The following routes are designated all-terrain vehicle [and utility terrain vehicle] routes in the town:
‘1.9 miles of County Road B from US Hwy 45 to Spruce Road, 1.3 miles of Little Portage Lake Rd from County Road B to Razorback Road, 2.2 miles of Razorback Road to the Land O’ Lakes town line. The existing trail that utilizes the abandoned railroad right of way, south to Airport Road and 1 mile along Airport Road to US Hwy 45.’
What type of outdoor recreational trail use do you like; ORVs, Horses, Side-by- Sides, ATVs, Motorcycles, mountain biking, hiking, or paddling? If you fit one of these, then Michigan Trails and Recreation Alliance of Land and the Environment (MI-TRALE) is the group for you, and the Lake Gogebic area is the place you must visit!
MI-TRALE was founded in June of 2001 to band together both motorized and non-motorized trail enthusiasts who valued their environment and work to carefully develop trail opportunities in the Western Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan for everyone to enjoy. We started with less than 100 miles of trails in the Western UP, and due to dedicated club members diligently working in concert with the Ottawa National Forest (ONF), the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Private Land Owners, elected State and Local officials, and many others, we are now responsible for maintaining over 550 miles of trails! 300 miles of these trails are "designated" by the DNR, which provides supplemental support for material costs by which to maintain the trails; however MI-TRALE volunteers spend hundreds of hours and thousands of vehicle miles maintaining the 550 miles of trails at their own expense. All of these trails are accessible from the Lake Gogebic area. Trail guides can be purchased in local stores or online at
In 2015 MI-TRALE was able to open a new trail 26 miles multi-use route with support of the Ottawa National Forest, the County of Ontonagon, and Gogebic, as well as private land owners. The trail is called the LL Multi-use ORV Route. This new trail connects Land Oâ€™ Lakes, WI in the south to Bond Falls0 in the north. The trail provides Wisconsin riders to access the Western UP trail system which ranges from Marenisco in the west to Crystal Falls in the east and as far north as Copper Harbor in the Keweenaw. In the spring of 2017 this trail will be extended to connect Bond Falls to Bruce Crossing, not only providing access to additional services, but also to additional sections of MI-TRALE managed trails.
In addition to the LL opening, MI-TRALE also opened the Phelps to Iron River (PI) trail. This trail runs from the Wisconsin Michigan border near the town of Phelps and connects to the Iron River - Marenisco (IM) Trail near Iron River.
A new multi-use route will be open during 2017 which will connect Ontonagon to Rockland (OR). This is a 12 mile connector offering some beautiful vistas along the way. This will have construction starting as soon as weather permits in the spring of 2017 and should be open for use in July. Keep track of the status of this and other projects on the MI-TRALE website.
In 2016 the MI-TRALE equestrian members completed multiple rides on some of the MDNR multiuser trails as they scouted outÂ additional good areas to ride. Work continues with the Ottawa National Forest for improvements on the Courtney Equestrian Trails (just east of Mass City on M38), and with MDNR for a multiuser campground in this area. Plans are for a public campground that includes amenities needed for the horse rider. We will be scouting out more horse trails in 2017. Please check out the MI-TRALE web site for event dates.
New signs have arrived for the Courtney Equestrian Trails; invasive species, trail etiquette and trail courtesy yield signs. We hope to have them installed in the spring. They are the beginning our MI-TRALE's overall goal of helping trail users to understand how to safely share the trails and enjoy encounters with any and all trail users. The Courtney EQ Trails are shared with ATV'rs and hikers, so these signs include instruction and yield signs for these user types. The invasive species sign will help us to identify and report findings to the Ottawa National Forest. Invasive species seem harmless, until they "grow" into a larger problem. So noticing and removing them early is a good idea.
If you area paddler, you would have an interest in the 2016 Western Upper Peninsula Multi-use Trails Guide - Volume 2. We have expanded the paddler portion to 20 pages of water trails for you. Read about all of them, then select one and have some fun.
