The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has temporarily closed a 2.5-mile segment of snowmobile Trail No. 8 in Chippewa County because of unsafe riding conditions. Trail No. 8 is a major east-west trail for snowmobilers in the Upper Peninsula.
Warmer temperatures in recent days have caused ice to melt and water to back up near the mouth of the Tahquamenon River. Water has pooled over part of the trail in a lowland area, causing unsafe riding conditions.
The closure is located from about 1.4 miles south of the village of Paradise in northwestern Chippewa County and extends south to the Tahquamenon River.
During the temporary trail closure, snowmobilers still will be able to access businesses in the Paradise area.
"Trail No. 8 will be posted closed along with information signs posted in Paradise and south at the intersection of snowmobile trails 8 and 475 to notify riders of the closure," said Rob Katona, a recreation specialist with the DNR in Marquette. "This could be a
major inconvenience for through traffic with no trail reroute available because of the expansive Tahquamenon River watershed."
Snowmobilers planning on riding Trail No. 8 through this area should seek an alternate route.
Cold temperatures are forecast for the area within the next few days.
"We are hoping that the trail will refreeze, allowing us to reopen this segment of Trail 8 as early as next week," Katona said.
Meanwhile, the DNR and the Paradise Area Night Riders -- the local trail club -- will continue to monitor the situation.