Looking for Scenic Snowmobile Trails? Come Up to Iron County, Michigan
By Dean S. Acheson
Gorgeous winter scenery coupled with wildlife sightings help draw snowmobilers to Iron County, Michigan, which boasts more than 260 miles of extensively groomed and well-marked snowmobile trails.
The wide-open trails traverse abandoned railroad beds, weave through varied wooded terrain, and cross lakes for excellent sledding. Snowfall totals of between 90 and 120 inches each season keep club groomers busy and sledders happy. The season opens December 1 and closes March 31.
The county trail system includes Amasa, Crystal Falls, Iron River, Sidnaw, and Kenton areas. The Iron Range Trail Club (906-265-7152) maintains and grooms nearly 150 miles of trail while the Chippewa Sno-Kats Trail Club (906-875-3117) grooms and maintains about 100 miles of trail. Snowmobile derbies, poker runs, raffles, and races are sponsored each season by clubs and communities.
Iron County serves as a hub for not only local trails, but far beyond. Snowmobilers can tap into the vast network of trails in the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin for an extended riding adventure. Gas stations, restaurants, lodging, and sled rentals are readily available.
Trail 16, known as the “Chippewa Trail,” travels east on a well-groomed scenic route to Crystal Falls. From here, it continues on to the Sagola area on the Arsenia Hershey Trail. A jaunt on Trail 15 takes riders north deep into the great Northwoods and offers the rider many opportunities to capture photos of wildlife and scenery. This trail gives sno-tourers the option of traveling to Sidnaw or connecting with Trail 4 toward Kenton or Trail 111 to Amasa.
For trail reports, call 906-265-7152 or 888-879-4766. For trail maps, contact the South Central UP Snowmobile Council at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iron County snowmobile trail maps are available at the Iron County Chamber of Commerce office, at most area gas stations, and many local businesses. Trail permits can be purchased at the Chicaugon Lake Inn.
Contributing writer Dean S. Acheson is a Wisconsin native with a long career in newspaper and magazine writing and editing. He considers himself semi-retired and enjoys fishing, scuba diving, snowmobiling, photography, and, of course, travel. “I’ve been blessed with traveling throughout Wisconsin and the UP, seeing the diverse communities, taking in the festivals, chatting with the locals, and hiking the trails.”
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