The new MI-TRALE Ambassador program has been well received by the public and judging from the comments received on the trail and from other individuals, the introduction of the Ambassador Program has been a success.
The program was formally introduced in August, although some of us have been performing as Ambassadors since June. Currently, we have 11 ambassadors out on the trails. Because of the success of the program, it has been expanded to include our Michigan Department of Natural Resources partners while we perform maintenance and ride their sponsored trails.
The Mission Statement of the Ambassadors is MI-TRALE specially trained volunteers will interact with the recreation public in partnership with the Ottawa National Forest to promote and monitor the trail system; providing trail services, assistance and education while providing a positive and informative role model. Ambassadors will by example promote responsible riding, rules of the trail and trail safety. Ambassadors will encourage and promote the protection of the natural resources, proper conservation practices and the future of the sport. Ambassadors may complete minor trail repairs and report those repairs beyond their capabilities.
The ambassadors while on the trails wear a neon green vest and fly a pennant of the same color. Please stop to say hi to them should you see them on the trail. They will also provide assistance and even sell you one of our new Guides. If you have not seen the new guides, they have been updated to contain all our new trails and contain a great deal of expanded information packed into the 135 pages of the guide. And, they now contain a "pull out" folding map which you can take with you on the trail.
We have had an active and successful year. We have added to the caches throughout the year; some varied and creative caches.
At the request of some land managers and to insure we do the best job of maintaining our caches, some will be removed from remote areas for the winter months. Some caches will not last the elements without a little extra attention and some areas cannot be reached during the winter. But where we are able, we have placed some adventurous caches out there for you to find.
Our Geocache Manager has tracked 54 "hits" so far this year. Our travel bugs are on the move and being enjoyed. "Ted the Turtle" is on his way to visit his relatives the sea turtles and "Urho of Courtney" is on his way to the next Kentucky Derby. Ted the turtle has travelled 3203 miles! He is taking the scenic route he has been to 5 different places in Tennessee, two places in Florida, 2 places in Illinois and now he is in Colorado.
Be safe and have fun out in the forest, in the great and beautiful Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We love it here.
Did you know Michigan Department of Natural Resources has partnered with Treadlightly! and the U.S. Forest Service to spread the message of the importance of riding only on designated routes throughout the state? The national Ride On campaign is being introduced throughout the state to educate outdoor recreationist who use motorized vehicles on private and public lands. Why you might ask? It is as simple as the Ride On campaign slogan: ‘Respected Access is Open Access.’ Simply put, when you fail to stay on the trail, should it be public or private lands, you and others may very well lose the ability to use that trail. And, other trails. We have all seen those who have left the trail and caused damage to the surrounding environment. There are many within MI-TRALE who have worked very hard for many years to obtain trails you now ride. MI-TRALE members work closely in partnership with the Ottawa National Forest and Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and private landowners so that you may enjoy the trails. When you ride off the trail, you not only damage the environment, but make it more difficult to obtain additional trail access. In addition, provide ammunition for those who would like to remove all motorized vehicles from not only the trails but the forests, countrywide.
So, you like to ride or even use our public lands for other sports. How do you preserve your ability to access those lands? Well, Treadlightly! has produced some hangtags specific for Michigan and they state in part:
Avoid Sensitive Areas:
Do Your Part by:
Now really is it that hard? Of course not and in doing so, you will preserve the ability of others and even future generations to use the land. At MI-TRALE, as volunteers, without compensation, even for our personal equipment, we work very hard for you our members. We work hard to not only obtain trails for your use, but monitor and provide maintenance on them so that you have a great experience while riding them. We work closely with many partners such as the DNR, Ottawa, landowners, local municipalities and businesses. We do this for you. All we ask is you respect the land and stay on the trail so we can obtain access to even more trails and make your rides even a greater and more enjoyable experience!
Throughout the year, many outings/events are held to including several annual rides. For 2017 MI- TRALE will organize and support the following rides:
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