Our snow took a big hit over the last few days. Lots of ice now so studs are mandatory.
Our snow took a big hit over the last few days. Lots of ice now so studs are mandatory.
Kudos to the folks in Ludington. Everyone knew well enough to stay off the trails Wednesday and Thursday. I put a fine tooth comb to the slush that was the Ludington School Forest trail system last night. It should set up for Friday night lights and be awesome on Saturday. Get out there and enjoy it, it just might be the last 48 hours of winter fat biking. Oh and bring your studded tires if you have them, gonna be icy in spots. I didn’t do the orange loop. Our trails were so good they didn’t even need grooming. I left the orange as sort of a test to see how that snow compacted on its own. I also added a mike or so in the disc golf area. Should be fun.
Right now we are shaping up to have great spring snow riding this weekend!
We groomed Tuesday evening and I hoping no one ruts it out between then and when temps are supposed to drop Thursday evening. We will regroom the trail Friday if need be.
Friday and Saturday look like the trail should be amazing. It is supposed to be below freezing both days so we should have amazing spring snow conditions to ride. The base is solid so there shouldn’t be any ice.
Saturday night there is a chance of snow. Hard to say how much there will be at this point. If there is a ton (more than 4″, which is doubtful) we will groom Sunday morning. Otherwise it should ride in nicely on Sunday.
Sunday is predicted to have a high of 38 so you want to ride in the morning and be off the trails before they soften up too much.
If you are lucky enough to have Presidents Day off on Monday it should be good riding in the morning. It is currently supposed to be below freezing Sunday night so things should firm up nicely for riding Monday morning.
The little loop and outer loop were groomed Tuesday evening.
Trails are awesome. I think we’ll be fine through this little thaw Wed and Thurs, just might not be able to ride in the late afternoons. Thursday afternoon might be sketchy, just go with 2-3 PSI to start and if you’re leaving a rut retreat. Weekend should be good until Sunday.
First full run with new track sled. Trails closed now. But should be good Monday after work.
At lunch yesterday I threw a frame around an ice fishing sled we had as a groomer a while back, it’s been in my garage as we’ve not had a winter like this since we started grooming operations. The idea was to haul a rider around behind our Rokon when we can’t pull our big roller groomer, but need something more than a truck tire can offer. They could then berm some corners and fix some off camber sections that are just a slippery slope at this point in the season. We got about 100 feet down the trail and realized a full grown human was too much drag. So we threw in a couple of bricks and then I threw in a tire that we used at one point, basically grabbing things to throw in the sled until I couldn’t pull it. It worked pretty well, the coolest part, see the video in the comments below, are the wings that are custom tensionable hinges. Those work great. And note to self, if you install a bottle opener on your groomer, thinking you’re cool, put it on the INSIDE of the handlebars…
In any case, the SFT and disc golf were groomed last night, we got an inch of that crappy loose granular snow last night which shouldn’t do much to that groom. Should be good this weekend.
The little loop is decent but the foot of snow we got last weekend does not pack very well and the outer loop is soft. Uphills are currently almost impossible unless you are only running 1-2 psi.
We are planning to groom again late Friday afternoon going into the evening. That should help but it likely will be soft still this weekend. 4.5″ or bigger and low pressures recommended.
The outer and little loops were both groomed last night. Seems like the trail is finally setting up really well. There was less than an inch of very light fluffy snow overnight but that should not degrade things much if at all. We are setting up for an amazing weekend of riding!
It is amazing what just pulling a truck tire around trails with a solid base can do. I was the first one around so, the first pass was soft but very rideable. When I went back over my tracks for the second time it was 100% better so the trails are great they just need some traffic. And I came up with a harebrained idea for a different type of groomer which Mike Reilly and I are going to build this week and we’re going to try it
Brutal grooming session tonight, all I could pull, after getting stuck twice with groomer in the first 100 yards, was the truck tire. So I got around the trails with that, moving the snow off. Hopefully that will set up and I can get around it with the drag tomorrow at lunch. Three seasons with Rokon and I’d never tipped it over. Twice tonight. Almost had to call for backup the second time but finally got it.
The outer loop and little loop are both groomed but there was 8+” overnight so things are soft. Going to try to groom tomorrow and get some better compaction.
