Every year snowmobilers in WNY look forward to this season.  And it seems like every year, a landowner where a trail passes through is disappointed in the lack of respect for their land.

We see it all too often.  A person agrees to have a trail pass through their land.  Snowmobile clubs do their best to make sure that all the rules are understood, and someone just disregards the rules to do whatever they want.  The landowner gets upset and the trail gets shut down.

It’s all about respect.  Respecting the land that you get to ride on, the other people who also want to use the trails, and respect for the people that own that land.  If you can be respectful, everyone will have plenty of beautiful trails to ride.  If you can’t, you’re going to need to find somewhere else to drive your sled for the few months of good winter weather we have.

Let’s be honest, most people know this.  They follow the rules and make sure that they’re respectful.  But just like in anything else, it only takes a few to ruin it for everyone.

So what are the rules?  What does good snowmobiling etiquette entail?

  • Whatever you bring on the trails should always leave with you – Never leave trash on the trails. If it comes in a package or a can, you should find a trash can to throw them in, or take them back home with you when you go.
  • Stay on the trail – The trails are normally very well marked for you to see. Although you might not care about the saplings that are growing off the trail, the person who planted them might.  It’s not your property.  You have been given permission to ride in specific areas…stay in those areas.
  • Respect speed limits and ride to your abilities
  • Stay to the right if there is oncoming traffic
  • If you find a groomer on the trail, give them the right of way – They’re there to make that trail better for you. If you can pull off to the side safely, do that and allow them to pass.  If you come up behind them, give them the chance to pull over so you can safely pass them.
  • Keep the altered and aftermarket exhausts for organized events – They’re loud and landowners find them very annoying

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