trail 6) then trail 6 to the 6/7 split, then trail 7 to the bridge about 7 miles west of Leota. When we groom to Meredith we take 655 from Owens Rd trailhead, to Waco Rd (trail 6) west and south to Grass Lake Rd, then get on 655 to Meredith. Our East loop is 655 from Waco to Grass Lake, and our West loop is 654 from the 655/654 split to Grass Lake Rd.  Everything is still looking great, the water hole on 655 North of Grass lake, and the thin spot on 6 just west of Reserve are still there. We were able to cover up some of the bare spot. That clearcut area is killing that trail. Didn't update much over the weekend, we had everything smooth and Flat going into Friday-Saturday Morning, and kept it that way throughout the weekend. If you rode here post your comments on the visitor trail report section HERE. We will hit the section of trail 6 between the 654/6 crossing and Old 27 maybe twice next Saturday if we are grooming. That section of trail gets beat up fast due to all the sharp turns. Be sure to thank Chris for his efforts. He is also willing to fire up a tractor at 2am on Friday and Saturday nights to get the trails flat for the next day on the weekends. I will post pictures later today.

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Update 2/25/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

8:20AM  I groomed to Leota last night, and chris went to Meredith. Everything is looking great, still the water hole on 655 North of Grass lake, and the thin spot on 6 just west of reserve. I took pictures, but I don't have time to post them right now. The hardcoresledder ride is leaving at 9:30 THINK SNOW!!!

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Update 2/24/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

7:00PM Mike J and I double groomed the west trail today, and it has a few bad spots, but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Some pictures are below.

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11:20AM  We got both tractors ready, and I took a new driver out to try his luck. I groomed 655 to Grass Lake, then 654 back to the 655-654 split. Then Chris took over and we came back the reverse route, giving that a full groom. We left at 2am and got back at 9:30am this morning. He did a great job, and has a CDL so he's no stranger to heavy equipment. He's also enthusiastic about driving and helping out. When we got back our trail Administrator, Mike J told him, we can use you tonight. So now we have yet another driver (that makes 4) ready to beat up the Moguls for the weekend. A few pictures are posted below. Some snow is forecasted for the weekend, so lets keep our fingers crossed. THINK SNOW!!!! 

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Update 2/23/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

11:20AM  A quick note, this is from Bob at the St. Helen snowpackers.....

Art,
We groomed Monday Houghton Lake; Tuesday to Roscommon.
 Going to send out groomers Friday and Saturday, both
trails.
Bob

10:00AM  Not much new to report, looks like some snow coming in for the weekend. There has not been any grooming since Monday, so I will have to go a take a look at the trails sometime today. Last weekend things got ugly fast, mainly due to one tractor. Then Meredith got groomed Sunday morning, instead of trail 6 to Leota. Nothing was groomed last Saturday night. Both tractors should be running by the weekend. There is a HardcoreSledder ride this weekend, if you are interested in joining, go to Hardcoresledder.com and contact Paul. View this thread for more information. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 2/21/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

11:00AM  Cold again last night, about 14 for the low. I double groomed 655 to Grass Lake Rd. Them Came back up and did 6 to Grass lake and 655 to Meredith. The will need another pass to be flat. 654 and 6 to Leota will need another pass. I double groomed 6 from Canoe camp to Leota, and a single pass from Waco RD. With one of the tractors down, things got bumpy fast, so we are running the other hard to get things back in shape. The rim came in today, so hopefully we can get that tractor running today. We are going to try the west trail when both tractors are running, in case we get stuck in the swamp. Some pictures from the last grooming efforts are below. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 2/20/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

9:00AM  We got a dusting of snow overnight, and the low was about 6. I groomed to Leota, it took double grooming (4 passes) to get it flat. We are going to try and groom the west trail after all this cold, we may be able to get thru the swampy areas. There is still plenty of snow on the trails after the busy weekend. The pictures from last night and yesterday will be posted later today. If anyone has a source for John Deere rims, call the resort or e-mail me. The rim and hub on the tractor cracked, probably from all the added stress from the duals that used to be on it. The left front wheel just about fell right off Saturday, while I was on the way down to Leota. The right is cracked also, so we would like to replace both. From John Deere they are over 650.00 each. We would be happy with a couple of used ones. The size of the tire is 16.9 R28, and the John Deere part number is RE156605 for the rim, and R156497 for the hub. THINK SNOW!!! 

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Update 2/20/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

6:00AM  Some pictures from last nights grooming efforts. are below.

7:00PM  Not much new to report, both groomers broke down this weekend, I had groomed Meredith, and the local loops, and on my second trip out the groomer lost a small wheel on the drag, and 30 seconds later the left front rim cracked and broke. The wheel was laying underneath the tractor on trail 655, just south of Waco. It took 6 hours to get it back to the trailhead on Owens Rd. The other drag hitch broke, and had to take roads back to town to get it fixed. One is working now, so I'm heading out to see what I can do. THINK SNOW!!! 

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Update 2/18/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

10:00AM  We got a little more snow last night, and when I left at 2am to groom it was -2. High today is supposed to be 8. I groomed Meredith and the local loops. Probably going back out after breakfast. Things are looking great out there.  I took some pictures, but don't have time to post them right now. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 2/17/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

12:00PM  We didn't get the big storm, we got 6+ inches of wet, heavy snow, that would have probably been a foot if it had not been for the war air in the upper atmosphere. This stuff will not settle much, and hopefully we can pack it down good. Mike and I are both going out today, so watch out if you are out riding. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 2/16/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

1:00PM  We got a couple of inches last night, and the heavy stuff is hitting now. They called off most of the schools in Northern Mi today, in advance of the storm. I wont bother putting up pictures from this morning, because its changing so fast. A couple short videos from yesterday are below, so you have some idea what they were before this storm. THINK SNOW!!!!

VIDEO 1    VIDEO 2    VIDEO 3

Update 2/15/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

1:00PM  We got about 1" of snow, and the low was about 18. I went out and checked most of the trails today and they are all in decent shape, with the exception of the west trail between Jeff's Rd. and M-55. Also from CO RD 300 south towards Reedsburg, there are some bad spots. It is not frozen enough to take the groomer down them. Trail 6 has a 50 yard bare spot between Beaver Rd and Reserve. There is also a bad spot just west of Old 27, through the sand bowl before you jump out on canoe camp. I rode to Leota, Meredith, and Elbow lake. The pictures and videos are below. A snow storm is predicted for Tonight, tomorrow, an tomorrow night. These trails are ok now, and will be great with some new snow.  Too warm to groom today, maybe tonight we can do a little cleanup. THINK SNOW!!!!

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Update 2/14/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

1:00PM  We got about 1/2" of snow, and the low was about 12. I will go and take a look at the trails, and see if anything needs grooming. We are supposed to get a storm Thursday night, and they a calling for significant accumulations. I will post pictures later today. We probably will groom before the storm, to get everything flat. And I would like to personally thank Russ Warnick, He was one of the first to stop and help my friends involved in the accident last Saturday. He called today after reading the post on the 12th. My friends brother did not know the location to describe to the 911 operator, but Russ took the phone and helped guide the Emergency team in. His future son in law is a Oakland County Sheriff's Deputy, and they were both a big help. I gave his number to my friend, they were still at the Hospital today. She is still in critical condition, but stable. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 2/13/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

1:00PM  We got about 1" of snow, and the low was about 10. I groomed to Meredith last night, and there were a few bare spots in some corners, but I managed to cover most of them. There is still a decent base on most of the trails, trail 6 melted pretty badly in the open area, we will try and pull snow to cover it back up.  We are supposed to get snow on Tuesday and Thursday. THINK SNOW!!!

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                                                                Trail 6 to St Helen                            Bad News                                What's he doing over there?

 

Update 2/12/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

8:00PM  Still no new snow and the low was about 5. Probably going out again today to clean up after all the traffic this weekend. Will post pictures later today. They are calling for snow today and tonight, so we will have to wait and see. On a sad note one of my friends from downstate was riding with his brother and a friend. She missed a turn and flew into a tree. They called 911 and it seemed like forever to him for them to get there. He said about 45 minutes, but they took her to Grayling, then Lifeflighted her to St. Mary's in Saginaw. He called this morning, and said she made it thru the night ok. She is busted up pretty bad, and lucky to be alive. A few people stopped to help them and he doesn't remember names, but he was very appreciative. They were on trail 6/7 near Military Trail. It sounds like she is going to be ok, but still has a little bleeding in her head. He said they weren't going all very fast, and the sled was hardly damaged. They drove it out of there. Just a reminder that trees don't move and from 35-0 in an instant can be deadly. Also I heard that two guys collided on the lake, when it was foggy out there yesterday. It was two brothers, and one of them died at the scene. The other was taken to the Hospital but it didn't sound good. Ride Safe.......THINK SNOW!!! 

SPICER'S WINTER TOUR 06

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Update 2/11/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

8:00PM  No new snow last night, but the low was about 3. The trails were hit hard yesterday and today, and 6 going west took a beating yesterday from the sun. Some long brown spots along the clearcut area, east of Reserve Rd. Mike J was grooming today and I was trying to fix a problem with my well that occurred yesterday so I didn't groom last night. He got stuck on 654 today, the drag slid off the trail and pulled him in. I had to un-hook the drag and go out to help him with the other tractor. I was trying to go around, and started sliding down the hill towards him. We un-hooked the drag, and I came around behind him and pulled it back onto the trail. He still couldn't get out of there so, he was perpendicular to the trail. We locked the buckets together and I spun him around facing the right way.  Then he crawled it out of the hole, hoohed up the drag, and on attempt #2 made it up the hill. He said they were pretty beat up, so I hope to go out later tonight. I know he did the local loops, but Leota, and Meredith haven't been done yet. The last couple days the temps got higher than predicted, and the sun has taken its toll. There are bare spots, and dirty corners, but most of the trails remain white. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 2/10/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

8:00PM  I decided to go on Spicers Winter Tour. Before that our DNR contact approved us to groom the Route that route that Spicers Permit had laid out. Wow what a hassle, safety plan, fire plan...etc. I was going to hit a few of the areas when I left at 7PM. But it turned into a mission. Mike J had groomed the eastern side of the route, and I did the rest of it. So at 3am with the goal in site I stroll up on a bridge with a three ton limit.... At any rate a 5-7 mile setback and I found another way in Big thanks to Bob at Elbow Lake for giving me his map off the wall, Telenav and Blackberry. I finished at 5AM, and had to go thru downtown Leota. No since driving thru without grooming, so I dropped the drag and groomed all the way back to H.L. The trails were awesome this morning, but 100+ sleds took its toll. Trail 6 was getting melted down, and the rest were getting bumpy. We are going out tonight to see what we can do. Its snowing now. I intended on posting the pictures from last night this morning, but Spicers ride started at 8am. I will post them and the pictures of the winter tour tomorrow. All I can say about the ride is this, Phil, his Wife and the team from Spicers put on a great event. Class Act all the way. I didn't think I would enjoy it, but It was a great time, and they raised over 15k for the Special Olympics. Runors of snow are coming in...THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 2/9/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

8:00AM  I groomed to Leota yesterday, Mike J and I were going to meet in the woods and double groom some of this to make it faster, but after he topped off the other tractor, fuel was pouring out of it someplace. So he had to head back in. So I finished Leota (trail 6/7) from grass lake Rd, (and the DNR had recently finished heading to Leota) then did 6/7 north towards Higgins Lake. I crossed Jeffs Rd, (there was a washout just before it, that I tried to fill) and then the next stretch was ok. On the second Jeffs Rd crossing, I came up on a very big hole, probably 50 yards long. The guy from across the street cam over because he didn't think I could get the tractor turned around in there. He said there was another spot further up that was worse. So you will probably have to ride along Jeff's Rd north, till you cross M-55. Also Bob Geary from the St Helen Snowpackers posted on the visitor trail report page, "St. Helen Trails have been groomed this morning, (Feb 8th) both Roscommon and Houghton Lake. Bob". Some pictures are posted below. The low last night was about 13, so some of this is starting to Freeze up. The high today is only supposed to be 27. THINK SNOW!!!  

OOP's...forgot to mention this, the first few pictures the snow was thin (6 heading west before old 27 crossing), and dirt was showing, the third pic, was AFTER I passed, note the trees are reversed in the pictures. That should have frozen up nicely, but time will tell how much traffic that area can stand. The sun gets to it easily.

 

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Update 2/8/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

8:00AM  The pictures from yesterday are posted below. You can see it was dark when I started at 11:30PM. We don't have to wait this late, but I prefer to go when it will be able to set for a few hours with no traffic, it holds up longer. The picture of the truck was a guy driving aroung behind me on a freshly groomed trail. Probably one of the same guys that was out there when it git warm, and destroyed the trail. Thank him if you see him. Of all the trails in the woods, the picked the groomed ones to drive down, probably because we picked up all the trees, and cleared all the drifts so they were passable. The lake has decent snow, but some areas are bare. The holes on 655 just north of grass lake are still there. They aren't that deep if you happen to go in. I don't know if it will freeze up or not. People have been going out on the swamp to go around, now that its colder I probably would also. Spicers Winter Tour ride is this Friday, benefits go to the Special Olympics. I'm not sure if you can still get in, I heard there are over 100 so far. We are going to brush and groom sections of that ride that are not on the trails today. Parts of it are very rough, so I think I am following Mike around today. I have gotten a few e-mails, people telling me that they buy a 25.00 sticker, they have done enough. Or, I picked up a few branches. I don't care if people donate to this site or not, but at least get involved and do SOMETHING for the trails. There are guys that have been doing this for years, and I see very few younger people getting involved to take their places. When you are riding around fallen trees, on ungroomed trails because they are overgrown and the tractor wont fit....don't say you didn't know volunteers were doing the job. Not State Employees paid hourly by your 25.00 trail permit sticker. In this area the Houghton Lake Trailblazers have done the majority of it. And the last time we got a storm, I called them and we rounded up only four guys...myself and my neighbor included. Many guys have to work during the day, and couldn't help. Enough babbling....It looks to stay cold for the next week to ten days...I have to fix the tractor rear wiper...and then go grooming. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 2/7/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

1:00PM  I went out and groomed last night...what a mess. I got to the  Chamber...the drag wasen't hooked up. I hooked up the drag...and it was out of fuel. BP was closed so I had to drive all the way to the gas station by old 27. I got 227.00 in diesel fuel...and the fuelman card wouldn't work. So 2 hours later I was on my way out into the woods. I groomed 655 to Meredith & back, then 6 to Reserve Rd and Back, then 654 to Grass Lake/Beaver Rd. and back. I left at 11:30pm, and just got back here at 12:50PM. I will post the pictures later...I'm beat. They look pretty decent, is some places the old hard pack snow/ice base is showing. THINK SNOW!!!

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Update 2/6/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

1:00PM  We got about another 1" or so of snow. I am going to go out and take pictures, and groom if we are allowed to go out. I may wait till after midnight to groom, there shouldn't be anyone out after that on a Monday. That way it will have all night to set up for tomorrow. Our trip to the U.P. was on a lot of terrible trails, probably due to the warm weather they were having, making it impossible to groom. I have never seen some of those areas so bad. There was almost a foot of fresh snow just across the bridge in St Ingnace. So if you are looking to make a long trip from anywhere south of the bridge and venture across, this week make be the time to do it. They got another 5" of snow since we got back in Bear Lake, and they have an advisory for 3-7 more today. This page will be password protected as soon as I get everyone who donated a password. The Hi-Res images on these pages in addition to the webcam, has caused a 3000-4000% increase in bandwidth, but the pictures are as clear as any you will find showing snowmobile trails. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 2/5/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

2:00PM  Back from the U.P. and we have 6+ inches of new snow (and its still snowing). I don't know what's going on with grooming, but I will find out. Looks like winter is back this week, not a single day above the mid 20's....and snow.  Steve was out on the trails, and rode to Grayling before the snow. He was out today and said there was a considerable amount of traffic, and a water hole south of Riley on 654. Anyone that e-mailed about a password, if you didn't get a reply today...e-mail me again because I spent 4 hours in the ride home answering everyone from my Blackberry. I got some interesting e-mails, and I will post the most negative and positive ones....along with my replies. Bottom line is if you find this information useful...donate...if not move along. I hate to sound brash....but as a snowmobiler myself I know what bad information costs me when planning a trip. THINK SNOW!!!!

Dear Sir
 
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself,  My name is Jeff Boyd and I own a home there in Houghton Lake. Many years ago, I used to be the Service Director and later General  Manager of Spicer's Boat City and was involved in the planning of the first Winter Tour.    Currently my wife and I live in Sint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, but we try to get back to Houghton lake to snowmobile as often as possible. ( this winter has certainly not been one of the better ones)   We have followed your web site for quite some time and certainly consider the work you are doing as extremely important and admirable.  This past weekend we stopped by your house to thank you personally, but once again you were out working.  I am back in Sint Maarten now but based on snow for the "winter tour " I hope to be back in Houghton Lake this coming week and would certainly like the opportunity to meet you in person and thank you for your efforts.   In the mean time I will arrange to have a check delivered to you this next week one way or the other, in the amount of $300 and while this certainly will not compensate you for your efforts thus far, it is a start.  
 
Once again we appreciate your efforts and hope that you will continue  to take pride in the fact that you are helping the community of Houghton Lake in ways possibly not all will see, but that are certainly there and important.
 
Thanks  Again
 
Jeff and Petra Boyd
Sint Maarten - Netherlands Antilles
Houghton Lake Michigan 
 

Hello Jeff,

 
 I would greatly appreciate your donation, however 300.00 is not necessary. (a weekend stay would be better...lol)
 
 It would be nice if the people that visit the site and don't in any way patronize my place, realize that delivering content such as this, costs money.
 
Thank You
 
Art
American Oak Resort

Another

I just visited your site and read your recent comments. I am
sorry to say that I have been visiting your site for the
past two years, I do find it very informative, but took it
for granted and did not make any donations to help with the
costs.

I guess you can say that I'm new at this sport and learning
everyday. With your comments I now have learned who cares
for the trails and understand that it's up to the local
community/snowmobile organizations to keep things moving
forward.

If this is the case then I will be making your location this
upcoming weekend and will make my donation to help keep
things moving along.

Thank you for your continuous updates, pictures and your
time.

In the next five or so years we will be retired and
will call Houghton Lake/Prudenville our home and will then
be able to do more for this wonderful sport.

Again thanks and keep up the good work!!!  
Sgt. S. Rapson
Plymouth Township Police Department
42350 Ann Arbor Rd
Plymouth MI 48170

Hello Sgt Rapson,

 I have secured a location for a live webcam on the trail...hopefully it
will be online before next winter. If you want to make a donation to the
grooming fund, send it to the Houghton Lake Snowmobile Association at the
Houghton Lake Cahmber of Commerce. If you want to help with the webcam
costs...then you can send it here.

 Maybe we will rope you into some brushing/signing over the next 5
years...then we hancuff you to a groomer...I would like to ride Friday
mornings....

 P.S. Maybe you can show us how to get community service hours for people on
Parole to help with our trails.....lol

Thank You
Art
American Oak Resort

Another satisfied visitor

ya think you have the only access to this site the chamber has a much better site and i dont know what pissed you off but since about the begginning of January you think your stuff dont stink well i wont be accessing this site again and im gonna let many more people know they can find better info on other sites you have become nothing but a complainer and you need to really dig deep   well enough said

GATORnBARBIE1@aol.com

 

Hello,

 
 Thank's for your input. When you stay at my place you will have a reason to complain.
 
 How many pictures have you seen taken of the trails on the Chamber Of Commerce website. I can tell you...ZERO.
 
 I am a member of the Chamber of Commerce...I drive the groomer that BELONGS TO THEM. I am just as much a part of the reports on that website...as I am on this one. However I pay for this one.
 
 My website that you visit for free.....cost's ME money. Have you patronized my place??
 
 Have you done ANYTHING to help with this sport? Buying a 25.00 trail permit, does not get the trails groomed. People like MYSELF, Big Joe and Mike J that spend hundreds of hours of UNPAID time driving a groomer in Houghton Lake DO. So do 99% of the groomer drivers in this state. Maybe you should come up and run the groomer on weekends instead of riding...because that's what we do.
 
 The Houghton Lake Trailblazers have volunteered hundreds of hours of time marking and brushing these trails.
 
 Are you a member of that club?....They donate money for school scholarships to help further some childs education. Have you doanted any money to the Chamber of Commerce for the grooming organization? Their budget comes primarily from Tip-Up-Town. Both myself and my spouse volunteer are Tip-Up-Town volunteers. So tell everyone not to view my webcams...my pictures....it's your loss if you ride in this area.
 
You offer nothing but complaints....GET involved. You are also the ONLY person that has written anything negative since I asked for opinions. Your's has been noted....and you clearly represent the minority.... 
 
 Get your information someplace else.....
 
 
Art
 
I live in Indiana, but my family has had a place on the North Shore for over 50 years. Don't make it up in the winter at all, but have enjoyed "keeping up" through your site and seeing what the weather is like through you cam. But, since I seem to be one of those people that don't patronise your place and don't cotribute to your causes, I will delete your site from my favorites here at home and at work too. Sorry to cause you so much grief. 
 
David Pitchford
New Castle, Indiana
 
P.S.
 
Hope you contact any and all sites that may have links to your resort site that you aren't paying for. It would be kind of hypicritical to receive free advertising from others, wouldn't it?

Hello David,

 
 The bulk of my visitors, are snowmobilers. If you have  place up here and you dont visit in the winter, I would have to say you are one of the very few.
 
  I have thousands of visitors that have a place to stay, or stay someplace else when they come to Houghton Lake.
 
 Each one of them benefits from my updates, and most of them decide to make the usually hundreds of mile trips, based on the ability to ride when they get here.
 
 If I save someone 1 worthless trip...I have saved them a substantial amount of money.
 
 Websites pay for bandwidth, more visitors use more bandwidth. My LIVE video cameras, use 3000% more bandwidth than any other trail website in Michigan.
 
 I pay for this, not the Chamber, not the DNR.
 
 I have negotiated a place to put a Live camera on the trail, not a webcam taking a picture every 15 minutes. There is not one of these in Michigan...on any trail. This will cost over 2500.00 per year alone.
 
 I am a groomer driver...I have used my own money for fuel when the DNR was not going to re-imburse the club...because it was the right thing to do.
 
 In todays world information is a valuable commodity. I have no problem allowing guests to access this information for free. However allowing a guy with a cabin, that has a place to stay, has his own snowmobiles, brings no advertising value to me.
 
 No-one is begging, it's business...I have something people want, and if you patronize my place...it's free. If not there will be a cost associated for it, because it costs me money.
 
 If there was a gas station giving away 5.00 free gas in Houghton Lake would you accept it? Maybe you would...I sure would...and probably give them all of my business in the future. In my position I am giving away money, and there is no obligation to return, because if you have a place and a sled, you don't need a cabin or my rental sleds.
 
 Maybe you will tell your friends...maybe not. But a study of my customers, 99% of my referrals come from people who stayed here AND met ME. Not from this website.
 
  I know that what I have done, has made a substatial improvement on our trail system. There are many people that I can name that have done the same. Rick Hacker for example groomed for years...He doesn't now, but he is on the Board, and he has spent his share of time in a groomer. If Rick Called me and said...hey can you get out there because we are getting complaints...I would do it in a New York Second...Because I know he did years ago. Jim Debo...that guy did a huge majority of 911 signs on our trail. And Jim...(if your reading this don't take offense) is no spring chicken. And after (im guessing 20 years), he is STILL out there making a difference.
 
 If 1% of my visitors donated 5.00, it would absorb my costs. With heating costs skyrocketing, this may very well be the last winter this resort is open.
 
 With regards to links to my site that I am not paying for. I have tracked every single one. There is not a single site that is linked to me, that doesn't benefit from my information. 99% of the snowmobile websites that are linked to me, have PAID sponsors. In many cases they want me to pay for a link to my cabin and snowmobile rental. Why should I pay for a link to someone that has collected many links like mine in one place, then asked for paid sponsors. Without groomer drivers, and snowmobile trail reporters, they wouldn't have a site that had anything valuable for a snowmobile related businesses to pay for a banner on. I have even found websites that have links...showing my banner...that take you to other resorts homepages.
 
 My grooming is strictly volunteer...I do not get paid.
 
  I am an Electrical Engineering Consultant. I have put some of my computer skills to use on this website. I do not "live" off of the resort. I am fortunate to be able to work from anyplace that has an internet connection.
 
I do this because I enjoy the sport. But taking money from my pocket, and giving it to someone...it not a smart  practice.
 
Bottom line is either you consider the information valuable, or you don't. If it has value to you...donate...if it doesn't, delete me from your favorites.
 