It’s kind of killing me not to groom the Ludington School Forest this morning but the snow is really grainy and it would not set up by the time people would probably start riding it. So, dust off your XC skis for the day and I’ll groom tonight during Super Bowl. Then we should be good to go for the week.
The trail held up well through the different thaws over the last few weeks and as of last Sunday afternoon we still had about 99% snow coverage with a couple bare spots and some patches of grey ice. As of last night (Thursday), there was about 2″ of fresh snow on the trail. More snow is supposed to fall during the day Friday and we plan to groom the outer loop Friday evening. The little loop will likely be groomed Saturday morning.
It is supposed to snow 1-3″ during the day on Saturday. My guess is that the trail will stay ridden in and should be great riding. Depending on how much snow we get Saturday and how well it rides in we may groom Sunday morning. Either way, Sunday should be another day of great riding.
Expect trail conditions this weekend to be more towards the mid-winter end of the snow spectrum instead of the super fast and grippy spring snow we have had for the last few weeks.
Just a quick note: The crust riding has been superb. You basically can ride anywhere. Because of that you could ride other trails in addition to the groomed trails. There is a small window of opportunity to do this before we get so much new snow that it shuts down NCT and other trails.
I went over the Ludington school forest trails with a variety of grooming apparati. When it freezes tonight it should be pretty good there are several spots that are glare ice, so studded tires, if you have them, would be a really good idea but you can probably ride around and dirt most of the icy spots. The trails will probably be open with the exception of Wednesday afternoon it’s supposed to warm up but we’re also supposed to get some snow after that it looks really good as far as being cold with occasional bouts of snowfall.
Starting mid day Friday through Saturday evening the forecast indicates the snow will be above freezing and very soft. Please do not ride during that window of time.
Sunday is looking like it should be superb with temperatures below freezing. As of last night (Wednesday night) the trails were 99.9% snow with some very small and very infrequent ice patches; studs are not needed. I anticipate that the trails will hold up very well over the next two days and should not change much between now and Sunday.
The trail is in great shape right now so I strongly encouraged people to get out and enjoy the great spring snow we have when the temps are below freezing!
The little loop and big loop were groomed. Firetower loop was not groomed. 100% snow coverage and no ice! Riding should be great tomorrow. Snow pack should easily make it through this next warm patch. Sunday morning is looking awesome right now based on forecast. Saturday is iffy at best right now.
Looking at the forecast I do not know that there will be any grooming done this week in the Ludington school forest. It looks like Riders have stayed off the trails during this thaw for the most part, the few sections I saw today, but with a half inch of rain tomorrow followed by a brief cool down and then warm temperatures for next weekend I think that mother nature is throwing us a curveball one more time. Stay tuned to this Facebook page and the shoreline cycling club grooming conditions posts for up to date information on the trails the shoreline cycling club maintains during the winter. As always use your best judgment when riding groomed trails, if you think that you are doing lasting damage then you should probably stop riding and head for the beach or the roads.
Right now it is looking like riding at the Big M is going to be amazing if you can catch it in the mornings Saturday and/or Sunday.
Friday night and Saturday night are both supposed to get below freezing so the trails will harden up nicely overnight. Based on the forecast you should have until around noon on Saturday to get your ride in with southern sunny spots going to mashed potatoes before the north side of the hill. Not sure yet how late in the morning it will be good on Sunday but you can for sure count on having until 10 or 11 am unless something weird happens.
This should be some amazing spring snow to enjoy!!
All of the fat bike trails were groomed yesterday and should be in great shape.
Just a quick reminder, when snow temperatures go above freezing please stay off the fat bike trails to avoid creating icy ruts.
All trails groomed last night, and I hit the walking trails as hard as I could, but they are still very rough from walking. It looks like there is a two day warm up in the future this weekend so Ludington trails will probably be closed Saturday afternoon Sunday and Monday.
I went out late last night and groomed the Ludington school forest walking trails with the drag to try and knock down some of the footprints, the biking trails were very good so I didn’t do much of them. I did clean up the Outerloop of the northside as someone had walked in that so that should be a little better. Good luck to all the Riders at the Winterrush at Big M.
The course for the race tomorrow is going to be wonderful! No studs necessary. A little bumpy due to snow falling from trees and deer walking on the trail but it is minor. This is going to be one of the best days to ride the outer loop this winter. If you don’t ride Saturday, should be good Sunday too.
