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Support Winter Trails in Northern Michigan

Cody Sovis | Published on 10/21/2023

Support Groomed Trails with a Grooming Badge

Winter is right around the corner! Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association and our regional partners are gearing up for another season of top-notch grooming at four trail systems as soon as the flakes fly. Groomed trails are vital to keeping Northern Michigan families active and healthy during the long winter months; here’s how you can help!

Our Winter Grooming Program

NMMBA first started grooming in 2014 at the Winter Sports Singletrack with the help of volunteer fat bikers and skiers. That effort was bare-bones; much of the grooming was done by hearty volunteers attempting to pack in the trails on snowshoes. The slow process took hours to “groom” a mile or two of trail and, in many cases, the work would be undone with any additional snow. 

Since 2014, with the permission and collaboration of the Michigan Department of Resources, NMMBA’s efforts have expanded to include two snowmobiles, a range of condition-specific drags and equipment, and a dedicated team of volunteers willing to groom in the small hours of the morning or night to give our community a place to ride, ski and snowshoe. 

This ambitious program is supported financially by grooming badges. Available online, at NMMBA events and participating local businesses during the winter months, these $50 power our efforts. 

Your donation does a lot, including mitigating the costs of:

  • Gas

  • Snowmobile repairs

  • Equipment repairs and improvements

  • Storage 

  • Related insurance and permits

  • More Ways to Help

The weeks leading into the first snowfall are crucial to a successful grooming season. One of the easiest ways to help is to remove sticks and debris from soon-to-be-groomed trails whenever possible. This saves our volunteers countless hours of clearing that are better spent addressing other issues, such as slight winter reroutes to accommodate our machines or removing logs and stumps that could block or damage equipment. 

Once winter arrives, we are always in need of volunteer groomers. It’s a small and dedicated group of individuals tasked with grooming at odd hours and in cold conditions, but our winter trails simply wouldn’t exist without them. 

Learn More About Winter Grooming Badges

Questions about winter trails, grooming and winter recreation? Interested in volunteering? We’re here to help. Contact our winter trails committee or consider joining us at our monthly board meeting. We’d love to answer your questions and get you involved!

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