 Art

Update 2/1/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

12:00PM  The pictures taken this morning are below. The webcam will be restricted to guests of the resort and people who donated to the website. I may restrict more of the site, and update only weekly for non-members. When this months costs come in I will decide. Bandwidth cost, camera costs, and the costs running this site are 465.00 short of the donations I have received to date this year. That is thru Jan 1. I have received 45.00 thru Amazon, and 250.00 thru Paypal and 80.00 from people who stopped by. Not even enough to pay for the Diesel fuel and gas for my vehicle working on these trails and driving back and forth from the woods. I have put 290.00 in diesel fuel out of my pocket in the tractor, and that's 0 dollars for my time. I spent 20.00 in gas taking these pictures. Based on the 3,337,150 hits from January, an awful lot of people that visit this site, don't patronize my place. Over 117,000 unique visitors last month alone. This will be my last update as I'm on my way to the UP for some riding. Anyone who donated please send me your paypal account name or amazon account name, and I will forward you a unique password for access to the site. The passwords will be monitored, and any duplicate logins will result in termination of the account. Surfing thru my IP logs, I have found dozens of sites linking to my pictures and webcams, this it why I have decided to restrict webcams to start with. I have met a lot of great people thru this site, and I will continue grooming as much as we are allowed. Today after checking the trails, we could pull in all that snow we left on the sides, and possibly do some good. But I have been unable to get the ok from the DNR to go and most likely they will say we don't have enough snow. I am not springing for any more diesel fuel out of my pocket. I was just at the Chamber, and they haven't received 1 dime from the state to cover grooming operations this year. So unless Mike J decides to go, there will probably not be any grooming before the weekend. The 1-3 we were supposed to get last night did not happen. The pictures are a bit deceiving, for the most part the icy base survived. Only in sunny high traffic areas did it melt to dirt. The 1/2 inch of snow is making everything look white in the pictures, but there hasn't been a single sled on the trails since that 1/2 inch fell. So the first couple sleds will drastically change the pictures without some grooming efforts. I will restrict the cams on Sunday when I return. Anyone that has donated, please send me the info before Sunday. If you have a comment, positive or negative...e-mail me here. I like to hear from some visitors. Have a great weekend, I'm off to Marquette, Houghton, Copper Harbor!!!!  TUT 2006 pictures are HERE. THINK SNOW!!!!

7:00AM We got a dusting of new snow overnight, and the lows were about 18. I am going to go out and take some pictures of the trails today. Tip-Up-Town 2006 pictures are HERE. THINK SNOW!!!!

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Update 1/31/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

6:00PM About 1/2 inch of new snow overnight, but the cold temps are firming everything back up. Tip-Up-Town 2006 pictures are HERE. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 1/30/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

6:00PM Just a light dusting of snow today. Nothing good to report but some snow is supposed to be on the way this week. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 1/29/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

6:00PM The rain melted a lot of our snow. The trails are un-ridable at this point. The rain is supposed to turn to snow tonight, with 1" or snow of accumulation. tomorrow we are supposed to get 1-2 inches and a low of 18 degrees. The lake is a slushy mess, maybe tomorrows lows will freeze it back up. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 1/28/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

6:00PM It's raining pretty hard, and if the continues the trails and lake will be un-ridable very soon. 

1:00PM We went to Meredith, and the 1 hour we were there eating lunch, the trails went downhill in a big way. Rain is moving in tonight and it doesn't look good. I took a lot of pictures, but no sense posting them as it is changing rapidly.

Update 1/27/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

1:00PM No new snow last night, we rode to Meredith and the trails were great. The forecast for today and tomorrow doesn't look good, but we should have decent base to get through it. There are al lot of sleds on the lake already this afternoon, I am going to check ice thickness and report back. I will update pictures as trail conditions change. The second weekend of Tip-Up-Town is this weekend, so come on up and enjoy the festivities. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 1/26/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

10:00AM We got a light dusting last night and the low was around 18. The trail have all been groomed now, and the downed trees are all cleared. Mike J groomed the West trail and Leota yesterday and Big Joe went to Meredith. I cleaned up the local loops this morning. Pictures from yesterdays ride and today's grooming efforts are posted below. If you want to ride, today and tonight, possibly tomorrow morning will be excellent. A high of 39 is predicted for Friday....THINK SNOW!!!! 

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Update 1/25/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

11:00AM We got a couple of inches of snow, and there was a lot of blowing and drifting. Trail 655 has a water hole just north of Grass Lake Rd. Pictures from last nights grooming are also posted below. 99% of the trees are cleaned up, with the exception of the west trail. I groomed 655 to Meredith and Duck Lake Rd had another tree fall across it from the wint. Things are in great shape, get up and ride, cause you never know what tomorrow will bring... THINK SNOW!!!! 

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Update 1/24/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

7:00PM Jim Debo took a group of guys (3 including himself)  out to clear 655 to Meredith They got all the way there. It's really interesting how many Resorts and Hotels in Houghton Lake make money from snowmobilers, yet in the last 3 days not a single one of those places sent anyone to help with this trail cleanup. Those places surely heard from riders about all the downed trees this past weekend. In fact  I don't know of a single one that has sent ANYONE all season. Keep this in mind when you make a reservation someplace. I have 11 units to fill, and I can do this with good snow. Many of the other hotels have 40-70 rooms and don't do a thing to help out. It's frustrating to make a bunch of calls to get people to help, and everyone is too busy. They should be calling offering help. 

 Enough of all that. I spent a good part of the day fixing things on the groomer (it took a beating with all the trees downed). It had pine branches all over it, busted lights...it looked more like a skidder than a groomer. Too warm to groom today, so we are waiting for the temps to drop. We may not be able to go out till tomorrow. The trails are holding up ok, some brown showing in places the sun got to them yesterday. Mainly on Trail 6 towards Leota, before the 6/7 split. More pictures will be posted tomorrow. We still have a couple of openings for the second week of Tip-Up-Town, a cabin that sleeps 6, they are 100.00 per person, and you can stay from Wed-Monday. THINK SNOW!!!! 

8:30AM It took four of us 6 hours to clear the downed trees on trail 6 from Grass Lake Rd to the 6/7 split going to Leota or the West Trail. Mike J followed later and groomed all the way to Leota. We will be working on the west trail today, and probably 655 to Meredith. Everything will be clear and groomed by today or tomorrow. Next weekend should be great riding. If you are able to help, call the Chamber of Commerce at 989-366-5644 and they will take your name and number. They are calling for 1-2 today, and 1-2 tonight. We got about 1/2-1 inch today depending where you are on our trail system. We still have a couple of openings for the second week of Tip-Up-Town, a cabin that sleeps 6 or a chalet that sleeps 10-12. they are 100.00 per person, and you can stay from Wed-Monday. THINK SNOW!!!! 

Update 1/23/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

9:30AM We are going to try and get the trees picked up on 6 and 7 to Leota today and tonight. Also the west trail has a flooded area. Remember people that cleaning up these trails is done strictly by volunteers, so if you are riding and run across an obstacle, use your group to pick it up and clear it. Expecting your 25.00 trail permit to keep these trails open, is a false assumption. Calling and complaining about downed trees, is a kick in the face to the volunteers. We have 88 miles of trails to maintain, and its a BIG job when a storm like this past one comes thru. If you are able to help, call the Chamber of Commerce at 989-366-5644 and they will take your name and number. We hope to have these in shape by Wed this week. More snow is expected Tuesday 1-3. THINK SNOW!!!! 

Update 1/22/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

11:30AM I got 655 groomed to Meredith, it took twice as long as usual because of all the trees that are down. I finished at 1100am this morning. By then the temps were warming so we couldn't send someone else out in the groomer because the snow was balling up. A few pictures are posted below. For more updates and pictures or check the visitor trail report page HERE.  THINK SNOW!!

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Update 1/21/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

3:00:00PM The 10" of snow we got Friday night has made it difficult to get the trails in shape for all the riders during TUT. The ice and the wet heavy snow has hundreds of trees sagging down on the trails. I groomed 654 Saturday and trail 6 and the majority of my time was spent picking up those trees and shaking them with the bucket to get them to stand up enough for a snowmobile to pass safely below them. Its taking 3-4 times longer to groom those trails because of this. I had to stop at 2:00pm as the sun was warming up the trails and the snow was balling up in the drag, and not panning. I will be doing 655 tonight to Meredith. Joe is going to do the local loops again. For more updates and pictures or check the visitor trail report page HERE.  THINK SNOW!!

8:00:00AM We got about 10" of snow overnight, what a nice suprise mother nature had for us on the first weekend of Tip-Up-Town. We will be grooming tonight. Keep posted for more updates and pictures or check the visitor trail report page HERE There are a group of Tip-Up-Towners doing snowdances on the deck of chalet 17 HERE. THINK SNOW!!

3:30:00AM So far I have 9" of fresh snow in my driveway. I will update again as conditions change, or check the visitor trail report page HERE for updates throughout the night, as I can update that page from my Blackberry. There are a group of Tip-Up-Towners doing snowdances on the deck of chalet 17 HERE. THINK SNOW!!

Update 1/20/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

8:30:00PM It's snowing really hard now, and the forecast has changed dramatically from earlier today. I will update again as conditions change, or check the visitor trail report page HERE for updates throughout the night, as I can update that page from my Blackberry. There are a group of Tip-Up-Towners doing snowdances on the deck of chalet 17 HERE. THINK SNOW!!