Ludington trails are pretty good there may be a little icy in spots and there’s a dusting of snow or whatever’s belief that the crossed but they are totally rideable
We have dirty white cement! Snow is currently glazed but still grippy and very firm. Lots of branches and debris down currently.
The plan is to clean up the trail this morning trying to remove all the big sticks and logs that are down. The test grooming we did this morning indicates that if we go over it this afternoon we should then have hero snow. Only question now is how much snow will fall before the race. Flurries right now. A few miles towards the lake is supposed to get 1-6″ and a few miles inland is less than 1″.
UPDATE: from the trail, faster than summer conditions if the snow holds off? Sun wants to peak out so things look really, really good for “best of year” candidate conditions.
I’m going to head out at lunch and see what’s up. It looks like people stayed off them for the most part. We could use the higher end 3″ of the snow that’s in the forecast, so a little snow dance wouldn’t hurt. Here’s the FB post from yesterday.
It’s our groomers worst nightmare, a brief warm spell after weeks of below freezing temps. Read about warm weather riding tips from our friends at the NMMBA.
The best I can say about the Ludington school forest trails is that I hope the beach is rideable.
The Ludington school forest trails are closed. Probably until Friday, I was in there at lunch with the Rokon and couldn’t Pull either groomer so I resorted to a truck tire to at least widen it out for whatever tracked vehicle we take in there as soon as it cools down. I hung up trail closed signs, let’s hope people heed those messages. Some times the hardest thing to do as a groomer is not groom, I’m hoping that folks stay off the trails as we get this warm up, if that happens and the swath I cut through there with the tire settles and freezes, we’ll have a good base to work with on Friday night. In the meantime, here’s some drone footage for your viewing pleasure.
As the snow begins to fall from the trees, it will definitely add piles to the recent grooming. There’s a ton of snow stuck up in the branches. Snowmobiles have again poached a section of trail and were educated about the purpose of the trail when riders had an encounter. Also, snowshoers are welcome but please, if you see boot walkers, educate them on the purpose of the trail.
First off, sorry to anyone that traveled a ways and planned to ride an outer loop. I was absolutely blown away that anyone could possibly think they could ride 4″ tires around a 17 mike trail somewhere that has gotten 100″ of snow in 4-5 weeks. We are totally in the deepest heart of mid-winter conditions so how can anyone think a 4″ city boy setup is going to cut it? Fat bikers have a lot to learn from skiers. Do your weather (manistee road commission snow totals at bottom) and grooming research and choose your equipment wisely. A good rule to follow is don’t ride anything less than a 4.5″ tire on this trail system unless you know exactly what it is like based on “on the snow” intel or you weigh less than 140 lbs. Enough brow beating…
Sunday should be awesome. The plan is to get out early and snowshoe in the firetower loop so it will be passable with the groomer. We are then going to groom going clockwise from big m and including the firetower loop. This snow is incredible. It is super packing stuff once it sets up. Guessing I will start snowshoeing at 8, grooming at 9:30 and we will finish the outer loop by 1. I write that timetable from my heated home with a beer in my hand. Downed trees, wind, burying the grooming equipment multiple times, Mother Nature saying “F-you”… could completely change that time table. You want to give the trail a minimum of 2 hrs to setup after the groomer goes over it.
All I know for sure is that we will groom around the loop tomorrow and in the afternoon the vast, vast majority of the trail will absolutely kick ass if you are not stupid and think your 160lb body can ride 4” tires at 5or more psi.
Forecast says we are coming up on a warm period and then a cold spell for next weekend. This should make conditions awesome for the race. We have already taken Friday off of work and plan to groom Friday and super early Saturday morning if need be to get the race conditions to be awesome. I will try to provide good updates on what the warm weather does. It could make 1.5 hour laps possible for the fastest guys or barely dent our current mid-winter conditions.
Sorry the messy trail at the entrance of the little loop. Driver error. One lap without roller and one with. Should be fun for experts and beginners
Dang! Mother Nature is being much more generous than the forecast predicted and we got a bunch more snow yesterday and through the night. We will be grooming throughout the day but there is a lot of snow!
