Michigan’s ORV riders are getting more mileage with numerous new ORV trail developments made possible with revenue generated from a 2013 license fees restructuring effort. As part of the 2013 license fees restructuring, the DNR began requiring a $10 trail permit be purchased for ORV riders using designated trails. This sticker was in addition to the ORV license, which increased in cost from $16.25 to $26.25. With the two fee increases in place, the amount of money available for ORV trails and other improvements increased from about $1.5 million to roughly $3.4 million.
These funds have allowed the DNR to invest in the following:
- Expand the trail system from 3,627 miles to more than 3,800 miles through trail easements and acquisitions.
- Added trail connections to communities and other trails through trail easements and acquisitions.
- Provide grant funding to develop, groom and brush trails and add signage to trails.
- Provide safer recreation experiences through increased education and enforcement from conservation officers.
- Thoroughly inspect the condition and maintenance of trails.
- Replace failing or aging bridges and culverts to address safety and environmental issues.
- Provide oversight and leadership of the program.
Specifically, a number of projects were funded.
- 13 new ORV routes and trails in the Upper Peninsula, totaling 263 miles.
- 278 more miles of ORV route/trails are under review.
- Graded and added surface material to more than 225 miles of ORV routes in 2015.
- Constructed the new Cranberry Lake Bridge in Chippewa County.
- Five state parks in the U.P. are now open to ORVs.
- Restoration of the Lake Michigan Shore dune area at Silver Lake State Park.
- Started planning and engineering for numerous new trailheads, parking lots, new signage and existing ORV route improvements