Caution advised on St. Lawrence County trails with free snowmobile weekend for out-of-state riders
Friday, February 2, 2018 - 6:06 pm

There could be some fresh snow on the 700 miles St. Lawrence County trails this weekend, and if snowmobilers will be heading out, 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 abundant snowmobiling opportunities.

Extra caution might be advised to accommodate out-of-state and Canadian riders Feb. 2 to 5 during the state-sponsored free promotional snowmobile weekend for visitors.

Authorities say 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 https://parks.ny.gov/recreation/snowmobiles/education.aspx. 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 at www.nysnowmobiler.com. 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.

St. Lawrence County Snowmobile Association’s web site is at http://slcsa.org/

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 or 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, visit http://dmv.ny.gov/registration/register-snowmobile..

“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.”