By Senator Patty Ritchie
With more than 10,000 miles of snowmobiling trails available to explore in New York State – and especially throughout Central and Northern New York – many outdoor enthusiasts like myself spend a significant amount of time on their sleds during the winter months.
While snow on the ground is minimal in some parts of our region right now, there is still a lot of winter left and that means plenty of trails waiting to be explored locally and across New York State.
Snowmobiling is more than just a way to beat the winter blues, it’s an economic engine that pumps roughly $868 million annually into our state, according to a recent SUNY Potsdam study.
Soon, New York State’s annual Free Snowmobiling Weekend—will encourage even more people from beyond the Empire State’s borders to experience all we have to offer when it comes to winter on the trails.
Taking place from February 3 through 5, Free Snowmobiling Weekend offers great opportunity for out-of-state visitors and Canadian snowmobilers to ride New York trails for the weekend without being required to pay registration fees, as long as the sleds are properly registered and insured in another state or Canada.
During free snowmobiling weekend, town registration fees will also be waived for all in-state snowmobilers as well.
Planning to take to the trails this winter with friends and family?
Here are some important safety tips to follow:
Don’t forget to complete a snowmobile safety course;
Wear a helmet and dress for the weather;
Stay on designated trails;
Avoid lakes, rivers or ice that may be weak or thin; and
Don’t consume alcohol before or while snowmobiling.
While some might complain about winter’s cold and snow, there’s a lot of enjoyment to be had out on our state’s snowmobile trails.
If you plan to kick cabin fever and get out on a sled in the coming months, have fun and of course, don’t forget to stay safe.