Grooming Program

Skier 3

photo by Joel Gaff Jr.

TART Trails’ dedicated grooming team provides great winter time conditions on the Vasa Pathway and Leelanau Trail; providing you with the ultimate winter trail conditions on both sides of the bay.

New this year is the Winter Sports Singletrack multi-use trail! This MDNR trail will provide 15k of groomed trail ideal for fatbiking. You can also snowshoe and ski this multi-use non-motorized trail. The Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association (NMMBA) handles trail development and grooming. Badges are available to support grooming of this trail.

Grooming Badge   Grooming Reports  Rules and Etiquette  FAQs

Grooming is primarily supported by the Grooming Badge program, in which users donate $100 for the Vasa Pathway and Leelanau Trail, $100 for the Winter Sports Singletrack or $165 for both to help provide world-class trail conditions. Grooming Badge supporters receive emailed grooming reports and a high-vis zipper pull to show their support while out on the trails.

Additional Grooming Info:

  • The Vasa Pathway  is groomed regularly by TART Trails and includes a skate lane and two classic tracks when possible providing 3k, 5k, 10k & 25k trail loops that feature rolling hills and a few challenging climbs.
  • The Leelanau Trail is groomed once a week by TART Trails Volunteers as conditions permit, and includes conditions well-suited for classic and skate-skiing, fatbiking and snowshoeing. The southern section of the trail will be groomed from Cherry Bend to Lakeview Rd (5miles), and the northern section will be groomed from 4th St. in Suttons Bay to Fort Rd. (4 miles).
  • The Winter Sports Singletrack will be groomed on a regular basis by the NMMBA. The 15k trail will be packed for winter sports use ideal for fatbiking. You can also snowshoe and ski on this new non-motorized multi-use trail.
  • Grooming reports are emailed to badge holders. They are also made available within 24 hours via the grooming reports link.
  • In case of an emergency on the trail, dial 911. If you encounter a personal safety incident or trail maintenance issue of a non-urgent nature, please complete our online Trail Incident Reporting Form. We read and respond as appropriate to all reports, but will only follow-up with you if needed.
  • The grooming crew has a variety of equipment to use depending on the type and amount of snow, ambient air temperature, etc. Learn more about the grooming equipment here.
  • There is yearly fluctuation due to weather, fuel costs, insurance, equipment and maintenance issues, and other factors, but we budget approximately $40,000 annually for grooming the Vasa Pathway and Leelanau Trail. The Michigan DNR provides some expense reimbursement for grooming on the Vasa Pathway, but more than 75% of funding comes from badge donors. Click here for the 2012-2013 Grooming Income and Expenses Summary.
  • Each year, funding dependent, we set aside funds in a Snowy Day Fund, which is restricted for the purchase or major repair of grooming equipment.
  • Grooming badge donations are 100% tax deductible.

Special Note: If you notice any unauthorized vehicles on the Vasa Pathway, please try to get a license number and call the Sheriff’s Department at 231-995-5000 to report the incident.

If Leelanau Trail users see snowmobiles using the trail, please try to get a registration number and call Leelanau County Dispatch at 231-256-8800, or 911.

The Vasa Pathway is a DNR owned multi-use trail open to all non-motorized users year-round.