11:30:00AM No new snow last night, but a low of about 23 as opposed to the 31 that was in the forecast. Some snow looks to be on the way for tonight, and I will post some more pictures later today. GMP posted on the visitor trail reports from his ride yesterday, HERE. The live webcam page is HERE. THINK SNOW!!

Update 1/19/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

11:11:00AM No new snow last night, but a low of about 15. That will help the lake freeze up better. I am going riding today with some guests, and will take pictures and report on the visitor trail report page HERE. The live webcam page is HERE. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 1/18/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

11:11:00AM Some pictures are posted below. I blasted across the lake and looked at the trails south of town, and trail 6/7 going north. none of them melted down to dirt, and If I didn't have 50 things to do to get ready for Tip-Up-Town, I would be out riding today. It's a white out on the lake, and it has been snowing on and off all morning. THINK SNOW!!! 

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This is a video clip

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6:11:00AM We got about 2" of wet heavy snow last night. I went out and looked at at the trails, and the freezing rein/sleet had protected what little base was left. Now there is 2" of heavy stuff on an solid 0-2" base. Not the best stuff in the world but it is a start. The lake is snow covered again for riding so at least that is an option for Tip-Up-Town. More snow is in the forecast before the weekend. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 1/17/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

6:11:00PM We got freezing rain and all the schools in Northern Mi were closed. It changed to sleet around 4pm, and snow at around 5pm. Its snowing now. Will update again as conditions change. THINK SNOW!!! 

9:15:00AM We got a freezing rain last night, which didn't do much but add a little to he base. It is supposed to turn to snow today and tonight with the forecast varying widely on the amount of snow. I will go check some ice thickness close to shore where it has been thinner later today. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 1/16/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

9:15:00AM We got a dusting yesterday, and the colder temps are have frozen up the lake again near shore. The ice is thinnest near the shoreline, due to all the warm water runoff. About 50 feet from shore there is 12" of ice in front of the resort. They are calling for some snow this week, hopefully we will get a bit more on the lake before the first weekend of tip-up-town. John Dee seems to think we will be getting 4+ this week. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 1/15/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

10:15:00AM Nothing much new to report, we got down to single digit temps last night, around 8. Some light snow is in the forecast, but not calling for much in the way of accumulations over the next 24 hours. We still have a few openings for tip up town, An apartment with 2 bedrooms and a 52" TV is 600 for 3-4 days, sleeps six. We are one block from the festival site. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 1/14/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

2:15:00PM I went out and looked at the trails south of town. It would be really difficult to get there from town or the lake, not much snow on Owens Rd. They do have a 0-2" base, but with light traffic, they are still marginal for riding. People have been riding, as our base never completely melted. A few pictures are posted below. The snow from yesterday, tapered off when you go further North. My friend in Bear Lake said they only got a dusting. So getting out of here and going north would still be a shot in the dark. People are out riding the lake, so If you are aching for a ride its a VERY big lake.  THINK SNOW!!! 

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Update 1/14/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

10:15:00AM The cold air blew in, and man did it blow. 30-40MPH winds last night, and still gusting some today. We got about 1-1/2 of sow yesterday, and the water on the ice has frozen once again. I will go out and take some pictures of the trails shortly. Its 25 now, but with the wind chill its 12. Low tonight supposed to be 15. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 1/13/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

10:15:00AM More warm temps yesterday, and a high of 43. there are still a lot of people ice fishing on the lake, but be careful and check ice conditions carefully before you venture out. I am going to take some pictures this morning. Some guests here brought up a 6'x12' shanty that weighs 900 pounds, and have it about 200 yards out in front of the resort. VERY unlikely that you will be able to snowmobile anywhere in the lower penn. and event the eastern up has melted down quite badly. The weather is forecasted to cool today, and a low of 16 for tomorrow night. That will freeze up all the water that is sitting on the ice from the snow melting. Calling for 1 inch of snow today and tomorrow. You will probably be able to ride the lake once again if that happens. Here is the local forecast.

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Rest of Today
Patchy fog and drizzle early. Then...light rain and snow developing...changing to all snow by late afternoon. Total daytime snow accumulation less than 1 inch. Early highs around 40...then temperatures falling through the 30s. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph...becoming northwest 10 to 20 mph.
 

Tonight

Snow early in the evening...then snow likely late in the evening. Chance of light snow showers after midnight. Colder. Total nighttime snow accumulation up to 1 inch. Lows in the mid 20s. North winds around 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 60 percent.
 

Saturday

Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly sunny. Chance of flurries. Colder. Highs in the upper 20s. North winds around 20 mph.
 

Saturday Night

Partly cloudy. Lows around 16. North winds around 10 mph.
 

Sunday

Mostly cloudy. Highs around 30. Northeast winds around 10 mph.
 

Sunday Night

Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows in the mid 20s.

Update 1/12/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

7:15:00AM More rain on and off yesterday, and a high of 36. The problem is that it's 36 right now and it had remained at that temp throughout the night. The high today is supposed to reach 45. They are calling for a rain/snow mix tonight and a 50% chance of snow tomorrow. Cooler temps by Friday and thru the weekend. I will update again as conditions change. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 1/11/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

9:15:00AM We got freezing rain last night and all the schools in Northern Michigan are closed today. The ice may help prevent the base from melting as much today and tomorrow. I will update again as conditions change throughout the day today and tomorrow. They are calling for snow Starting Thursday night. There is still plenty of ice for ice fishing, so if that's what you are looking to do this weekend, that will be a good bet, regardless of what old man winter throws at us over the next 24-48 hours. The warm spell is going all the way to Houghton, as their high is predicted to be 39 for today. Off to the north trout Lake is expected to see rain further into the day today than we are, and almost the same temps. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 1/10/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

7:15:00PM I don't know why, but many people said today's earlier update wasn't showing. Nothing all that great to write, but today's high was forecasted to reach 39, and here at my house it barely reached 30 with the sun shining.  Last night low was around 17. It was supposed to go down to 30 tonight, and right now its 28. Hopefully it will continue to drop. The next couple of days will be critical to whether or not you can ride anywhere in the lower, or possibly even the eastern UP. I will update again as conditions change. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 1/10/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

8:45:00AM I Shot across the lake last night, it is really flat and nicely snow covered. I'm sure there are pressure cracks out there, but I went from straight across to where CO RD 300 runs up to the lake at it was good. Plenty of snow, and there are a lot of people out riding on it. The trails were decent, not much snow along 300 to get to the trailhead. I went to Bear Lake, NEAR Dingmans and the trails were icy but snow covered. I wont bother posting the pictures because its supposed to warm up for a few days, then cooler by the weekend. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 1/9/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

11:45:00AM I took the truck to go take some pictures. They are posted below. I'm trading the truck for my snowmobile, and I'm heading to Bear Lake. I will take pictures along the way, and post updates in the visitor trail report page here:

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                                                                        Owens RD Trail Head                    655&Emery looking south            655&Emery looking north

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                                                                                                Owend RD South of M-55                Emery,Owens & Duck Lake

 THINK SNOW!!!!

11:45:00AM We got 1 1-1/2 inches of snow last night. The temp is rising as they said it would. I off to take some pictures. You can ride out of here today and most likely tomorrow without much trouble, and head North. It you are aching for a ride this week do it now....Be back with some pictures. THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 1/8/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

6:00PM With a lot of nothing going on around here, I decided to head up to the U.P. to Trout Lake for a few days. We got about 2" of snow since my last update, and the lake has some decent riding once again. We stopped at a couple of trailheads on our way back, and there was 3 trailers in the West Higgins Lake trailhead. There is still an ice base over there, I will look around town tomorrow. The forecast doesn't look good this coming weekend, but I will keep this updated this week as conditions change. There is a big Hardcore Sledder ride scheduled this coming  weekend, so I guess we will see what the week brings us. It is possible to get off the Lake and go north, but don't expect the best of conditions. They are calling for 1-2 tonight. Trout Lake had some decent riding, mainly do to the very light traffic on it after the big holiday weekend. We rode 400 miles. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 1/5/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report and Conditions

9:00AM We got about an inch of snow last night, ant the temps are finally below freezing again. I will take a look at the trails and possibly poke a few holes in the ice. I upgraded the interenet to a 5 Meg download, and a 512k upload. this should help with the frame rate for the camera. I will update again later today. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 1/4/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

9:00AM We are supposed to get snow starting later this afternoon, and snow into tomorrow. It looks as though some cooler temps are returning. Will update again today as conditions change. Went to Traverse city on Monday, there was green grass everywhere. Nothing at all around till you get close to Kalkaska. The Bay didnt even have shore ice on it. If we get some cold air the possibility of Lake Effect snow still looms, due to the temps of the Great Lakes. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 1/2/06 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

11:00AM The snow we got made is melting today, and the forecast doesn't look that great for the next couple days. They are calling for snow on Thursday, so all we can do is wait and see. The warm temps and rain made it well into the UP also, so it looks like the Western UP is about the only place with really good snow.  THINK SNOW!!!

