Snowmobiling in Michigan – Know Before You Go

Winter has started, with most parts of Michigan seeing several inches of snow at the end of November. As snowmobile season starts up, a few things to keep in mind before you load up and hit the trails this winter:

Michigan snowmobile trail maps and markings.

Know your trails before you go. You are only allowed to use designated trail markings on public lands, from December 1st to April 1st. You can find a list of maps on the DNR site. There is also a new interactive map that is easy to use. Additionally, if you are going to ride on public trails, you need the appropriate DNR trail sticker. They are $52 and are good for 5 years.

Snowmobile maintenance.

How is your sled running? Start your snowmobile at home before you travel far away to hit the trails. Make sure all of your studs and tracks are in good shape. Have you charged your battery? Be sure to add fresh oil too.

Snowmobile gear.

Make sure you have the appropriate helmets, gloves, and snowmobile suits for riding. Not having the right gear can make for a cold ride. Helmets are required by law for riding.

Snowmobile insurance.

Accidents happen with sleds. They can happen on the trail and they can also happen when your sleds are en route on a trailer. Given the high cost of today’s modern snowmobile, getting insurance for your machines is not a bad idea. Several agencies across Michigan offer it, including Arnouts of Okemos.

Gas planning.

Planning a long ride? Michigan offers some great connected trail systems in both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. If you’re traveling long distances, you will need to make sure you plan properly for gas! Many gas stations that are towns along the trail may have limited hours in the 2021-22 season due to labor shortages. Make sure you plan ahead so you aren’t stranded.

Snowmobile season is a fun time of year for many. It is also a very strong contributor to the economy in the Northern Lower and Upper Peninsula areas of Michigan. Snowmobilers stay in hotels, motels and inns, and frequent restaurants and bars in their travels. Make sure you plan ahead so you can enjoy your season!

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