The New York State Snowmobile Trail System
The State Snowmobile Trail System includes over 8,000 miles of snowmobile corridor trails in New York stretching from one end of the State to the other, crossing both public and private land along the way. The trail system is administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and is substantially maintained by snowmobile clubs and funded, in part, by a portion of snowmobile registration fees. Many of these clubs are members of the New York State Snowmobile Association.
For a map of the New York State Snowmobile Trail System please contact:
Albany, NY 12238
Snowmobiling on Forest Preserve Lands
Snowmobiles are restricted to marked trails on lands classified as Forest Preserve.
The Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve consists of nearly 3 million acres of land. Riding snowmobiles in the Forest Preserve offers the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of trail experiences. Trails on Forest Preserve lands offer an opportunity to experience a wild forest character through a system of seasonal motor vehicle roads and back country snowmobile trails. Snowmobile trails typically wind through hilly or mountainous terrain within a natural setting, connecting small communities and area attractions. These back country trails generally are narrower than trails on private lands, and are often located on abandoned woods roads or other trails with essentially the character of a foot trail.
Snowmobile Planning in the Adirondack Park
In 2006 DEC and OPRHP developed the Snowmobile Plan for the Adirondack Park. A supplement to the State of New York Snowmobile Trail Plan (Statewide Snowmobile Plan), the Adirondack plan outlines the concept of reconfiguring the existing snowmobile trail network across the Forest Preserve through the Unit Management Planning process.
The DEC and Adirondack Park Agency (APA) have developed "Management Guidance: Snowmobile Trail Siting, Construction and Maintenance on Forest Preserve Lands in the Adirondack Park" as a step toward implementing the concepts outlined in the 2006 Snowmobile Plan. This guidance establishes snowmobile trail management practices that conform to the guidelines and criteria of the Adirondack State Land Master Plan (APSLMP.)
Planning appropriately for the snowmobile trail network on Adirondack Forest Preserve lands is dependent on an accurate, up-to-date inventory of existing snowmobile trails. In 2009, the Department updated its snowmobile trail inventory for DEC-managed land within the Park. This information has been organized into a series of maps, which can be viewed on our Adirondack Forest Preserve Snowmobile Trails page.
Snowmobiling on State Forests, Multiple Use Areas and Unique Areas (Generally referred to as "State Forests")
Over 1,000 miles of snowmobile trails are located on 775,000 acres of State Forests. Some of these are part of the New York State Snowmobile Trail system and others are State Forest Trail Systems which are more local in nature. These trails are identified on the State Lands Interactive Mapper and are also highlighted on the individual State Forest pages found on the Places To Go web page.
Snowmobiling on Wildlife Management Areas
Snowmobiles are generally prohibited on Wildlife Management Areas (except on town, county or state highway rights-of-ways and on a limited number of designated snowmobile trails.)
Snowmobiling on Conservation Easements
Snowmobile use on Conservation Easements varies from easement to easement, based on the rights the State was able to purchase from the private landowner. On most easements, public access is limited to designated trails only, however in some cases is further restricted during hunting season or prohibited entirely. For specific snowmobile trail information on each easement please visit our Conservation Easement webpage.
Tips for Snowmobile Operation in New York
Please remember to wear your snowmobile helmet, stay on the trail, don't drink and drive, and have a good time.
Trails open after big game season ends in each zone, and the ground is snow covered. Privately owned land may have further restrictions, check with the local club, or posted signs, for more information. See the Links Leaving DEC's Website on the right.
Any snowmobile operated in New York State must be registered with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), even if it is registered in another state or province, except under certain special circumstances. For more information about snowmobile registration, please contact the DMV. A portion of each registration goes to the Snowmobile Trail Development and Maintenance Fund. This fund supports over 10,000 miles of public snowmobile trails in New York State, snowmobile safety education programs and enforcement of NYS snowmobile laws. (Please see the Department of Motor Vehicle link in the top, right column of this page.)
Snowmobilers must carry registration and proof of insurance documents on their person, not the snowmobile, at all times while snowmobiling. These documents must be produced at the request of any law enforcement officer or magistrate. Insurance documentation must be produced at the request of anyone who is injured or suffers property damage as a result of operation of a snowmobile. Holders of snowmobile safety certificates must carry the certificate when they are snowmobiling.
For more information about snowmobile requirements and snowmobile safety, please call the Office of Parks, Recreation & Historical Preservation at (518) 474-0446.
The New York State Snowmobilers Guide, the map of High Snowfall Areas of the NYS Funded Snowmobile Trail System, and other snowmobiling publications are available by clicking the offsite link for OPRHP in the top, right column of this page.
More about Snowmobiling:
- Adirondack Forest Preserve Snowmobile Trails - These maps show where snowmobiling and grooming have been approved in the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
- Snowmobile Plan for the Adirondack Park - The Plan describes concepts for establishing a comprehensive and integrated Adirondack Park snowmobile system and standards for developing and maintaining trails on DEC managed lands in the Park.