- Temperatures in the mid-to-high 20s create the perfect opportunity for heavy snowfall and great snowmobiling weather.Winter image by Walter Holzmann from Fotolia.com
Sixty miles southwest of Kalamazoo, which gets almost 70 inches of snow per year, lies Niles, Michigan, a popular stop for snowmobiling enthusiasts. Niles has two snowmobile trails that pass numerous lakes and traverse six small towns in Cass County.
- Well-groomed trails in Niles make for an excellent adventure.road image by Jaroslav Pohl from Fotolia.com
The longest snowmobile trail starts near Pine Lake in Niles and goes west, turning to the north near Barron Lake. The trail passes through the towns of North Nike, Pokagon, Somnerville, Indian Lake and Sister Lake. In previous years, the trail would then turn east and go through Keeler, Michigan. However, due to some damage to fruit trees in 2010, this section of the trail (from approximately 2 miles northwest of Pipestone Lake to Keeler) is closed for the 2011 season.
- Snowmobilers head out for the day.snowmobile 2 image by Przemyslaw Moranski from Fotolia.com
This snowmobiling trail, about 1/5 the size of the first trail, starts about 2 miles west of Keeler Lake. It heads almost directly southeast to Glenwood, Michigan. Just before reaching Glenwood, there is an optional northeast turn toward the towns of Lawton and Paw Paw.
Trails Outside Niles
- Still in Cass County, but just outside Niles, are other trails that can be easily reached. To the east of Niles, a trail takes riders approximately 30 miles to Vandalia -- or about 15 miles southeast to a winding trail between the two towns. Riders can also travel almost 40 miles north of Niles to explore several curving trails that lead to Paw Paw Lake.