Saturday, January 19, 2019

Reminder: Snowmobile Safe Riding Tips

Ride responsibly while enjoying the Adirondack Park’s abundant snowmobiling opportunities.

Everyone operating a snowmobile should be familiar with safe riding practices and all applicable laws, rules and regulations.

The best way to learn is by taking a snowmobile safety course. To find a course, click here.

General snowmobile conditions can be found in the weekly Outdoors Conditions Report.  Before heading out, riders should check with local snowmobile clubs regarding specific trail conditions and notices for the trails on which they plan to ride. The New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA) website includes a list of Adirondack snowmobile clubs.

Safety recommendations include:

  • Check over your snowmobile; make sure it is in good working order and carry emergency supplies.
  • Always wear a helmet and make sure you wear the proper snowmobile-riding gear including bibs, jackets, boots and gloves.
  • Always ride with a buddy or at least one other person.
  • Ride responsibly. Ride within your ability, ride to the right and operate at a safe and prudent speed at all times. Respect landowners, obey posted signs and stay on the marked trail.
  • Frozen bodies of water are not designated trails; if you plan to ride on ice, proceed with caution and be aware of potential hazards under the snow as well as ice thickness.
  • Four inches of ice is usually safe for accessing ice on foot. Double that thickness for traveling on white ice. Ice thickness can vary on every body of water or even within the same body of water. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice should not be considered evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.
  • Never drink alcohol or use drugs and ride.

To promote snowmobiling in New York, the weekend of January 25-27 is designated as a free snowmobiling weekend for all out-of-state and Canadian riders. During this promotional weekend, the requirement to register in New York is waived for properly registered and insured out-of-state snowmobiling enthusiasts.

Participants in free snowmobiling weekend must operate a snowmobile that is validly registered in their home state/Canadian province and must carry any applicable insurance as required by their home state/province. Non-New Yorkers who wish to use a snowmobile in New York State before or after this promotional weekend can use the NYS Registration for Out-of-State Snowmobile service to get a 15-day registration and operate their snowmobile here immediately. DMV will send a permanent registration in the mail.

State Parks oversees the development, maintenance and oversight of a statewide snowmobile program, which includes approximately 10,400 miles of state-designated snowmobile trails. For more information on snowmobiling in New York, click here.

Photo of snowmobiles courtesy DEC.

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Stories under the Almanack's Editorial Staff byline come from press releases and other notices. To have your news noticed here at the Almanack contact our editor John Warren at adkalmanack@gmail.com.


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