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Trail 419 Reaches a BIG Point in Restoration!


Mother nature has not let us start grooming yet but we have taken advantage of that. Working with our DNR Field Contact and our Contractor, Gerou Excavating, we were able to extend restoration work on Trail 419 just North of Munising. The infamous Frog Hollow with it’s two miles of water crossings and bogs with bottomless waterholes has been crossed with a preliminary trail. This second year project had (11) culverts and (1) stone drainage pocket installed.  The entire length of this section was also bladed with a bulldozer so it is opened up and completely passable with a groomer, no more freezing in needed. This is a great example of your trail sticker money at work with $60,000 of Snowmobile Grant Funding put in over the last two years. We are very excited to get this trail opened up for the snowmobile season, all we need now is the SNOW!
For now,  to keep restoration moving forward, we will continue to have this section closed to wheeled vehicles for one more year. Next summers last stage of restoration is being done with our awarded 2019 Snowmobile Grant. This last phase involves (6) culverts, (4) stone drainage pockets, hardening up the last few soft spots and capping of 1 1/2 miles of the trail. When completed, Trail 419 will be one of our premier, year-round, multi-use trails through the hills of Munising. Now let the snow fall so you can check it out!
The section of Trail 419 starts at the end of Brook Street in Munising heading toward Christmas. This is a very scenic and steep, hilly section of trail with water crossings at each valley and a long section of low-land. In the summer the low-land area is very wet with a harder surface that, once broken through, is seemingly bottomless. Over the years holes have greatly increased in size from trucks and orv’s traveling through. The past 9 years have had the Grizzly Pit at one location which regularly eats orv’s, trucks and even a John Deere groomer and its recovery bulldozer at one time. We started restoration work 4 years ago with repairing a badly washed out hill on the West end and in 2017, we reconstructed a half mile section from there heading East. The costly part of restoration has been two miles of hilly trail that needs to be traveled to get material in and usually washed out before work begins. We were also seeing summer vehicle traffic (trucks and orv’s) causing more damage than we were repairing during this time. In 2018 we closed the trail to wheeled vehicles with permission from the land owners. This was a good move because it allowed us to get where we are today with a passable snowmobile trail. Funding has been a challenge because it is private CFR land. We cannot use orv restoration grants on private land to repair the damage they are causing. We are in the process of presenting a trail proposal to the DNR making it a multi-use Snowmobile/ORV Trail though. The only hold-up right now is MDOT approval for running along the M-28 State Hwy. Once designated, orv grant funding will be available for improvements and maintenance on all of Trail 419.

(Slide show includes before and after pictures of some of the worst areas – enjoy!)

Stay tuned for updates with SORVA of Alger County, Trails and the 2018-19 Snowmobile Season.
Let’s get this season moving – Sled Safe!