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Gladwin - More info

Discussion in 'Michigan Trail Riders' started by 2TrakR, May 26, 2004.

  1. 2TrakR

    2TrakR Subscriber Mi. Trail Riders

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    Just a little more info. I don't think profanity can accurately describe this...

    I went and checked the Gladwin system out. The whole north loop is closed. I mean they completely removed the freaking trail - signs arrows, triangles (including the MCCCT) stop signs, even the posts. "No vehicle" signs put up EVERYWHERE. The only thing they didn't do was to brush the trail in.
    The roads are open; Center FireLane has a "high water" sign at M-61. I drove up to where we camp at the warming shack. Most of our camping area is submerged, the road has a new large water hole just past this area that I didn't want to try. I didn't travel past this point, so maybe they didn't pull all the trail markings, but it appears they did (I drove 1/2 mile back on a 2T to check on one of the decks and those triangles were gone too).

    I agree to close the trail IF it's only temporary, there is a LOT of water out there. Hopefully we can work with the department to fix the areas in most need of repair and get the trail open when the water disperses. I really hope this isn't a scheme to permanently close that loop (conspiracy theory) as I don't want to go to court.



    You'd think the department would make some effort to contact the CCC or at least the club responsible for trail maintenance so we know what's going on. This has not been the case, but is consistent with previous actions (make major changes and not tell us).
    :bang:
  2. 2big4akdx

    2big4akdx Lifetime Sponsor

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    Expand the parking lot then close the northern loop? Hopefully they will reopen when the water goes down and they can keep people on the trail. How about closing all the trail south of Grim road a few years back, berming up all the 2tracs, then going in and having it logged.
  3. 2TrakR

    2TrakR Subscriber Mi. Trail Riders

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    Yeah, the DNR truly seems to have a "cut and close" mentality. Between that and gating everything, they are really trying to keep you out of their woods.

    I didn't mention this previously as it's just assumed on my part, but anyway: The CCC is working on this and hopes to have a positive resolution. I'll try to keep info posted on here as I find out.
  4. Smit-Dog

    Smit-Dog Lifetime Sponsor Mi. Trail Riders

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    In a perfect world, we'd get the press release BEFORE a trail closure. Considering the unpredictability of the weather and the resulting damage it can cause, I'd suspect the DNR, like most areas affected, are somewhat overwhelmed in assessing and responding to the recent flooding. Bummer to have a trail closed, but I hope (and suspect) that it's only temporary.

    DNR Press Releases: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10371_10402---,00.html

    Subscribe to DNR NewsWire: http://www.state.mi.us/listserv/subscribe.html
  5. 2TrakR

    2TrakR Subscriber Mi. Trail Riders

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    CCC's Statement

    (From Bill Chapin, CCC Executive Director)

    To CCC Members:

    Included in this message is a Press release from the Department of Natural Resources regarding the temporary closing of the northern loop of the Gladwin ORV Trail and Route due to extensive flooding in the area. Additionally the county roads north of M-61 have segments that are impassable. Gladwin County reports that roads, culverts, and bridges in other areas are to receive immediate repair and repair to these roads and culverts will follow.

    While we do not and can not disagree with the closings due to the environmental impact that continued use of flooded areas would cause to the trail and surrounding areas, we are seeking answers as to why we, as grant sponsors for the trails, were not included in the process, notified of the closings earlier on, or even asked to help with the posting of closure notices, by the area office in Gladwin.

    Upon inspection, we find that the regulatory signs, informational signs, and trail markers have been removed from most of the trail, and to that the Departments field office reports that the the removal was necessary to allow enforcement of the closings. This seems to be a bit extreme to us and we are looking into that as well.

    We became aware of the closings early Tuesday, made many contacts since and received official notice late yesterday and then posted information on our website. This press release was received in the last 2 hours.


    Please pass this along to your contact lists.

    (DNR press release up further in this thread)
  6. Don Marsh

    Don Marsh Subscriber

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    It was big news this morning, the closure made the Traverse City radio news!
  7. Arrant

    Arrant Rookie DRN Member

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    Has it reopened yet?
  8. 2TrakR

    2TrakR Subscriber Mi. Trail Riders

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    No, north loop at Gladwin is still closed. We've been in contact with our Recreation Tech trying to help initiate the process, but the general word I've heard is that the Gladwin office does not want to open that system up (at all).

    One thing that may help is to call Courtney Borgondy, Gladwin Unit Manager, at 989-426-9205, Ext. 7640 and ask him to re-open the system.

    I've been out there in the past week and the system is in normal summer condition (basically dry and dusty).
  9. Nestrick

    Nestrick Rookie Mi. Trail Riders DRN Member

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    Hey 2TrakR

    Is the CCC officially working on terms for reopening the North Trail loops or is it just your local trail group efforts here?

    Why would 'they' not want to reopen the trail ... its closure surely will mean many tourist dollars will leave the county and likely land in Roscommon which is the next closest spot for the south enders heading north to tear up some trail?

