GAYLORD – An 11-mile trail segment that currently is being improved along Snowmobile Trail No. 7 in Otsego County will reopen Dec. 1 for the snowmobile season. The ongoing project, which will make way for additional year-round motorized and non-motorized trail use, will continue construction this spring.
The much-anticipated resurfacing and trail extension project, which began in June, ultimately will extend the North Central State Trail and, at the same time, provide 11 miles of upgrades along Snowmobile Trail No. 7 between Fairview Road in Gaylord, south to Passenheim Road in Waters. The trail will become a key segment of the Iron Belle Trail.
At this time, the 11-mile segment is an active construction zone and is closed to all trail users. When the snowmobile season concludes, additional work, including concrete work at some crossings, will be scheduled for spring.
“We are excited to announce that the current phase of construction along Snowmobile Trail No. 7 is wrapping up in preparation for the winter snowmobiling season that takes place Dec. 1 to March 31,” said Gregory Kinser, DNR northern Lower Peninsula regional trails coordinator. “The improved surfacing, set to start in spring, will provide better opportunities for hiking and biking.”
The trail, which utilizes an existing active railroad right-of-way, will consist of a 10-foot-wide surface of crushed limestone to provide a compact smooth surface similar to asphalt. When completed, the multiuse trail will provide safe and enjoyable year-round recreational trail experiences. The trail will be open to snowmobile use Dec. 1 through March 31 each year.
The approximately $2.5 million project includes $1.4 million in federal Transportation Alternatives Program funding, administered by the Michigan Department of Transportation, and $600,000 in Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund funding, administered by the DNR. The balance will be funded by the DNR Recreational Trails Program, Otsego County, Bagley Township and Otsego Lake Township.