Now that we've got snow, when do snowmobile trails open in New York?

The New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA) reminds all riders local trails are not open until the local club has inspected and officially declared the trails as “open.”

Yes, we have snow, but the trails are NOT open until after the big game season.
Monday, Dec 9, the Town of Webb and Inlet snowmobile trails will open for the season - weather permitting. For more information, visit

The new snow has hidden hazards on most trails. Dominic Jacangelo, Executive Director of the New York State Snowmobile Association, says:

“Clubs have simply not had a chance following the Halloween storm to go out a do full trail inspection and remove hazards. We remind snowmobilers to take extra caution in the beginning of the season with snow having the potential to bury hazards. With only recent cold temperatures, that snow is certainly hiding mud holes and fallen trees. On Trails that are open, it is best to throttle back and take the extra minute to maintain control during your ride.”

Do not ride before the landowner, and the club says the trails are open. Riding before the trails are open is a sure-fire way to lose a trail.

“Every year our club members throughout the state inspect local trails and deem them ready to ride. We must encourage respect to those landowners who graciously allow trails on their lands. Before you put on your helmet and get on your snowmobile we advise you to reach out to your local club for information on the trails in the area you will be riding as well as any other important information.” Jim Rolf, Trail Coordinator of NYSSA

NYSSA reminds riders of early-season conditions include hidden rocks, ruts, unfrozen water holes, fallen tree limbs, among other hazards that may be lying just below the freshly fallen snow.

If you ride off your own property, your sled must be properly registered and insured for liability.

There is a 55-mph speed limit on New York’s trails unless otherwise posted lower.
If you are unable to control your sled enough to keep it to the right-hand side of the trail
and stop in a safe and prudent manner – you’re riding too fast!

It is UNLAWFUL to operate a snowmobile:

  • at a speed greater than reasonable or prudent under the surrounding conditions, or at a speed greater than 55 mph
  • in any careless, reckless, or negligent manner
  • while the operator is intoxicated
  • without the required lights
  • on the tracks of an operating railroad
  • in any tree nursery or planting in a manner that damages growing stock
  • on private property without the consent of the owner
  • towing a sleigh or toboggan except with a rigid tow bar
  • in any way that the operator fails to yield to an emergency vehicle approaching from any direction 10. in any way that fails to comply with a lawful order from a police officer
  • on a frozen body of water within one hundred feet of a skater, ice fisherman, ice fishing house, or another person not on a snowmobile except at the minimum speed required to maintain forward motion
  • within one hundred feet of a dwelling between 12 midnight and 6 AM at a speed greater than the minimum speed required to maintain forward motion

Snowmobiles MAY NOT be operated on the New York State Thruway, other interstate highways, or other limited-access highways unless there is a snow emergency declared by the Thruway Authority or other agency having authority over the road in question.

So until you can get out on the trails, how about tuning up your sleds, get them registered, and join your local club!

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