Michigan is known by snowmobilers nationwide for its unique combination of abundant and dependable snow, exciting terrain and extensive trail network.
More than 6,100 miles of designated snowmobile trails are located throughout the state in six state forests, three national forests and many acres of privately owned lands. Michigan is one of only three states that offer a large system of interconnected snowmobile trails. Approximately 50% of the snowmobile trail system is located on Private lands; 20% Federal; 25% State; and 5% Other Public.
More than 100 grooming tractors are used by 6 DNR offices and by more than 60 grant program sponsors to groom the 6,100-mile trail system.
Registration fees and snowmobile permit fees account for more than $2.5 million annually allocated for trail grooming.
Snowmobiling on the West Side of the Hiawatha National Forest
Hiawatha National Forest’s snowmobile trails are part of the Michigan DNR’s statewide trail system.
Haywire Grade Trail: 37 miles
The Haywire Grade Trail covers about 10 miles within the Rapid River/Manistique District, but has an overall length of around 37 miles including the Munising District, State Forest and private land. Access to the Manistique portion is in Manistique. Many users, however, enter the trail from the “s” curves on M-94 which is about six miles north of town. Food, telephone and fuel are available along the trail at Steuben and Shingleton.
Big Springs Trail: 18 miles
The south trailhead begins at Richard’s Mill which is about a mile north of Palm’s Book State Park off Forest Road 2417. The north trailhead is at FH-13. About half of this trail winds through plantations and lowlands with the remainder along unplowed roads.
Murphy Creek Trail: 9 miles
The Murphy Creek Trail is a spur route connecting the Haywire Grade and the Big Spring Trail. It is nine miles long and about half of it is along country roads. The main access points are from the Haywire Grade or Big Spring Trail and signs are provided indicating these turnoffs.
The Nahma Grade Snowmobile Trail: 31 miles
It is marked and groomed for your winter enjoyment. Connections can be made to other trails to increase your total ride. These trails are maintained jointly by the USDA Forest Service and the Michigan Department of Natural resources. Grooming of the trail is done by the Michigan DNR. Maps and regulations are available at the District Rangers Office or the Supervisor’s Office of the Hiawatha National Forest. The trail head is on I-40 near County Road 509, 2 miles east of Rapid River, in Delta County. The first segment is 11 miles long and is located on a natural gas pipeline. It passes through lowlands, stands of jack pine, and sand flats. Near Forest Highway 13, the trail takes you north 20.3 miles to connect with the Baldy Lake Trail at County Road 440. Much of this segment uses the old abandoned logging railroad grades.
North Hiawatha Trail: 18 miles
The North Hiawatha Trail runs from the Forest’s northwest boundary, near Rock River, to M-94 south of Christmas. At M-94 it connects with the east-west running Coal Wood Grade ORV Trail. North, at Rock River, the North Hiawatha Trail connects with a trail that leads west near M-28 towards Marquette.
Chatham Trail: 1.5 miles
This is a short, well defined trail which serves as a link between the town of Chatham and the North Hiawatha Trail. Services available in Chatham include phone, fuel, groceries, and taverns.
Christmas Trail: 7 miles
The Christmas Trail links the North Hiawatha Trail with the towns of Christmas and Munising. Services available in both of these towns include phone, fuel, groceries, lodging, taverns, restaurants, and snowmobile repair. Munising also has a hospital, ambulance service, state police, and county sheriff. The Munising-Christmas link of this trail is not marked or maintained. Access to this link can be obtained either at the west end of Varnum Street in Munising, or 1 mile south of Christmas on the Perch Lake Road.
Coal Wood Trail: 10 miles
The Coal Wood Trail is located approximately 8 miles southwest of Munising on M-94. This east-west running trail connects the North Hiawatha Trail with the Haywire Grade located to the east in Shingleton. Services available in Shingleton include phone, fuel, groceries, bar and restaurant. This trail also provides access to the Baldy Lake Trail, located 1 mile east of M-94, southwest of Munising.
Baldy Lake Trail: 13 miles
The Baldy Lake Trail begins 1 mile off M-94 along the Coal Wood Trail and proceeds south to Delta County Road 440 where it links with the Nahma Grade Trail. Phone, fuel, and food are available 1/4 mile west of the trail on FR-2254. Phone, food, and supplies are also available along FH-13, 1 mile east of the intersection of Baldy Lake Trail and Delta County Road 440.