Three of us ride in my last trip around with tire and Rokon and the first lap was a little sketchy but the second laps were good. Dave is currently out there with snowmobile and the stag doing disc golf and waking trails. As long as we don’t get another foot of snow tomorrow we should be good. Was fun to ride vs. groom. Need more riders though. That’s what helps the most.
With a dilapidated hitch, we hobbled together a pass on the little loop. Won’t stop snowing.
Hit everything again with the Rokon and tires today at lunch. We’re going to try to ride tonight (meet at Bryant crossing at 6) Dave is currently dropping reinforcements (his snowmobile) at my house for the disc golf and sections we can do with that. Should have everything perfectly dialed in for the upcoming thaw…
The fat bike trail at the Manistee Trail Park was groomed Thursday 1/4 and should be in good shape.
On Wednesday 1/3 from the parking lot out clockwise on the outer loop and around the firetower loop was groomed and as of the evening 1/4 there was only a light dusting of snow on it. On Thursday 1/4 the little loop was kind of groomed (some just snowmobile, some with roller too) but should be okay riding. Thursday 1/4 a portion of the outer loop was groom going counter-clockwise from the little loop until just after the big climb on the north side of the Udell.
Here is a map with the groomed fat bike trails in red and the suggested linking section of groomed snowmobile trail in red dashes:
We will be grooming the remainder and cleaning up some sections Friday 1/5 starting in the morning. Things should be in great shape for the weekend!!!
Basically just trying to keep the trails open now using Rokon and the two van tires, I made another pass tonight and made it but I don’t think it’s rideable hopefully it stops snowing soon and we can get back out there with the groomer and probably a snowmobile
I made a pass with the Rokon and Two van tires, basically trying to scrape today’s snow fall down to yesterday‘s groom. If anybody rides today I’d be very curious to see how that rode. Should be pretty good as long as you run low tire pressure, so post in the comments if you ride the trails Wednesday night or Thursday morning
Hopefully this isn’t too confusing but the portion of the outer loop going clockwise from the parking lot out to and around nd the firetower loop was groomed. The chamber of the off camber sections was fixed and the firetower loop is in great shape.
We plan to groom the full outer loop on the 3rd in the evening because of 4+” of additional snow.
The Ludington school forest was just groomed, and should be ready to ride by 5 o’clock tonight. I noticed one set of tracks, someone with too much air, riding on freshly groomed trail. If you notice that a trail is still soft from grooming it is recommended that you do not ride it. Slight issue with kickstand and Rokon, so it is out of commission until we figure out how to put it back together.
Note – Rokon fixed, simple bolt fell out. Rode trails with the boys, first ride of the year. Was out of this world fantastic. Gonna get a foot of snow today, so will be starting from scratch… Such is the life of grooming.
The outer loop was groomed and should be in great shape for the first of the year. There were a few ruts late in the day but it was still 100% rideable with the right pressure. The little loop is in incredible shape. Happy new year !!
Had to make two laps to get the little loop groomed today. Layer down some nice concrete for your New Years Eve day ride. And Mother Nature, could you please give us at least a couple snow free days so the groomers can ride. Enjoy the trails folks!
The snow globe effect has been in full force for days now. Trails are in mint shape this evening. A few inches possible tonight but hopefully it will get ridden in earlier tomorrow morning.
Ludington is groomed and should be magical after about 3 PM today it’s going to need some time to set up everything has been gone over at least once and the northside the through trail and all of the walking trails have been hit a second time with the groomer. Only the red loop on the southside has only been gone through with the tires, but a, I wanted to see how that set up with just pulling the tires over the good base and b) I was running out of time and energy. Took four hours to make two passes through everything.
Video on FB page.
Little loop is rocking!!! Outer loop is too up until the groomer took a crap. Mike groomed from sign post 23 to 27. Ken got from 27 to almost 29. From 29 back to big m is not groomed. KBS will update with the status and what gets accomplished today.
Ludington is riding great this morning. Rode in two laps of everything but the orange loop on the south side, just one lap there. Ride the north side in the direction of the Singletrack Showdown arrows. The last half mile of that hasn’t been groomed as much as the rest due to the parking spot of the groomer and the traffic pattern from frequent riders. I’ll fix that next time out.