    I noticed someone recently posted a ride report in MTR where they mentioned riding the north Gladwin loop ... are folks just riding it despite of the closing notices? Have you actually been out on the trail to see it first hand and are the wet areas up by the Sterling Truck Trail ends of the nothernmost loop still flooded? I believe that it was these areas that caused them to close the entire loop ... based on comments from a DNR officer I met while out there this spring.

    Ultimately, is it a possibility that a new trail could be found to avoid that entire swampy north end altogether thereby eliminating the annual flooding problems? Perhaps some culverts and permanent bridges or decking could be installed?

    Hopefully clearer minds and some simple negotiations can resolve these difficulties and we can soon see at least part of the Northern two loops reopened for our enjoyment ... otherwise, in my opinion, they might as well close the rest of the trail as the south loop isn't worth driving up there to ride unless it is raining at the time and it's not a weekend.

    terry nestrick :bang:
  10. 2TrakR

    2TrakR Subscriber Mi. Trail Riders

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    Why would they want to permanently want to close that loop? Lots of opinions, I have no facts. General concensus is they (they referring to senior management in the Gladwin office) do not want motorized recreation in their management area. The only movement they want is loggers (that makes them $, ORV costs $) and once the loggers are done with an area it must be closed down.
    This opinion is based on their actions. Go count the orange gates put up just in Gladwin county. Then count the berms. The lost (to closure) miles of trail in the same area, the forest roads now closed to use. I can show you these, heck I have many GPS'd.
    A very funny story, not that kind of funny though. In 2002 we put a Trail Tour together out of the Gladwin area. Managed to put a pretty decent Dual Sport route together as well. As of last year, every inch we used that is not county road (the Firelanes, for example are County Roads) has now been physically blocked from your use. As if they were not aware of those areas and now that they are (we gave them a map for our permit) they have closed them.

    The CCC will be initiating formal contact within another week. Their efforts of recent days has revolved around Six Days, which is very understandable. Unless Bill has already "sent the letter" (I don't think he did).

    There have been people who contacted Courtney with no results. They then when up the ladder, eventually to their congressman. We may need a large number of people to do this to get things going, but we are not at that point yet. Although that sort of communication won't hurt.

    The very north west corner is wet as usual. It's also in very poor condition due to lack of ANYTHING being done to keep it from going to heck. I feel the DNR has failed miserably in keeping this trail from deteriorating. They have $ for gates and guardrails (have you traveled down Sterling Truck Trail lately?) but they can't run their dozer down that RR grade and fill the holes back in. Not like that particular section was a pristine, pre-existing wetland. It was a freaking railroad less than 100 years ago..

    We need to fill those holes in and put a deck across the flowing water portion (that hole with the stump in the middle). The DNR was supposed to have grant money to put culverts in. I know it went to bid as I spoke with one contractor who bid on it. They were turned down primarily due to being too low of a bid (they were doing things like free labor as they ride bikes too). Once our Recreation Tech moved on to a different job, things seemed to fall by the wayside. That was last year.

    As for alternate trails. There is an existing trail that would come up to the Truck Trail to the east of the current trail; it's a larger sandy area that now has a huge guard rail running along it (a bike can still get through, not that I'd know). It meets the existing trail just to the south at a crick crossing, the current trail makes a sharp turn to the west, the old trail continues north. Problem with that section is it crosses the river and would require a decent bridge and several decks. More work than fixing the existing trail. Bonus would be that it wouldn't be tore up by pickups as they can't fit.

    There are several other areas that have trail on them we could use. One is a loop I was going to propose that runs from Center over to East Center firelane. We were planning to submit the proposal 3 days after the closure. Due to the closure we sat on it.
    There's also a decent loop south of Grim Road we could add which might be one of the alternatives if we can't get the furthest northern loop open this year.

    From my inspection of the closed north loop there has been very little usage. 3 sets of quad tracks in a couple areas (more isolated areas) within the past week. Otherwise it's effectively being closed. Most of the "closed signage" is still intact.

    Should be 3 pictures on here. One is the wet portion up on the north west corner. One is the first mudhole you would encounter on the north loop, east side, 1/4 mile after crossing M-61 (notice it's dry). One is your ORV dollars at work, I mean an example of trail closure on the west side, just after it crosses the molasses river and then heads back into the woods.

    Attached Files:

  11. MWEISSEN

    MWEISSEN Whaasssup? Mi. Trail Riders

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    This makes me wonder if it's not our tax dollars at work in closing the trails, but somehow our trail permit fee dollars doing this! :bang:

    The east-side trails just seems to keep getting pushed further north. I used to ride the CCC trails north of Sanford when I was younger, now I believe the Gladwin stuff were the southern-most trails left.
  12. Nestrick

    Nestrick Rookie Mi. Trail Riders DRN Member

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    2TrakR thanks ...

    I recognize this subject strikes a nerve with you ... I deeply appreciate the time you have taken to explain the Gladwin situation to all of us in sufficient detail we can begin to understand the underlying causes and bureaucratic snafu's that have gotten us to the current point of closure.

    If, or when, you need others to come to your aid in the effort to reopen the trail with whatever tasks are required, please count me in! Writing letters and making calls are easy things we could all do if you truly deem them useful … however, a few random calls and letters usually don’t get the desired effect … we would need hundreds pouring into some Director’s Office to get their immediate attention.