Update 1/1/06 :   HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

11:45AM The snow we got made it possible to play on the lake or get to the trails. They are calling for snow tonight and 1-3 for tomorrow. Right now it is 31 degrees. This winter is just not shaping up the way we had hoped. Thank's to all that donated, it will put a dent in the fuel we burned up in the groomer our last time out. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 12/31/05 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

4:45PM We got 2-3 inches of snow here, and a little more going south, or north. The lake is covered once again so at least that is an option for getting around. I will post some pictures later today. THINK SNOW!!! 

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Update 12/30/05 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

4:45PM It is 25 now, and they are calling for snow 3-4 inches tonight and tomorrow . If we get the snow, the lake will be good for riding once again. The slushy snow has frozen, now we need a couple of inches in it for lubrication. The forecast for next week is not that promising so if we get snow, get out and enjoy it while you can. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 12/29/05 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

4:45PM We rode to Starvation Lake today, from Moorestown Rd and the trail crossing. We rode some trails, seasonal roads and pipelines. The trails are snirty and some dirt in the corners. The Blue Bear looked like it was groomed recently but the best riding is off trail. There is plenty snow in the woods, North of town. They are calling for snow Friday night and Saturday morning. THINK SNOW!!! 

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Update 12/27/05 :   Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

11:45AM The group of guys that came in for three days, rode to Starvation Lake yesterday. They said the trails were not all that bad, considering. They also rode the gas pipeline for a while, and they said there was plenty of snow on it. Still no new snow, and the lake is freezing back up. The trails around town are not worth riding on. If this keeps up I will be up in Frederic getting some spam recipe's from Pete at Sledheads od Frederic.  THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 12/25/05 : MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!    Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

3:45AM All I wanted for Christmas was some snow...or maybe just below freezing temps....but noooooo. This warm up has really taken a toll on the trails, they are not ride-able at this point. The warm temps are supposed to continue into tomorrow, and then finally falling to the 20's for a low for tomorrow night. That should freeze the slush on the lake back up. If this keeps up I will be up in Frederic getting some spam recipe's from Pete at Sledheads od Frederic.  THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 12/24/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

11:15AM More warm temps continue, and although they have been calling for snow, it's still too warm. Pete from GR rode the lake last night and its getting soft. Also a report from Starvation Lake from yesterday, said the trails were poor. Will take pictures tonight and tomorrow. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 12/23/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

10:45AM We got some freezing drizzle for a bit this morning, and now it has changed to snow. They are calling for snow today, tonight and tomorrow. The section of my parking lot that I flattened with the groomer Wed, has firmed up enough that you can walk on it without sinking, you have to dig into it to break it up. Maybe the same is true on the trails. Hopefully we have seen the worst of it. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 12/22/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

10:55AM Nothing really good to write, a warm up is supposed to be heading our way, and going all the way into the far north of the U.P. The trails were a bit bumpy, but without more snow they would not pay us to make them flat. We were afraid if we get and sleet or freezing rain, that the bumps would be in them for the rest of the season. So I offered to pay for fuel, if we could then go out and flatten them, as our grooming fund is down to nil. Big Joe and I went out and did the entire trail system with the exception of the west trail north of the 6/7 split to Leota. Hopefully this will help if we get any rain. We have to top off the tractors today, to see how much fuel we used. Better to stay off the trails this weekend, as riding on them in 30+ temps will sure destroy them ,and make them useless between Christmas and New Years. Will post more as the situation develops...THINK SNOW!!!!

Update 12/20/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

1:20 PM Bob Geary from the St. Helen Snowpackers posted this in the visitor trail report section. Make sure you support their club also if you ride in that area. We all have to work together to give you riders a good ride. No-one wants to ride in the same place every day.

Regardilng the St. Helen trail. I contacted the DNR requesting permission to groom the trails. Without this we do not get paid.. DNR called would like more snow but try. I was out and and did not get the info. On Sunday nite and Monday morning the groomers were out. Sorry for the trails, bad I know, We need more snow. They will not go out again until we get more snow. Bob

12:00 PM The trails still are still in decent shape today. I groomed the Leota trail and the West trail last night, all the way to Mead Rd. The section of trail between Muskegon Rd and Co Rd 300 that I broke thru in is frozen once again but it is a mess. People have been riding through there, but be careful. The West trails is coming around, it just needs more snow. Leota looked excellent, I will post the pictures later today. I left at 11:00PM last night and came back in at 7:30AM, only to find I left the dome light on in the truck, and there was only enough juice left in the battery to run the light... The tractor was low on fuel anyway, not enough to make another  run at the trails out that way, so I drove it back to town. We will gas it up, do a little maintenance, wash it (its all muddy from breaking thru the swamp). Temps look to warm this weekend, so probably not  good weekend to ride, better to stay off them so they are good for after Christmas. But its too soon to tell at this point. Thanks to the guys that posted good things about our efforts at Hardcore sledder, it makes it worthwile. Dont forget to donate or feed the groomer fund. 

Update 12/19/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

2:00 PM The trails still are in decent shape today. I would say one thing with the flaky winters we are having...when we get the snow go out and play in it, because it may change for the worse on weekends. I am going out tonight to groom the west trail and to the bridge near Leota, that is where we turn around. I will snap a few pictures and post them tomorrow. It looks like a few days of warmer temps are coming, but hopefully with all the grooming we have done, we have managed to drive the frost down far enough that the damage will be minimal. Big Joe and I have done all of the grooming up to this point, so if you have have a second, e-mail him HERE to say thanks. Thanks for the donations for all that have donated. I will have some more webcam's up, when I get enough in donations to pay for them. One will be overlooking the lake, and it will have live video as well.

 

We have a 2 Sled package with a cabin this weekend for 600.00, Chalet 800.00

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Sleep up to 8 in the chalet for 200.00 per night.

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Sleep up to 6 in the cabin for 85.00 per night

 

 

Update 12/18/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

10:00 AM Meredith and the local loops got groomed again last night, and the trails are in decent shape. There is a little brown showing in the high traffic areas, mainly in sharp corners. We had a sled hit Big Joe in the groomer last night, turns out the sled had just been stolen. There were two stolen and the guy took off after picking himself up off the ground, and getting back on the smashed sled.

Update  12/17/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

9:00 AM We got a trace of snow last night and the low was about 20. Big Joe and I went grooming yesterday. I went to Meredith, and it is FLAT with a 3-4 inch base. Then I came back and hit trail 6 west to the 6/7 trail split (Leota/West Higgins). I came back Trail 6 to town. Then I went up to County RD 300 and jumped on 6 going north. I groomed ti to MEad road and then went south. I busted through the ice again between Spink Rd and Muskegon Rd. You cannot take a sled through there. Go around it and get back on at 300. I went south all the way to the 6/7 split, and this time went to Leota. I crossed the bridge, and found that the Leota side had been groomed recently as well. Should be smooth sailing all the way to Leota. Big Joe did all the Prudenville Loops. Everything in out trail system got a full groom last night/this morning. Some pictures are posted below.

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Update 12/16/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

4:00 PM Still snowing off and on, and we are going out and grooming shortly. The moisture is now at a point where it looks as we can do it right. A few pictures are posted below.

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 6:00 AM We got about another inch last night and its snowing now. We took a short blast to Meredith last night, and they got more snow than we did. I would guess there was about 7" of new snow. The lake is beautiful with the fresh wet snow on it. This time it wont blow off making a great base for riding the lake. CHECK ICE THICKNESS BEFORE YOU RIDE!!  People have e-mailed saying the have donated before, and we appreciate your patronage and donations. But we have to do this every year, and it costs money every year. How would people like it if we said we GROOMED last year? Or I showed last years trail reports? If you want some money to help the club, Mail donations to the Hoghton Lake Snowmobile Association, at the Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce. We have 300.00 dollars in our groomer fund. At any rate enough of all that, I'm going to see if we can groom. Updates from the trails throughout the day will be posted on the visitor trail report page found HERE.I can update that from the trails, this page I cannot. A few sleds already passed by this morning. I will post some pictures from around here today. THINK SNOW!!!!!