The Outerloop is mostly groomed. We ran into issues with the groomer at the southern intersection with North country Trail. Planning to ride in the remainder of the loop with the triple-B tonight.Condition should be great riding tomorrow.
Groomed this morning. Back side of orange loop is ugly. Too much snow to make the ridge climb, had to abort through the woods with pan up, then circled back and got as far as I could and did the middle section with just Rokon. I got through part of the walking trails and disc golf for walkers and skiers. Needs time to set up. Should be good for Wednesday night ride.
Juuuust a little bit more snow arrived over the long weekend. The little loop got two passes. One without the roller/pan and one with. Should be good till the next dump
With the bit of above freezing temperatures yesterday the snow bonded to the ice and now the trail is in amazing shape. Definitely some slick spots but studs are no longer mandatory. Get in a lap while these conditions are with us. It is close to being summer fast.
Six man hours later, the north-south through trail and the north section of singletrack are repaired from Tuesday’s ill advised cycling adventure by what I am sure are newcomers to the sport. I taped off the north section so that I could be certain that it would set up overnight but by Saturday morning Ludington should have spectacular groomed trails. Dave brought his drag in from Parkridge point and I was able to groom every fairway I could find in the disc golf so there should be at least a couple more miles of wondering winding groomed trail in the disc golf section of the Ludington school forest. It’s a good thing it’s going to be so coldOtherwise I’m certain will be sharing the space with disc golfers. Thanks to all those that came out and raked the rotted up sections of the section of trail north of Bryant and we will see you out on the trails Saturday morning.
Rode everything this afternoon and with studded Tires 90 percent of the Ludington trails are awesome. I’m not sure about non studded tires but the trail was very fast and smooth with the exception of a half a mile of the section north of Bryant.
We plan to have a work bee Friday afternoon to fill in the ruts and the bad section north of Bryant and then groom it and let it set up so all should be well by Saturday
The outer loop and firetower loop were groomed (actually being groomed at time of writing this). Conditions range from ice patches to a somewhat soft few inches of base. Studs are highly recommended.
I’m going to start this trail report with a little lecture from atop my lofty soap box, so if you just want the trail conditions, skip below the photo. Probably ought to add an exclaimer here… the following rant is a personal narrative from Andy Klevorn, the views expressed are solely those of Andy Klevorn and in no way reflect the official stance from the Shoreline Cycling Club, yada, yada…
Grooming is a fairly time consuming and grueling endeavor most days. You have to get out of a nice warm bed, early, when it’s the darkest and coldest, before work, as most groomers have day jobs. And then it snows and you have to groom three times to get the trail back in good shape. And you get the trails in pretty good shape and then the groomer’s worst nightmare comes true.
And everyone on Facebook posts warnings about the thaw, and not to ride if a trail is slushy or you’re leaving a rut of any sort. And you get the guys who swear they ride their 2.35 tires with 4psi and tell others to go out and have a blast.
So you ride out the thaw, and try and time the groom so that the groomer doesn’t itself wreck the trail. And you turn into to the trail system full of hope that people have common sense, I mean, it can’t be any fun to ride through slushy trails. Maybe it is I don’t know. And then the first thing you see is this.
I’m not mad (okay, a little) but more disappointed in our efforts at education and, well, the level of common sense that some riders have. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll save you the time of reading the next 900 or so.
The actual grooming report.
The outer loop of the north side is pretty bad, whoever it was that rode the north south through trail, and wrecked most of that, finally gave up after rutting up the outer loop on the north side. The inner loop of the north side is not bad, but all of the trails are going to be really icy. The red and orange loops were spared and I fixed most of the north south trail but putting snow in the ruts and going over it again with the groomer. I went over everything with a lot of weight in the pan, but it wasn’t enough to scuff it up much.
The disc golf is pretty rough too, someone’s been going in there with a front end loader ( I kid you not) and so the two track up the middle has frozen front end loader tracks and I didn’t get out early enough and everything pretty much froze solid. So even with all of the weight from the groomer in the pan it was not enough to break up the foot prints, loader tracks and ski tracks.
It’s supposed to snow Friday, so hopefully it does and we can get out and make the trails great again.
