Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

For Release: Thursday, February 1, 2018

New York State Reminds Snowmobilers to Ride Safely

Riding Responsibly Is Best Way to Enjoy State's Snowmobile Trail Network

Free Snowmobile Weekend for Out-of-State Riders Feb. 2-5

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) remind snowmobilers to ride responsibly and exercise caution while enjoying the state's abundant snowmobiling opportunities. New York offers more than 10,000 miles of state-designated snowmobile trails and is sponsoring a free promotional snowmobile weekend for out-of-state and Canadian riders Feb. 2-5.

"Peak snowmobile season has arrived and New York State is an outstanding destination for riding the trails," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. "Following the safety recommendations and paying attention to trail conditions will help to ensure you and your friends have a fun and enjoyable day in New York's great outdoors."

"New York's network of snowmobile trails generates more than $800 million each year and offers world-class winter recreation to residents and visitors alike," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "DEC works with State Parks, municipalities and volunteers from local snowmobile clubs to maintain and enhance trails during the season, and we encourage those venturing out to engage in a safe and enjoyable snowmobile adventure."

State Parks and DEC have teamed up to create a snowmobile safety video to help snowmobilers have an enjoyable ride. Watch the video.

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, go to the State Parks Snowmobile Education webpage. (link leaves DEC's website). A safety certificate is required for youth between ages 10 and 18.

Trail conditions are impacted by changing weather. Before heading out, riders are reminded to check trail conditions with local snowmobile clubs. To find a club, visit the New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA) website (link leaves DEC's website). Joining a snowmobile club helps support snowmobiling in New York State. Club members receive a discounted registration fee, and help support the clubs and volunteers that make up the backbone of New York's snowmobile trail system.

Top safety recommendations include:

  • Check 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 gear, including bibs, jackets, boots and gloves.
  • Always ride with friends or at least one other person.
  • Ride responsibly. Ride within your ability, ride to the right, and operate at a safe and prudent speed. 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.
  • Never drink alcohol or use drugs and ride.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo designated February 2 - 5 free snowmobile weekend in New York State. Snowmobiling fees will be waived for out-of-state and Canadian snowmobilers during the promotional weekend. Currently, out-of-state and Canadian snowmobilers are required to register their snowmobiles with the State before hitting New York's trails. Snowmobile registration costs $100, but is decreased to $45 for those that join a local snowmobile club affiliated with the New York State Snowmobile Association.

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. For information on snowmobiling, including online registration for out-of-state snowmobilers, during non-promotional times, click here.

Riding snowmobiles in the Forest Preserve offers the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of trail experiences, but DEC reminds snowmobilers that they are restricted to marked trails on lands classified as Forest Preserve. DEC recommends that people educate themselves before venturing out. For more information on snowmobiling on DEC lands, visit DEC's website.

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) oversees the development, maintenance and oversight of a statewide snowmobile program, which features more than 10,000 miles of state-designated snowmobile trails. For more information on snowmobiling in New York (link leaves DEC's website).

  • Contact for this Page
  • Press Office - Benning DeLaMater
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-1016
    518-402-8000
    email us
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions