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Old January 1st, 2013, 10:33 PM   #1
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Default St Helen Trails 12/28

Took the GF on the St Helen trails last Friday. Started at Waco Rd off M18, took that all the way back to the power lines, then took trail 6 all the way to St Helen. Kept it slow and was very mindful and gave all the people on sleds trail courtesy.



















































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Old January 1st, 2013, 10:41 PM   #2
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So, you drove around in your jeep on snowmobile trails?
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Old January 1st, 2013, 10:42 PM   #3
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you do know that it is sled season and its not aloud to be out on the trailer right now right.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 10:46 PM   #4
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So, you drove around in your jeep on snowmobile trails?
Going off of the maps that I had, I was on ORV routes that allowed Jeeps.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 10:52 PM   #5
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in the winter months those routes turn to snowmobile trails. besides your standing in the middle of the trail taking a picture of your jeep with a sled coming around the corner now.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 10:57 PM   #6
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in the winter months those routes turn to snowmobile trails. besides your standing in the middle of the trail taking a picture of your jeep with a sled coming around the corner now.
I did not know that about the trails. I was trying to find the rules on the trails on the MDNR website before I left, but I didn't have any luck. I guess I messed up on this and will take the heat. It was not my intention to break any laws or disrupt the trails for anybody on sleds.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 11:00 PM   #7
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in that area most of the trailers are groomed. talk to a few of the guys that are in charge of snofari for the trail map that are legal to run this time of year.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 11:06 PM   #8
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in that area most of the trailers are groomed. talk to a few of the guys that are in charge of snofari for the trail map that are legal to run this time of year.
Thank you. I'll defiantly talk to someone up at Snofari about it. Being where I am not suppose to be is the last thing I want. I know it is frowned upon and makes the off roading community look bad.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 11:13 PM   #9
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i believe that oz is part of it. send him a pm and ask him what trails are open and what ones arent, im sure more will chime in here before long.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 11:25 PM   #10
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Will do. There were quite a few others in full size vehicles back on the trails I was on parked and were hunting. A lot of the trails, or I guess they are called routes, I was on seemed that two vehicles could easily fit. Maybe somebody knows where to find the rules of the ORV trails. All I found were general rules about what trails allow what vehicles. I didn't find anything about when you are not allowed on them. But yea I'm sure it won't be long until everybody gets their voice on this.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 11:48 PM   #11
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im not sure of the exact times but i know some trails are closed in the winter months for snowmobile trails. i cant remember where to find it but im sure someone will post up. i may be wrong but i know of a guy that was out on a seasonal trail in a truck as well in petoskey area years ago. didnt know they switched to a snowmobile trail and ended up hitting a sled coming around the corner in his truck and ended up severely injuring the rider. spent a good amount of jail time for that. just a heads up.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 01:55 AM   #12
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Ok hold on a second. We are getting ahead of ourselves. I was busting your balls, but not because you were breaking the law.

In the area you were in, if you were on ORV Routes, then you were NOT breaking the law. There are some areas of the state that put out Directors Orders to close the trail to wheeled traffic, but that hasn't happened in the St. Helen area so you can relax there.

What I was busting your balls about was the fact that the sled guys have a much shorter season to play than we do so why screw up their trails? Now when you consider snow isn't that deep up there right now anyway, you likely didn't damage a thing, but you should still try to avoid those trails as much as possible just to avoid any issues. One could argue we (fullsize users) have just as much right to those trails as the sleds do, but that's not the point. It's about not getting into a pissing match, which has happened many times before because the sled guys get very bent out of shape when their fancy groomed trails get messed up by a wheel vehicle. Now with all that said, if you have to run down a section of ORV Route which is a shared sled trail, to get to your next section of trail, then feel free but there is just no reason to run those trails any more than needed when there are countless forest roads and such to explore and are way more fun for our use.

