Mi-TRALE celebrates 10 Years!

by Off-Road Hub Mag | Posted on Monday, December 19th, 2011

It was a small group of Off Road Vehicle Riders that met on a Wednesday Night in July of 2001 to form Michigan Trails and Recreation Alliance of Land and the Environment (Mi-TRALE).  The group decided that the Western Upper Peninsula (UP) needed an organization that would bring many different trail users ‘together.’ This has ultimately included ATV and Side by Side ORV Riders, Off Road Motorcyclists, Snowmobilers, and Horse-back Riders. We are now well known around the area, the UP, the State of Michigan, the Midwest, and the nation.

Mi-TRALE started without a single mile of ORV Trails in the Western UP. Mi-TRALE also started with very little money. Neither mattered, as this small group set a goal to take over the maintenance of the 2 Michigan DNR Designated ORV Routes, that being the Bill Nichols and the grade from Iron River (MI) to Marenisco. Those trails were previously maintained by TRALE-UP until that group disbanded in 2000. Mi-TRALE also set a goal to finish the Pioneer Trail that TRALE-UP had started and to get the Pioneer Trail officially designated by the Ottawa National Forest. Mi-TRALE also set out to get the grade from Sidnaw to just east of Bergland opened and designated by the MDNR as an ORV Route.

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‬The Polaris Engineers, and their Mi-TRALE hosts, pause along the trail.‪

‬As the years progressed, Mi-TRALE did accomplish all that, but those trails were just a start to what has now become the largest inter-connecting ORV Trail System in the Upper Peninsula and the State of Michigan! With about 1000 miles now to ride, it is also among the larger inter-connecting ORV Trail Networks in the United States. An ORV Rider can legally ride his ATV or Side by Side from North of Green Bay, Wisconsin, all the way to Houghton, and now all the way to Big Bay in Marquette County.

With all the hard work by our volunteers, Government agencies and organizations recognize Mi-TRALE as a leader in ORV Trail Development, Maintenance, and ORV Issues. Mi-TRALE members have taken a lead role in forming the new Upper Peninsula ORV Trail Development Association. Mi-TRALE members have also played a key role in bringing motorized and non-motorized trail users together by working on the Courtney Area Horse Trails. Mi-TRALE members work hard in ORV Safety issues, such as teaching the DNR ORV Youth Safety Classes and in getting “Trail Crossing” warning signs put up on County and State Highways-which we are discovering may be among the first in the nation.

This past year, Mi-TRALE members have taken a leadership role in working with Michigan State Senator Tom Casperson and Michigan State Representative Matt Huuki in drafting new Michigan ORV Legislation. Mi-TRALE continues to pursue our efforts in getting our proven ORV Trail Signing program as the ‘model’ for ORV Trail Signing throughout the State of Michigan.

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Mi-TRALE Senior Citizen Fall Color Ride at Twin Lakes State Park in Michigan. Twin Lakes State Park is one of only 3 State Parks in Michigan open to ORV’s

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