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Update 12/15/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

MY WEB HOSTING PROVIDING IS HAVING SERVER PROBLEMS...I AM MIRRORING THIS SITE TO PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING IN THE FUTURE

 6:00 PM 4-5 inches of today and its still snowing. We just finished getting the groomers ready, and we are going to start grooming tomorrow. Right now the temp is too high, the snow just clogs up the drag. THINK SNOW!!!!!

Update 12/15/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 6:00 PM We got 3-4 inches of snow last night and it went from Houghton Lake to Bear Lake. Much further north and the snow thins out. I will check the trails south of town today, it appears that the further south and east, the more snow there may be. We are supposed to get 2-3 today, and 1-2 tonight. This is a heavy wet snow and should be great for the trails. Bear Lake got 3-4 inches, hopefully they will get out there and get the trails North of Starvation lake into shape. Thanks to all that donated, we will put the money to good use. I have two more webcam's that will be added, I just have to get another cable modem installed. One of them will be at ground level, with a snow gage. The 500 or so that shows up on my Amazon link it the total donated since 2003, 30.00 from this year. Be sure to visit John Dee for snowfall prediction here. He is a freelance weather forecaster, who happens to love the sport of snowmobiling, and has made a website dedicated to snowfall forecasting. Please check ice thickness before you venture out. It still may be thin in some areas. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 12/14/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 6:00 PM If there is no report here, look for one on the visitor trail report page, as we can update that one from the trails. Just a skiff of snow overnight, with a low of about 16. Last night we went south toward Elbow Lake, and the trails are flat, but need more snow. Went North today, planned on meeting with some friends in Bear Lake, then we were headed to Starvation Lake, Lakes of the North, Then Alba. The trails were snirty North of M-72. The DNR groomer had groomed the Cranberry Lake Trail, south of M-72 today. It was FLAT, but needs more snow. North of M-72 the trails were a bit bumpy, but not bad till we got to Starvation Lake. North of there it looked like target practice for camp Grayling. Needless to say we cam back and rode south to H.L. They need to get that sorted out before it gets out of control. Snow is supposed to be coming in tonight. Be sure to visit his site John Dee for snowfall prediction here. He is a freelance weather forecaster, who happens to love the sport of snowmobiling, and has made a website dedicated to snowfall forecasting. Please check ice thickness before you venture out. It still may be thin in some areas. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 12/13/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 8:00 AM We got about an inch of snow last night, and it was about 16 for the low. The lake is an ice making machine, I will go and poke a few more holes in it today. Some pictures will be posted of the Prudenville trails as well. John Dee says we have a storm coming Wednesday, so hopefully that will bring us some much needed snow. Be sure to visit his site here. He is a freelance weather forecaster, who happens to love the sport of snowmobiling, and has made a website dedicated to snowfall forecasting. Please check ice thickness before you venture out. It still may be thin in some areas. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 12/12/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 8:00 AM No new snow last night, but temps went down to 2 degrees. It is 9 right now. The trails going north took a pounding and are getting snirty. We need more snow, but all things considering we have a much better start than last year. Mark wrote a nice report on the visitors trail report page, he went all the way around the lake. Be sure to go there and check it out. I will go out and take a look at the Prudenville trails today. I WILL NEVER TELL YOU THE ICE IS SAFE, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SAFE ICE. LAKES ARE FAR TOO UNPREDICTABLE.  Please check ice thickness before you venture out. It still may be thin in some areas. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 12/11/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 12:00 AM We got a couple inches of wet snow last night, and my drive up the freeway at 3am from downstate was a slippery mess. It was really snowing hard around West Branch, so maybe the trails south of town got more than 2 inches, they needed it. Quite s few sleds appearing on the lake this morning, and ice shanties. They got 1-2 at Bear Lake and it is snowing now. I WILL NEVER TELL YOU THE ICE IS SAFE, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SAFE ICE. LAKES ARE FAR TOO UNPREDICTABLE.  Please check ice thickness before you venture out. It still may be thin in some areas. I didn't make it to the North shore of the lake at all. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 12/10/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 12:00 AM Well I visited a website yesterday and posted an accurate trail report for the Houghton Lake area. With a link back to this site. My link was removed because "Links are reserved for paid sponsors" I will leave the name out now, till I decide how much publicity I will give them. As a person who has volunteered over 300 hours on our trail system in this calendar year, that response was insulting. I am tired of volunteering my time for these trails, only to have some people who gather links like mine on a website, and then have the audacity to charge me for a banner on their website. Let's see, lets charge the people doing the job FOR FREE, for advertising. Most of those sites give nothing to the sport. Some do, and I praise their efforts. Bottom line is if you frequent a website that has link's and sponsors. Check to see what their level of support for this sport really is. If they don't volunteer, groom or otherwise donate a percentage of their profits back to grooming clubs for Diesel Fuel, tractor repairs or other direct or indirect support for the sport, save the links in your favorite folder, and skip those websites. Stop providing free information about your rides to people that give nothing to the sport. Choose websites that give free links to the people getting the job done. I am not the only one hosting a website like this. There are many of us and we are all getting sick of it. JOHN DEE IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW ADVERTISING SHOULD BE DONE. I e-mailed him once, and he figured out where to grab my webcam pic, and gave me links to my rentals. Our clubs need groomer barns for our tractors. We need to keep this equipment inside, as well as have a place to work on it in subzero temps. We are limited in the amount of times we are paid for grooming. With more MONEY in these clubs, we would have MORE GROOMING, less breakdowns and an overall better trail system. If you don't help on the trails, help the people that do. A 25.00 trail sticker is far from getting the job done. There are many people in Houghton Lake that have volunteered hundreds of hours for better trails. Many of them do not even have a business that revolves around snowmobiling. They just plain enjoy the sport. I am just about to make this a website that is free to guests only, or a paid subscription. Or maybe just stop doing it all together. I have to pay to get my website listed, yet hundreds of visitors come to this site every day that do not spend a dime at my resort. I am adding to the problem. I will give the money to our club for GROOMING. I have to pay for another cable modem to support the lake webcam that I already purchased. That will be 600.00 a year. It will feed nothing but the webcams. I haven't received enough donations to pay for the line or bandwidth that we are using for the live webcam now. I cannot find another snowmobile website that even has a live webcam. I asked for donations, and this year we have received 10.00. You know who you are. I would have posted your name, but not without checking first. Others have donated last year, and I can say thanks. I used the money for gas, and have kept groups fed and watered that have come here to help. I have kept nothing. Still no advertisers on this site. If the clubs control more advertising dollars, we would have better trails. I surf the internet to find many websites that have links to Hotels/Motels etc. I am disgusted to find many of the places are having to pay to get their site listed, when I know many of them are involved with weekly grooming operations. If you have an opinion, e-mail me or post it on the visitor trail report board. 

Update 12/09/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 10:30 AM For the ice thickness see yesterdays report. We didn't get much out of the snowstorm that pounded lower Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, yesterday. We got about 1" of new snow, and further north they didn't get anything. The lake is very flat in some places and very rough in others. The trails would not last with any amount of traffic on them, there is just not much of a base. We rent snowmobiles, so I would like to have a better report, but without more snow, this isn't the weekend to come up and ride. Playing on the lake in some areas might be ok, but be sure you check it before you go out. I saw two other sleds on it since I was out yesterday. I WILL NEVER TELL YOU THE ICE IS SAFE, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SAFE ICE. LAKES ARE FAR TOO UNPREDICTABLE.  Please check ice thickness before you venture out. It still may be thin in some areas. I didn't make it to the North shore of the lake at all. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!!