95 percent of the Outerloop is passable, volunteers have made it all the way around with our tracksled and Riders have made it all the way around to pack that in but the last 5 miles are still a little soft from today’s groom. I’m not sure when they’re going to groom again with the track sled but it should be pretty good after that. We came across some tracks from a writer who clearly had too much air in their tires, so just a reminder to riders out there that Low tire pressure is the key I was running two psi if that and if you have to walk a hill, which you will, make sure that you don’t walk on the groomed surface walk in the deep snow and leave your bike in the groomed surface. Volunteers are expanding exorbitant amounts of energy and time to prepare the surface for a race coming up on the 13th of January and it is disheartening, to say the least, to see footprints down the middle of a freshly groomed trail.
Several passes with the snowmobile and groomer have been around the 5 mile beginner loop and that is in fantastic shape
Trails good. Come on up. Disc golf is sketchy but main trails awesome.
I took an extra few minutes at lunch and blasted around trails with the Rokon, there will be spots that are well packed but narrow (Rokon only) and some not very well packed but wider (Rokon and pan up and some unweighted pan down).
Mostly what they need, is riders with wide tires and about 2.5 psi…
The Manistee Trail Park was groomed Friday morning and should be good to go after the big dump of snow!
Dang, yesterday afternoon I went out after the morning groom and conditions were actually very good. ANd then we got three more inches of this horrible snow, light fluffy, nothing to it. With 1-3 more forecasted today. I’m going to wait until this blows through and try and make two quick passes with Rokon only to pack down what we have so maybe we can ride it in this weekend. Then groom proper once we get this thaw.
With close to a foot of fresh snow, the groomers got out on the trails for the first time this year. It’ll take a couple more passes to compact the snow and get it to set up but the cycling club is working hard to get all 18 miles rideable asap. Stay tuned for conditions and remember if you’re leaving a rut, the trails are too soft or you need to air down.
All of the loops in the Ludington school forest and our connector in the disc golf course have been groomed with some sort of implement. The northern section has been done with the Pan down most of the way around, I knew I wouldn’t make the last little hill before Bryant so from there on I went pan up around the red loop and 2/3 of the orange loop. At that point I started to wonder if just the Rokon by itself would be more effective, plus I was exhausted, so the remainder of the orange loop and the South half of the north south through trail and the connector in the disc golf Rokon only.
Not rideable. Plan on grooming first thing. Hopefully that will set up. But the snow is really dry.
Took the morning off to fix my garage door and that went better than expected so I did a quick groom of the School Forest Trails, a bunch of new disc golf and most of the walking trails. So the trails should be in pretty good shape for the Ludington Wednesday Night Ride..
More Rokon footage.
There is boarder line enough snow to groom so we decided to ride it in and remove all the logs. Riding should be great!!
Rolled the outer loop but didn’t get to inner yet. Work to be done at big m! About 8″ of fresh out there with 2ish inches of compacted base. Will be bumpy but ok.
Just got back from the first groom of the season. Perfect conditions to get a solid foundation down and ride it in the weekend. If you like the groomed fat bike trails the the Shoreline Cycling Club maintains consider joining the club or simply making a donation. Happy trails.
First one of the year. YES!!!
We got about 5 inches of snow in Ludington last night and today. I’m sure that folks will be out tonight to ride it, and that will be all the grooming we probably need. If we get what we’re supposed to get on Friday, I might go out and groom Friday night to get a good foundation going.
What a difference a night makes. Big M received 3-5 inches of fluffy white stuff last night and throughout the day today. Although not groomed, the outer loop is very very rideable. It’s gorgeous out there right now. Enjoy it before it melts… again
Another snow day allowed us to recon Big M. No good news whatsoever. All our base is gone. We checked both north and south sides of the Udell. If it weren’t for this mornings wet, heavy snow, we would have been walking on dirt. More likely than not, we won’t be grooming again. It’ll take lots of cold snow and consistent below freezing temps to get us out again on snow.
Trails are good to go. We just have to watch for the normal spring rains and star off them when they’re wet. I’d like to think we could leave those winter fat Bike signs up in case winter returns but I have my doubts.
The snow pack at Big M is holding up well. When it is below freezing the trails are in AMAZING shape. Things soften up greatly in the warmer temps though so don’t be a jerk and ride it when the trails are soft (you leave more than a 1″ rut).
