As summer draws to a close and fall begins the countdown to snowmobile season begins. On December 1st of every year the snowmobile trails officially open for the first time since their closing on March 31st, granted the weather permits. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t snowmobile prior to this date, it just means you can’t ride on any state regularled trails, but riding down seasonal roads, on your own property, or around state land is no problem. As winter approaches the anticipation builds up each day that passes. Once the snow hits the ground it’s off to the races, and the long anticipated snowmobile season begins.
Where I live downstate in Owosso we don’t get much for snow, let alone a whole trail system to ride on, so I instead resort to riding around my grandparents cabin In Benzie County near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore one of the most beautiful places in world, but that’s a whole other story. While most people would assume just stick to the trails, I prefer not to and instead enjoy carving up the feet of deep powder that can often be found in Northern Michigan, this is known as boondocking. Don’t ask me why it’s know as this, it just is, but if I had to take a guess it would probably have to do with the fact that it is often done out in the middle of nowhere otherwise known as the boonies.
This isn’t to say that I dislike riding on designated trails because I do, and often find it rather enjoyable. Usually on average trips for me range anywheres from as little as 20 miles upwards to 200 plus miles. My dad on the other hand has told me about times he’s rode with his friends well over 300 miles in a single day up in the U.P. You yourself though can ride as little or far you want and maybe even take in some of the beautiful scenery Michigan has to offer along the way
While many people seem to enjoy mild winters, us snowmobilers hate them because it means less snow, more rain, and warmer temps which equals less riding. Tragically the last couple winters have been really hard on us snowmobilers, especially us riders in the lower peninsula. I mean President’s Day weekend use to be a given for snowmobiling, but this has been the second year in a row we’ve had poor snow conditions. On the bright side this year’s mild winter has allowed me to pursue another hobby; snowboarding!
Jacob Zuckschwerdt, YCC Member – Owosso