Did you know that Michigan has over 6,500 miles of snowmobile trails? There are many places where you can ride. I’ve been snowmobiling all my life. When I was young I would be strapped to my dad and I would fall asleep riding down the trails. There are specific things that you need to snowmobile. Snowmobiling is like one big community of people of all ages having the same love of this winter sport.
First, there are many places where you can ride snowmobiles. You can ride in state parks, public trails or if you’re lucky, your own land. To be able to ride on public land you must buy a trail permit for each snowmobile that you ride. Each year they cost $48.00 each and help pay for trail maintenance. A part of trail maintenance is grooming. Grooming is where they smooth the trails to make for an easier and safer ride. One mile of trail costs $5.11 to groom. Grooming is also paid for by other organizations.
Next, there is some very important equipment that you need for snowmobiling. First, the most important one is the snowmobile. There are four main brands that you can get: Skidoo, Arctic Cat, Yamaha and Polaris. Then, you need to get a helmet. There are many different brands and colors. Just make sure it is DOT certified. Make sure you wear something that will keep you warm. It is also important that you have a trail map and it is also a good idea to have space blankets and other emergency supplies when out on the trails.
Lastly, snowmobiling is one big community. There are different snowmobile clubs that you can be a part of, or you can go riding with friends from school or your neighborhood. If you walk into any restaurant by a snowmobile trail I bet that there will be snowmobilers in there talking about the riding conditions and sharing their stories. Also, there is always someone who likes to ride, like you. If you want to go on a slow, relaxing ride, you can find someone else who wants to do that. If you want to race like the pros, you can do that too. I can’t wait to take my three year old nephew on his first snowmobile ride.
So, there are many places to ride. There is equipment you need to do it safely. Lastly, snowmobiling is a community of like-minded people of all ages. Hope sometine I will meet you on the trail!
Chris Neuvirth, YCC member – Commerce Township