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Update 12/08/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 6:30 PM  Just a quick update on the ice conditions on the lake. I WILL NEVER TELL YOU THE ICE IS SAFE, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SAFE ICE. LAKES ARE FAR TOO UNPREDICTABLE. I checked ice thickness at 100-200-300 yards out in front of my resort. The ice was 4-8 inches thick, with it getting thicker, further from shore. Then I took an auger and poked holes in the ice all the way to the North Shore, just south of the Muskegon River. I stayed 100 yards from shore and didn't see anything less than 4". Then I did the same all the way on the south shoreline to Prudenville. At the end of the street next to the Pressure Crack bar, I measured 7" of ice. No-one had been out yet, and I saw one ice shanty on the west shore. Surely by tomorrow evening there will be plenty of ice fisherman out.  Please check ice thickness before you venture out. It still may be thin in some areas. I didn't make it to the North shore of the lake at all. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 12/08/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 10:00 AM  Now new snow last light, a low of about 10 and the high today to be in the low 20's. We went out panning trail 655 to Meredith. I went one way and Big Joe switched with me and came back. We tried not to pull up any dirt, but in a few places it was necessary to get them flat. This is much earlier than we had been out last year doing this. We are trying to drive the frost in the ground with the weight of the tractor. My last ride north was Tuesday. The DNR groomer was out Tuesday and hit trail 6 going south from M-72 at the parking lot between Grayling and Kalkaska. The Jordan Valley guys were out going North and West from the parking lot up to Jordan Valley. We rode to Lakes of the North, and then to Alba. This early grooming is mainly filling in the larger holes, so the trails are still marginal, and with a lot of traffic on a single day, they would surely be torn up. they had not groomed to Lakes of the North, and The Higgins-Rosco guys had not been out yet. I will check the ice thickness today and post it later. Don't forget about Tip-Up-Town 2006. Come up and join us for Michigan's Largest winter Festival. Please stay away from the lake and CAREFULLY check ice thickness before you venture out. I'm sure it is very thin in some areas. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 12/06/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 12:00 PM  About a 1/2" of snow last night, with the low last night of about 4. I used one of the old drags to flatten out the west trail where they dad put in the new culverts. Since the ground was so tore up, a lot of dirt got mixed in with the snow.  The goal was to flatten it out before it froze. There were a lot of trees down, so I managed to clean all of those up with the bucket. My daughter went along for the ride and wanted to help, because she is a "Snowmobiler" too. Then I cam back to town of trail 6 just panning and using the weight of the tractor to drive the frost into the ground. Big Joe went from the Trailhead on Owens, down 654 and back to the parking lot panning and clearing any trees that he found. Jim from the trailblazers is out there several times a week working on the signage and brushing. Be sure to support their club if you ride here. Remember that this work is all volunteer, so if you can come up and help out. Bottom line is you can ride, its not the best, and expect to eat up some sliders, especially if you go south of town. Heading north towards Grayling, the snow gets deeper. Its still best to stay west of Grayling, not shoot up and end up at the Holiday inn. The west trail needs a lot more snow, and there is a lot of water on it, especially around the swamp near CO Rd 300. That was rutted up bad, and I had to dig trees out that people had placed in there to get their vehicles unstuck. I made a mess getting them out, but it would have been VERY dangerous, had I left them. A few pics are posted below. Don't forget about Tip-Up-Town 2006. Come up and join us for Michigan's Largest winter Festival. Please stay away from the lake and CAREFULLY check ice thickness before you venture out. I'm sure it is very thin in some areas. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!!

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Update 12/05/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 12:00 PM  We got just a skiff of snow again last night, with the low last night of about 11. I rode back up do Dingmans last night, and the snow is beginning to get packed down on the trails. I am going out today on the west trail to do some panning, I will post pictures later today. I checked the ice yesterday at around 4:00pm and there was about 3" in front of the resort. Don't forget about Tip-Up-Town 2006. Come up and join us for Michigan's Largest winter Festival. Please stay away from the lake and CAREFULLY check ice thickness before you venture out. I'm sure it is very thin in some areas. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!!

Update 12/04/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 4:00 PM  We got just a skiff of snow last night, with the low last night of about 13. The cold temps remain with us, so I will go out and check the ice thickness later today. They are calling for at least a 40% chance of snow for almost every day thru next week. Pete from Grand Rapids sent me a couple of pictures from our ride November 26, had to post them because we don't get to ride much in November. Don't forget about Tip-Up-Town 2006. Come up and join us for Michigan's Largest winter Festival. Please stay away from the lake, it is still ice covered in some areas but VERY thin. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!!

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Update 12/03/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 4:00 PM  On a separate note if you own any kind of a business seeking Property Management, I can only warn you about this company

ANANDSYSTEMS

 Their website is at http://www.anandsystems.com. they have released a hotel version of software, that is so buggy, it is unusable. Then they want you to pay more for a service contract, so they can continue to work on it. Imagine buying Windows...(although its buggy enough) and having to pay for every update that fixes the bugs and security vulnerabilities in XP. Even Microsoft has an auto-update feature that is still working for windows versions as old as win 98.

 As far as the snow goes, we didn't get much more today, but Bear lake got another 3 inches after we left, so they have about a foot on the ground.

 

Update 12/03/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 10:00 AM  We got around 6" of so on the ground here, it is settling a bit. Big Joe headed down to Meredith last night, and said the snow really thins at the Roscommon/Gladwin County  line. I went up to Dingmans last night on Trail 6, and there was about 8" of snow just north and west of Houghton Lake. No-one had been out so it was a great ride. When I got to a friends at Bear Lake, they had about 8-9" of snow, and it snowed an inch while I was there. More snow is in the forecast for the next few days. I will check the ice in a couple of days. A couple of pictures are posted below. It was 11 degrees when I got back at 12:45am. Don't forget about Tip-Up-Town 2006. Come up and join us for Michigan's Largest winter Festival. Please stay away from the lake, it is still ice covered in some areas but VERY thin. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!!

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Update 12/02/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 10:00 AM  Its snowing again today, we got 4-5 inches of wet heavy snow here, and there is more off to the west. About 6" at Bear lake but more is on the way. There will be people riding this weekend, but it wont be the best conditions.  Don't forget about Tip-Up-Town 2006. Come up and join us for Michigan's Largest winter Festival. Please stay away from the lake, it is still ice covered in some areas but VERY thin. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 12/01/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 10:00 AM  Its snowing again today, and the lake is icing over once again. We have about an inch of new snow so far. Don't forget about Tip-Up-Town 2006. Come up and join us for Michigan's Largest winter Festival. Please stay away from the lake, it is still ice covered in some areas but VERY thin. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 11/29/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 10:00 AM  The rain has melted all of the snow around the resort, and most of the lake has opened back up. Please stay away from the lake, it is still ice covered in some areas but VERY thin. I will update again as the conditions change. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 11/28/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 10:00 AM  The rain has melted most of the snow, and its still raining and thundering. Nothing to to write, hopefully this warm spell won't last past the next couple of days.  Please stay away from the lake, it is snow covered but the ice is VERY thin. I will update again as the conditions change. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 11/27/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 10:00 AM  We rode to Taffeltown last night and the to Dingmans between Grayling and Kalkaska. There is easily a foot of snow throughout most of that area, with it thinning towards Grayling. It is 34 degrees right now and they are calling for rain today, tonight and tomorrow. Much of what we rode will melt down to dirt if that happens.  Please stay away from the lake, it is snow covered but the ice is VERY thin. I will update again as the conditions change. The webcam now has live video, Click here to see it.. THINK SNOW!!! 

Update 11/25/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 1:00 PM  The west side of the lake received 6-12 inches of snow, and a friend reported that riding near Moorstown Rd going North and west that show is waist deep in areas, some from larger accumulations of 12-24 and some from blowing and drifting. Please stay away from the lake, it is snow covered but the ice is VERY thin. I will update again tomorrow with more detailed information. My father passed away this week, so Friday we will be down state for the funeral. THINK SNOW!!!

A Person Shall Not Operate a Snowmobile:

 

 

Update 11/25/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 8:00 AM  We received 4-6 inches of snow over the past couple of days and it is snowing now. Snow is supposed to continue over the next 24-48 hours. Off to the north the snow gets deeper. There is a warm up in the forecast for next week so we will see what happens. The lake has begun to ice over as well. Think Snow!!!!

Update 11/23/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 8:00 AM  There is a winter storm advisory for many northern counties, and we are supposed to get a 2-3 of inches of snow today, 2-4 tonight and 2-5 on Thursday. The low last night was around 17 and its 21 right now. We are off to an early start compared to last year. The webcam now has live video. You will have to install and run an active-x control from d-link to use it. Please make donations to the website, those costs will be used for the webcam's and the bandwidth costs associated to bring them to you. If we do not receive enough donations to pay for the cams and bandwidth, they will be for registered guests only, and will be password protected. Click here to see them.  Think Snow!!!!

Update 11/21/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 9:00 AM  The couple of inches of snow that we received has melted. Cooler temps and more snow coming this week, Wed-Friday. Think snow!!!

Update 11/17/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 9:00 AM  We got a couple of inches of snow last night, and up near Bear Lake they got 6-8 and its still snowing this morning. Think snow!!!

Update 11/6/05 : Houghton Lake Michigan Snowmobiling Trail Report

 10:00 PM  The Houghtonlaketrailblazers are still organizing groups to go out and work on the trails. They also have volunteers going out during the week so if you can help then, call the Chamber of commerce. The leaves are still hanging on, but it shouldn't be long before they are gone. Don't forget to join the clubs where you ride!!! 

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.

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