Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

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I Wanna Be a Youper

As we get an early taste of winter this year, our heads are spinning as we rush to make last minute vacation plans. Bookmark this section and check back regularly as we present “The 10 Best Places To Saddlebag” exclusively from Supertrax Volume 19, Number 2.

This past February I was invited to come and ride the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Our group arrived in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan to the best snow conditions we had seen anywhere all winter. The trip itinerary had us following the coast of Lake Superior up through Paradise and Grand Marais with overnight stays in Sault Ste Marie, Newberry and Cedarville.

Our first day out we got an early start and rode west on Trail #8 out of Sault Ste. Marie. By about 10 am we stopped at the legendary Tahquamenon Falls just south of Paradise. Spectacular!

As we gassed up in Paradise, we chuckled while the gas attendant was apologizing for the lack of snow. Meanwhile, right across the road, buddy was blowing the snow off the roof of his store. Back home, even in the best of winters we don’t receive as much snow as this area does in a poor year. It’s just not fair!

After one day of riding I am now an official fan of the trail system in the State Parks. All the trails are on solid, seasonal roadbeds and are groomed daily. The absolute joy of these trails is early season grooming and in many cases an extended riding season. Another very interesting and smart idea was that GPS (UTM) coordinates were posted along the trails. These are a big help to emergency personnel trying to locate stranded people in case of a mishap. A great idea and very well done!

We unloaded our saddlebags at Halfway Lake Resort, just north of Newberry then rode into town for supper. I couldn’t believe the amount of snowmobile traffic we met on a Monday evening. Trust me, snowmobiling is alive and thriving and people here are absolutely obsessed with it.

Next day, as we approached Cedarville, we noticed how much effort the local clubs had put forth to make a smooth trail with marginal snow. Our final day of riding had us returning to the “Soo” and, upon our arrival, we took time to ride the City Loop. This trail takes you right through the Keewadin Casino parking lot and down along the waterfront. Hats off to the city fathers for working with the local club to deliver this unique experience.

The history, enthusiasm and commitment to this industry are second to none. You know some get it, some don’t. Trust me, these people get it!

By: John Arkwright

Call 1-800-647-2858 and visit saultstemarie.com

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