Edward Bouchey and Wallace Bouchey were two of the founders of the Tri County Snowmobile Club, Loretto MI.
The first organizational meeting was held at the Beaver Pete Lodge and Restaurant in Waucedah, Mi in 1971.
Originally, the idea was to have memberships and support from the counties of Dickinson, Menominee and Iron. The club was then named the Tri County Snowmobile Club. It soon was apparent that the support was local and memberships came mostly from the communities of southern Dickinson County.
Working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Ed and Wally Bouchey spearheaded the first snowmobile trail in the area. It went from Lake Antoine to the Beaver Pete Restaurant in Waucedah. In a short time, there were snowmobile trails to the United Sportsmens Club in Merriman and a trail to Solbergs Supper Club in Felch.
The Bouchey brothers worked with the DNR and property owners to get the trails in place finding routes that were appropriate for the time. Additionally, they cleared trails, put up the signs as needed and began the first grooming of the trails in the area.
Again working with the DNR, they experimented with and operated numerous pieces of equipment to attempt to groom the trails. Everything from bed springs to homemade mini graders were used to try to find something that could smooth out the bumps. We all know that success in removing the bumps was at best marginal but the Bouchey’s kept on snowmobiling and working on the trails.
Again, the Bouchey brothers became more active with trail grooming and maintenance. Promoting the area trails, working on the trails and driving the groomers that were partially funded by the Michigan DNR but were the responsibility of the Tri County Snowmobile Club.
In 1987, the Menominee River Bridge was purchased by the club with money borrowed from the Bilski family. The connection trail between Lake Antoine and the bridge was mainly completed with the efforts of DNR Officer Duane ST.Ours. He made the contacts to get many land owners on board with the trail and thus there was now a connection to the Wisconsin trail system. The bridge was opened on December 19, 1987.
In 1988, President Bill Martin fell from his deck, cracked his neck and the gavel was handed to Greg Olender, past president, he hopes that there are other ways to find a successor. In 2016, after 28 years, Greg handed the gavel to Lee Coates who became the new president. Lee took a 1 year term and Greg took the gavel back as interim president. In 2020, Jen Kirk was elected president and still presides today.
In 1989, the efforts of a number of club members and especially the Bislki family completed trail connections with Moose Country Club at the Lehmans Rd in Northern Dickinson County and a connection to Felch coming from the West as well a trail connection through Norway that connected to Wisconsin at the US 8 highway bridge
Since that time there have been many changes to the Michigan Snowmobile Program and many challenges for the club. Thus far, it has been possible for the members of the club to be able to find enough support from private land owners to keep the trails in place.
In April of 2016 we became a dual club. The Tri-County Snowmobile Club has been working towards making more trails accessible for both snowmobile and ORV. In becoming a dual club we are be able to use funds from both sides to accomplish trail maintenance and new trails. As a dual club we hope to enjoy the outdoors riding in all seasons on a muti-purpose trail system.
In June of 2021 our club purchased a Forax brush cutter. This was a big decision for our club as volunteers have dwindled over the years. This piece of equipment cost the club $30,000. We put down $10,000, we had 5 major sponsors donate 9,000, and the MISORVA Miracle Millions paid the remaining balance. This brush cutter has improved our trail system immensely as we had many areas that were overgrown.