Early Season Caution

New York State Snowmobile Association

Cautions Riders of Early Season Conditions


Recent Conditions Could Hide Potential Hazards


New York – December 28, 2017 – The snow has begun to fly in many parts of New York State, and snowmobile season is here. The New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA) 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”.


“In some areas of the state there is a tremendous amount of snow.” 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 high snow having the potential to burry hazards. Outside the lake effect areas, there is still low snow conditions with many trails not yet opened by the local clubs.  On Trails that are open, it is best to throttle back and take the extra minute to maintain control during your ride.  Please offer to help the areas that need help right now, using your sled to get out to volunteer directly for a club.”  


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 these trails established and maintained by local clubs.  NYSSA and all 229 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.   Some trails in deep snow areas are not open because volunteers cannot get to closed gates, downed trees and covered signs. If you can help, please do.” 


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 subzero temperatures water holes are still in many areas.  Larger lakes have not frozen.  Recently there have been strong winds across New York State, causing trees to fall down on trails.  Riders are asked to assist in removing smaller branches and notifying local clubs of bigger trees that need to be removed.  Please reach out to your local clubs for information on trail closures. 


Every rider is reminded that to ride off you own property your sled must be properly registered with NYS Motor Vehicles and insured for liability. 


For more 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 the local clubs. 


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NYSSA Publications