BERGLAND—Michigan Trails and Recreation Alliance of Land and the Environment, (MI-TRALE), announces that on Monday Nov. 4, they installed the first ever highway Right-of-Way, (ROW), signage for ORV travel in the state of Michigan. The signs were placed just east of Bergland on M-28.
This first ever ROW signage posting allows for travel over the Ontonagon River and connects two of MI-TRALE’s main designated trails, the P (Pioneer) and the SB (Bergland-Sidnaw) together. It is now possible for people coming from the north to enter into the town of Bergland and travel on to Ewen, Bruce Crossing and Sidnaw.
MI-TRALE president Don Helsel said, “It is most gratifying for MI-TRALE to be here performing the first installation of highway ROW ORV signage. It is many years of hard work by many people and organizations coming together, along with the full support of the MDNR and MDOT, to make this a reality. We look forward to this being the beginning of greater accessibility, convenience and inter-connection of our trails for our riding guests. They will now have available to them the services offered in many more of our friendly and unique U.P. towns.”
Trail manager Mike Schulz added, “I have ridden snowmobiles for years in the U.P. and I am glad that, now, as an ORV rider, that more travel benefits will be opening up to me during the non-snow seasons! I am proud to be a member of this group that has worked so hard and so long to make highway right-of-ways happen.”
On the following day, Nov. 5, more ROW signs were installed in and around Ontonagon, in Watersmeet and west of Watersmeet by Mike and Linda Schulz, MI-TRALE secretary and Jim Altenburg, MI-TRALE vice-president .
There are ROW postings on M-64 in Ontonagon and several sections from Old Norwich Road (that start by the NR Trail) that go over the bridge and east into town. This allows for legal ORV travel into Ontonagon from the south for the very first time.
Altenburg said, “It is terrific to know that, in my small way, as a MI-TRALE member, I am helping to boost the economy of our Ontonagon County seat with the installation of these ROW signs. It means more ways for more people to come to this town more often and enjoy all that it has to offer. It’s a great feeling.”
Four sections of ROW postings are located in Watersmeet along US-45 that allow riders traveling on the LL (Land O’Lakes) Trail to arrive at the Lac Vieux Desert Casino and continue further north. On US-2 west of Watersmeet by Stagecoach Road, that connects the two trails of ES (East Shore) and IRM (Iron River/ Marenisco) together, are the last of the ROW signs that were installed by MI-TRALE.
“We want all ORV riders that will be making use of these new highway ROW areas to remember that it is of the utmost importance to realize that this does not mean that ORV riders can travel along the side of any highway at will. Look for signage stating that there is a ROW passage open where you want to go,” said Linda Schulz.
“If there isn’t, work with your local ORV club to petition your local governing body so that an application for ROW passage rights can be written and submitted for the specific areas that will ease your travel. The ROW location petition must subsequently be approved and the connector signed for mixed traffic and routing, before any such travel is legal, so be prepared to have some patience. Contact us via our website: www.mi-trale.org, and we’ll be happy to assist you, if we can.”