Saturday, June 21, 2014

Snowmobiling Chatham, MI

Welcome to the Chatham, MI Snowmobile Information Site.  Over the years, there have been a lot of changes made to the snowmobile trail in western Alger County, but one thing remains pretty constant - the snowmobilers continue to visit the Chatham community.  The object of this page is to inform visitors about snowmobiling in the village and surrounding areas, outlining any future changes and closures of the main groomed trail.  Chatham has become a small snowmobiling-Mecca, as thousands of snowmobilers pass through the community each winter season.  Since Trail 8, which runs through Chatham, is the only east-west trail connector in the entire U.P., it's no wonder why Chatham has become such a popular stop-over for those passing through.  Enjoy the snowmobiling content we have about Chatham in this site! 
Trail 8 Changes Through the Years
Within the past five years, the main snowmobile trail system within western Alger County has remained fairly constant, with no major alterations or detours. Prior to that, however, some significant changes took place.  Most notably, Trail 8 was rerouted around Eben Junction and through property owned by Superior Central Schools (just east of the baseball fields) and travels east along Old M-94.  The trail then meets up with the existing trail along the railroad grade near the curve with M-94, west of Chatham.  Just east of Chatham, the trail meets with Finns Spur Road and follows the east side of that road north until reaching the junction with Nykanen Road.  The snowmobile trail follows Nykanen until reaching the Chatham cemetery and meeting up with the existing trail.  The Michigan Department of Natural Resources as well as caretakers of the trail have been working to improve the trails along these county roads by clear-cutting brush and creating a smooth base for snowmobilers to follow.  As long as the Alger County Road Commission continues to grant easements for the trail, then snowmobile access in and around Chatham should continue for awhile. That can always change if a landowner decides not to allow access on their property along existing parts of the trail.  As always, please remember to respect private property. The land-owners who granted permission of the trail through their land is giving the snowmobilers a chance to show their good behavior, by staying on the trail, and respecting private property.  Keep this in mind as you visit the Chatham area and it will ensure that a snowmobile trail will continue to exist in the community for years to come.  
Snowmobiling in Chatham
The trail running through Chatham is one of the best in the entire Upper Peninsula.  Chatham is one of those communities that can receive up to 200 inches of snow during a good winter season.  The area's weather is often influenced by Lake Superior, especially in the winter-time.  Alger County is a prime area for heavy Lake Effect snows, because of North and Northwest winds blowing onshore and dumping heavy amounts of snow onto the county.  One thing is for certain, we probably wouldn't be a such a tourist draw if it wasn't for Lake Superior.  And I am sure, many are thankful for that.  Trail 8 is groomed by Trails Inc. out of the Marquette area.  During prime winter conditions, with ample amounts of snow on the ground, the trail is groomed often.  In fact, its not uncommon for the groomer to make a day-time and a night-time pass through the area.  This makes for a very smooth ride on the trails.  And for one, a snowmobiler doesn't have to come to Chatham in order to enjoy our community.  Trail 8 is connected to a variety of other trails west or east of Chatham, so it makes for a very convenient stop on the way to Little Lake or Gwinn, or Munising and AuTrain. 
The Business Community
The Chatham business community is very patronizing to the snowmobilers that come through town. Most of the time, you will find friendly people that will assist you for any need you may have.  Need to ask directions? Don't be afraid to ask, because you will get a friendly response.  If you need a place to stay and find Chatham to be a charming community, why not check out the Village Inn just south of downtown Chatham.  Other businesses where you can get food and hospitality include the Chatham Co-op, Rock River Cafe and the Village Pub in downtown Chatham.  You will find all the essentials, friendly folks and hospitality during your snowmobile adventures through Chatham!  To find out more about the businesses listed here, please check out my Chatham, MI Business Directory.
Trail Conditions
For up-to-date snowmobile trail conditions in and around the Chatham area, please check out the following links.  Most of these sites are updated daily, and after each significant snowfall.  All are highly reliable, so don't be afraid to trust the information they provide:

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