I actually cover a few small sections of sled trail during my run at Snofari, but that is only to connect a few other sections and it's really less than a mile total broken up into a few different sections. Don't be afraid to explore in the area you were in either. You may get a little lost, but if you stay on a trail you'll always eventually come out to a road. It's pretty hard to get hopelessly lost in that area, especially if you have a GPS that will point you back to civilization. Another option is tagging along with someone who knows the area. I go up there quite often and you're more than welcome to come along if you'd like.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 02:02 AM   #13
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Will do. There were quite a few others in full size vehicles back on the trails I was on parked and were hunting. A lot of the trails, or I guess they are called routes, I was on seemed that two vehicles could easily fit. Maybe somebody knows where to find the rules of the ORV trails. All I found were general rules about what trails allow what vehicles. I didn't find anything about when you are not allowed on them. But yea I'm sure it won't be long until everybody gets their voice on this.
Basic rules are simple. ORV Route is fullsize use. The ORV Trail is 50 inch and under stuff. What isn't really explained and what confuses many people is the forest roads. Most of the trails in the area are considered forest roads which require your vehicle to be state licensed and insured, but that shouldn't be an issue if you drove there. They aren't mapped in any one place. I grew up near West Branch and have been looking for one comprehensive map for years and I'm convinced it just doesn't exist. I have probably over a dozen different books and maps and such for different maps but none have everything. The best I've found though is actually called "The Michigan Gazeteer". It's doesn't list Routes and trails and such, but it basically has lines marked where there is a path. It's up to you to figure out if you're allowed to be on it but it's helpful if you're lost. Garmin street maps actually have most of the trails mapped too but they are old and aren't the most accurate, but helpful enough to get you back to the real world if you get too lost. Then again, pick a heading and stick with it as much as possible and you'll always end up at a road soon enough too.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:10 AM   #14
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Trail 6 is a very highly used trail for snowmobiles. Being a snowmobiler myself, I would not want to meet a fullsize Jeep when I am coming around the corner. During Snofari, we were on one snowmobile trail that I remember and we were only on it for a very short time. We did not stop in the middle of the trail and whenever a snowmobile was coming we moved off into the shoulder to give them plenty of room. Please just be courteous (like you said you were) as we do not need more negative impacts on wheeling. With that being said I can't wait until Snofari, and snowmobiling :)
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:28 AM   #15
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oz- Thanks for the information. Getting on the trails/routes with all the snowmobiles, knowing they don't get much trail time, was my biggest turnoff. But I'm glad that I was legal. I talked to many guys on sleds and they were all pretty nice and didn't mind the fact that I was back there. I talked to every guy who came up first and asked if there were any more coming.

WhyYJ- Yea I gave all the sleds the right of way. I didn't want to ruin it for them as it's easier for me to pull off to the side than to have them get out of my way.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:48 AM   #16
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Snowmachine driving under control shouldn't have any issues encountering a fullsize vehicle on the trail. Asshat throttle jockeys on snowmachines running bar to bar might have an issue though. I attribute snowmachines to hunters, they have the right to be there, but so do you.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:14 AM   #17
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I was up running some ORV Routes around Kalkaska. There were sleds on them, but they did not look groomed, mostly chewed up and dirty. But, it's more of a moral thing. I had the right to be there, but probably should have stayed off them.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:22 AM   #18
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Snowmachine driving under control shouldn't have any issues encountering a fullsize vehicle on the trail. Asshat throttle jockeys on snowmachines running bar to bar might have an issue though. I attribute snowmachines to hunters, they have the right to be there, but so do you.
Same with the asshats that are sliding their vehicles around the corners in the trails. It goes both ways. It looks as though he used discretion and everything went well. I have seen local kids out on the snowmobile trails tearing them up. I was not trying to get in a pissing match, I am aware both are allowed to be there. All I was saying is please show courtesy when out on snowmobile trails.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:49 AM   #19
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Same with the asshats that are sliding their vehicles around the corners in the trails. It goes both ways. It looks as though he used discretion and everything went well. I have seen local kids out on the snowmobile trails tearing them up. I was not trying to get in a pissing match, I am aware both are allowed to be there. All I was saying is please show courtesy when out on snowmobile trails.
Completely agree.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:01 AM   #20
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Nice pictures, I was out straight north of Clear Lake and we found snow drifts in the 3-5ft range along the clear cuts 36 iroks and 300 plus Hp wasn't enough was a blast though.
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