Based on the forecast you probably shouldn’t ride the trails on Saturday because it will not drop below freezing Friday night. Saturday night is supposed to drop below freezing so riding should be great Sunday early morning until things warm up a ton and the trail softens up.
School Forest is a ribbon of ice and the Dragon (see images) has patchy ice all the way around. We’ll see what today’s sunshine does for Cartier Park. Pretty sure the SFT system will be ice for a while. I’m sure the irony is not lost on anyone that the trails we groom so we can enjoy fat biking in the winter are icy for three weeks longer in the spring, or during these whacky warm ups.
School forest at lunch.
The trails are in excellent shape! Very little ice and they are super firm and fast. Based on the forecast they should be excellent through sometime on Saturday mid to late in the day when the air temps get into the mid 30’s. It is supposed to get cold Saturday night so the trails hopefully will be great again Sunday morning.
I was wrong. A quick drive by after returning from store showed the trails to be an opaque layer of slush, which will likely turn to sheer ice overnight. A little snow would help.
Yup. Back to being right again. Ice.
I got talked into trying out the SFT trails last night, I’d thought that it had been too warm and they’d be too soft, I was wrong. They were great. It got very close to freezing last night so they probably didn’t soften up too much. With the forecast for today, gale warning with 35 MPH winds, it’s unlikely that there will be much traffic on them today and then it’s supposed to freeze again and stay cold. So I think they’re going to be fine through Saturday morning at least. The high temps are a little deceiving, it only gets that warm for a couple hours and as long as it gets below freezing at night the trail sets back up. Extended warm temps are the groomed trail killer. There’s a chance I may go groom VERY early Wednesday morning to smooth out some of the foot traffic on the shared use parts of the path. I’d rate the trail a 3.8 on a scale of 5. Grooming would boost that to 5 for sure. So we’ll see.
The outerloop was groomed with our new tracksled:
It lays down a very nice ribbon of 20″ singletrack. This is the first pass for the year so it may take a few more passes before we get a really nice solid base built.
The plan is to groom every Friday night and/or Saturday morning so that the trail will be ready for weekend use. We may get out grooming during the week but minimally we be grooming for the weekends.
The outer loop of the trail park was groomed Wednesday afternoon. Going to try to groom the inner loop later this evening.
The trails didn’t absolutely need it last night, but looking at the weather forecast I thought that it was a good time to really go out and lay down some good tracks with the groomer, so I hit all of the cycling club single track in the school forest. In the disc golf course I did a little exploring, got lost three times, and added a bunch more groomed surface to the area. We’ll ride it tonight and I’ll find out how much it added up to. The folks at MyRaceSticker donated a pair of Bar Mitts for the Rokon so my hands were nice and warm last night too.
The blue lines are approximate locations of my Tuesday night wanderings. Looking at the ten day forecast (knock on wood) we should have really nice trails for the foreseeable future. I may go back to disc golf once it hardens up this weekend during the daytime and do some more scouting.
Looks like we’re back in business. A group went out and rode all the trails Monday night and reported back they’re awesoem. We got another 2-3 inches last night and if it snows all day today, I may go ride. Then groom if I think it will get it all dialed in.
The SFT trails are kind of still a mess from the thaw and now cool down. They’re icy in spots from the grooming we did what seems like years ago. We’ve had NO new snow in two weeks maybe. None that stuck anyway. The trails we did not groom, locally called the Dragon are however AWESOME. Frozen dirt.
And locally on Saturday in Ludington we have Brrewfest going on, more details see this link
The outer loop was ridden in Saturday. The loop is a mix of very different conditions right now. Some of it is well packed fat bike tracks (6-8″ wide), some of it has been groomed with an old school snowmobile and some of it is the groomed fat bike loop. Should be in great conditions Sunday.
We also have a new map of the Big M fat bike trails.
We didn’t get enough snow to groom yesterday but several people have ridden and reported that there was enough snow to cover up the ice and they’ve packed it down to where Tom says they are a 5 on a scale of 1 to 5. So I guess they’re pretty good. We should have good riding through Sunday if that’s the case. And then it all goes to crap next week. The beach is pretty fantastic at the moment as well.
We are finally back up and in business for grooming the fat bike loop at the Manistee Trail Park. We have our big snowmobile fixed and out at the park. There are a couple more tweaks we need to make but things are now packed in and we should be able to consistently groom the fat bike loop from here on out. Enjoy!