    I still don’t understand how eliminating access to the land for the ORV crowd will help Gladwin County attract more tourism in the summer months … seems to me they could use all the business they can get. Certainly most of the down Staters coming up to run their bikes and quads leave behind a chunk of their budget in the County?

    If maintaining the trail system is such a burden for Gladwin County, then how do some of the surrounding Counties, perhaps equally poor as Gladwin claims to be, seem to handle their trail systems so well … and in fact, are extending and improving them at this very time? With appropriate research on the topic to back up this obvious argument, such a query might well serve as an opening volley in the ensuing battle over reopening and ultimate control of the Gladwin Trail?

    terry nestrick :|
  13. 2TrakR

    2TrakR Subscriber Mi. Trail Riders

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    Terry - the economic impact is a very good arguement. It's something we can certainly use to our benefit. Of interest is the Ogemaw county ohv economic growth committee (or related name). They are working on, and very close to, getting county ordinances in place that will allow ORV use on county and forest roads. Local law supersedes state law; this is already in place in Montmorency and Presque Isle. If that passes, I'd like to duplicate it for Gladwin county and elsewhere it would be of benefit.

    As for the obvious conflict betweent the DNR's alleged actions and the negative economic impact for the county... The DNR is not there for the county's benefit and there is no obvious ties between them (DNR is state org, county finances do not relate). You can see in other areas/counties where they are working together to great mutual good; so it obviously can work.
  14. woodsy

    woodsy Subscriber Mi. Trail Riders

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    del
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  15. MWEISSEN

    MWEISSEN Whaasssup? Mi. Trail Riders

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    Not to change the thread, but I also understand that some counties have voted in allowing unlicensed bikes to ride on the side of a road. I heard that the county that Wolverine is in passed this. Can anyone confirm this,and are there other counties that have passed this if true?
  16. 2TrakR

    2TrakR Subscriber Mi. Trail Riders

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    I can't confirm either of the legal road usage issues, but I can add some fuel to the fire. I've heard from locals (have a club member in that area) that road use by unlicensed ORVs (maybe just bikes?) is permitted in that area - Cheboygan would be the specific county. They indicated it was an understanding (usually BS, but what you say adds to the rumor).
    Anyhow, it'd be fun to get in on these groups to help pass useful legislation.
  17. Bob P

    Bob P Rookie DRN Member

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    Road Riding @ Wolverine (Tomahawk )

    Camped at Sturgeon River Campground in Wolverine last weekend.

    They advertise that it is legal to ride 2.3~miles to and from the Tomahawk C loop.

    Said we had to stay to the right and ride slowly.

    See their website "srivercampground-dot-com".

    Clean and courteous. Friendly to ORV's.
  18. Nestrick

    Nestrick Rookie Mi. Trail Riders DRN Member

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    Hey 2TrakR

    While riding Evart with INCA last Wednesday [28jul04], we had the opportunity to talk with a gal who works for the DNR and has responsibilities for the trails located in the central portion of the LP ... she did not appear to be involved in enforcement activities, but rather the maintenance side of things. Anyway, I brought up the subject of Gladwin and whether or not the North Loop would be reopened anytime soon?

    She spoke about the water problems there, the 'difficulties' they have experienced this year with bridges being washed out completely, new deep water sections appearing, and damages caused by the 'off trail' adventurers. She mentioned that it was her understanding that the DNR has no intentions of reopening the trail this year ... perhaps ever!

    Now, take this bit of info with a grain of salt ... this statement came from a field worker who may or may not be in the know regarding such issues ... but, it is interesting to hear what the DNR internal 'scuttlebutt' on the Gladwin trail is!

    terry nestrick :|
  19. 2TrakR

    2TrakR Subscriber Mi. Trail Riders

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    Thanks for the info Terry. That gal is Jessica Richmond; she's doing Rec Tech work this summer (through September, it sounded). I've communicated with her via email and phone, but not met her; seems nice enough.

    Interesting you brought this up, I was JUST out to Gladwin. I started at Geels and brushed some of the clear cut areas (weed whacker with a saw blade - you should market one that runs off a bike) and then worked my way down the MCCCT to Gladwin. The county has fixed Sterling Truck Trail with new culverts, so that excuse is now gone. The super wet portion of the trail is almost bone dry (tacky right now) and that's the northwest corner. Rest is very dry right now. I have still not found any missing or damaged decks or other trail hardening projects that have been comprimised. But that's another story...
  20. KTM Mike

    KTM Mike Subscriber Mi. Trail Riders

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    FYI - Montmorency County roads/shoulders are "open" to responsibly operated ORVs - some areas do get abused, but if you are clearly on your way to a legal riding trail, never an Issue I have heard of. I live right on the MCCT, and when I ride north from here, one of my neighbors is a county cop - he just smiles and waves as I ride by.

    Last fall there was some discussion and concern about some back roads getting torn up by quads in particular - and discussion of closing down some or all road shoulders. It never went anywhere to the best of my knowledge.

    So - come on a bit farther north! Some decent trails up this way!
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