ALBANY — The snow has begun to fly in many parts of New York State, and snowmobile season is upon us. The New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA) and SLEDNY, Inc. reminds all riders throughout the state that local trails are not open until the local club has inspected and officially declared a trail as open and Thursday’s blast of snow is likely to have hidden hazards on most trails. NYSSA urges riders to watch for club postings on trail conditions.
“Clubs have simply not had a chance following the recent storm to go out and do a full trail inspection and remove hazards.” said Dominic Jacangelo, Executive Director of the New York State Snowmobile Association.
“We remind snowmobilers to take extra caution in the beginning of the season with snow having the potential to bury hazards. With only recent cold temperatures that snow is certainly hiding mud holes and fallen trees. On trails that are open, it is best to throttle back and take the extra minute to maintain control during your ride.”
Safe snowmobiling requires the sharpest of senses and there is no room for alcohol on the trails. In addition, trails are designed with safety in mind and all riding should occur only in designated areas on those trails established and maintained by local clubs. NYSSA / SLEDNY, Inc. and all 220 snowmobile clubs encourage zero alcohol consumption while snowmobiling.
“Every year our club members throughout the state inspect local trails and deem them ready to ride,” said Jim Rolf, Trail Coordinator of NYSSA. “We must encourage respect to those landowners who graciously allow trails on their lands. Before you put on your helmet and get on your snowmobile, we advise you to reach out to your local club for information on the trails in the area you will be riding as well as any other important information.” Do not ride before the landowner and the club say the trails are open.
NYSSA also reminds riders of early season conditions which can, and do, include rocks, ruts, unfrozen water holes, fallen tree limbs, among other hazards which may be lying just below the freshly fallen snow. Despite the cold temperatures water holes are still in many areas – and most lakes have not frozen. Please reach out to your local clubs for information regarding trail closures.
Every rider is reminded that to ride off your own property your sled must be properly registered and insured for liability — stay on the trails and respect landowners.
For information on local clubs, as well as safety tips and trail guides, snowmobilers can go to www.nysnowmobiler.com. The best trail guides are those offered by local clubs. NYSSA encourages riders to join a local snowmobiler club and volunteer where you ride — volunteers help manage the trails, improve safety, and keep them open.