Just got done grooming all of SFT. It’s snowing pretty good at the moment though. Will probably need another groom after the snow, the rain and the forecasted 40 degree temps tomorrow but we’ll have a solid base to work from for the WNR. Rokon performed perfectly. I want to the the Mike and Mike maintenance crew for keeping us in the game.
This is what it looked like around 10am. Trails are probably not rideable until Thursday.
And there’s even more snow to play in at Big M this morning. Set up nicely. Go ride it. Outer loop is still ok too thanks to KBS
Trails were great again today. We’re supposed to get 1-3 tonight. If that happens then we’ll probably groom Monday night and then hope everyone stays off it on Tuesday when it rains. We’ll have a good base and the warm up is supposed to be brief so I think after that we’ll have really good trails for a while.
The Outer Loop was ridden in Saturday. I am guessing the track will firm up well and should be pretty good Sunday. The smaller loop was ridden in and snowshoed. We are hoping to get the smaller loop rolled today.
Trails have been groomed and/or ridden in and are pretty awesome. Snow cover is light but the grooming last night (Thanks TP) kind of bonded the snow to the ice that was there and there are very few icy spots.
The Dragon is also rideable. My toes were a little on the chilled side but the rest of the crew rode it in.
We got about an inch of snow last night. Hoping for 3-5 more before the weekend. If so we will probably just hold a Saturday morning fattie ride and pack it in manually. Hoping to set up a base for the Rokon to groom should we get any after that. If we get a huge dump I’ll probably groom Friday night.
If the forecast is correct, these stable conditions will allow the fat bike loop as well as the entire outer to be very rideable. Even if the Udell get an inch or two, the riding will rock through the weekend.
The 5-6 mile loop is in great shape. The outer loop has been ridden in and should be rideable if you have bigger tires and are running low pressure.
PLEASE STAY OFF SKI TRAIL! Especially along Corkpine. It may seem like there is no damage being done to the ski trail but the skiers are still getting mad about it.
Got a text that Mike groomed. Awaiting trail report. Todd says trails fricking awesome. Little bit of a warm up Wednesday, as long as they don’t get chewed up too bad they should return to awesome Thursday.
The trails held up through today’s thaw quite well, and with temps hovering around freezing until Sunday I think they’ll hold up well. We’re planning to groom as soon as there is a 12 hour window where the temps are in the 20s. That’s looking like Tuesday afternoon. Low tire pressure, but not too low, is the key. I ran 3 pounds and didn’t leave a mark tonight.
Wow, 15 inches of snow, 3 days and 9 man hours later, the Ludington School Forest trails will probably set up great by morning. Of course we’re getting a little thaw. The Rokon is absolutely the machine for 1-6 inches of snow if you have a nice base built up, and I don’t think there’s any one machine that’s perfect. But it’s gonna be handy to have a snow machine handy for storms like that. I got around all of the bike trails and most of the disc golf. I couldn’t get to the long uphill that cuts through that one disc golf hole at the SE corner of the property, I got to the bottom of the hill at the exit of that hole and the clearing right before it, but I’d just bushwhacked through the center of the course and lucky I didn’t need a helicopter extraction. The Rokon pulled the groomer through fresh powder, with the pan up, through the middle of the field and what must be two feet of snow.
Just a reminder about trail etiquette.
Fat bikes only please on the sections of trail that were purpose built for biking.
3.7 or wider and 4-ish psi.
If you’re leaving a rut deeper than an inch conditions are too soft and you shouldn’t be riding.
When riding the shared trail yield to walkers and skiers.
If you run into a walker on the purpose built single track be nice and try and educate them to our purpose of creating a regional resource to benefit the entire community. If their trails are filled with too many divots from walkers have them send me an email at email@example.com and we will get someone out there to groom their trails for them. But at the end of the day they are trails on public land and they have as much right to be there as we do.
Then invite them to the Trail Open House and pray for cold weather.
The fat bike loop was groomed Monday, sort of. We don’t have our usual snowmobile and roller set up ready yet so were using a lighter snowmobile and a sled right now. The track is pretty soft but probably will be rideable. We are hoping to groom again soon to help compaction.