Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced more than $5 million for snowmobile trail maintenance and grooming across New York State and designated the weekend of February 2nd - 5th as free snowmobiling weekend for all out-of-state and Canadian snowmobilers. Registration fees will be waived for properly registered and insured out-of-state snowmobiling enthusiasts wishing to explore New York’s 10,400 miles of snowmobile trails.
“New York is home to some of the best snowmobiling in the country and provides visitors from around the world with endless opportunities to enjoy winter in Upstate New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this funding, we ensure that these trails are kept in good condition for future generations of outdoor enthusiasts, and I encourage visitors from near and far to take advantage of free snowmobile weekend this February.”
The Governor announced $4 million for snowmobile trail maintenance to local communities in New York, a 15 percent increase from last year. The trail grants support 10,400 miles of designated trails across the state for snowmobilers to safely enjoy. The local grants program is funded by snowmobile registration fees collected by the State Department of Motor Vehicles and deposited into the Snowmobile Trail Development and Maintenance Fund. County and municipal governments distribute the grants to about 230 snowmobile clubs across the state, which in turn groom and maintain the trails. Click here for a breakdown of awards provided to each municipality.
In addition, State Parks has authorized more than $1.1 million in federal Recreation Trail Program grants to help seven snowmobile clubs purchase essential equipment to maintain regional snowmobile trails. Funding comes from the Recreation Trails Program, which is provided by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by State Parks. Municipalities, not-for-profits, state and federal agencies, Indian tribal governments and other public agencies can apply for funds for the acquisition, new development, renovation or maintenance of public trails or trail-related facilities. Snowmobile trails are located on a mixture of public and private lands open to the public for this recreational activity. Local snowmobile clubs are a critical partner in keeping the state snowmobile trail system groomed for safe travel.
The Governor also announced that snowmobiling fees will be waived for out-of-state and Canadian snowmobilers during the promotional February 2 - 5 weekend. Currently, out-of-state and Canadian snowmobilers are required to register their snowmobiles with New York State before hitting the state’s trails, stretching from the Hudson Valley to the North Country to Western New York. Snowmobile registration costs $100, but is decreased to $45 for those who 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.
Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said, “With the support of Governor Cuomo, more and more people are discovering how much New York has to offer to outdoor winter recreation enthusiasts. State Parks looks forward to working with our partners this season to keep the trail system safe, groomed and well-maintained for residents and visitors alike who enjoy our State’s many winter destinations.”
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Snowmobiling is a popular outdoor recreation activity and an important economic engine for local communities, and through the Governor’s leadership we are helping our communities capitalize on this great wintertime activity. DEC is working alongside municipal workers and volunteers from local snowmobile clubs to open gates, complete trail maintenance, and groom trails, all to be ready for the snowmobiling season.”
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “With more than 10,000 miles of snowmobile trails, New York State offers an unparalleled riding experience. Just one more reason to plan a winter getaway and come see all that New York State has to offer.”
Terri Egan, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles said, “Snowmobiles are a great way to enjoy New York in the wintertime. We urge riders to be safe. Do not ride a snowmobile while impaired by drugs or alcohol, and maintain a safe speed at all times.”
Dominic Jacangelo, Executive Director, New York State Snowmobile Association, said, “We appreciate the Governor’s recognition of snowmobiling as part of the winter tourism economy and the jobs it supports. New York’s snowmobile clubs do a great job maintaining a safe and enjoyable snowmobile trail system, and this support will help ensure Upstate New York remains an excellent destination for snowmobiling and winter tourism. We are confident that those who come, will come back time and time again to enjoy our wonderful trails. Visit www.nysnowmobiler.com for local club and visitor information.”
Herkimer County Legislator Patrick Russell said, “New York State is a world class destination for winter activities and by removing fees for out-of-staters and Canadians during the weekend of February 2, we can attract even more visitors to our state. I thank the Governor for his continued commitment to New York’s great outdoors.”
Webb Town Supervisor Robert Moore said, “Snowmobiling is a popular winter sport in New York, attracting visitors from our state and beyond to explore our trails and take in the scenery. I am proud to waive fees for out-of-state and Canadian snowmobilers along with Governor Cuomo to draw more winter sports enthusiasts to our state.”
Inlet Town Supervisor John Frey said, “Winter activities are a major driver for tourism in the North Country and by waiving fees for snowmobiling over February 2 weekend, we attract more visitors from out of state to enjoy all that our region has to offer. I am happy to partner with Governor Cuomo to offer free snowmobiling for out-of-state snowmobilers and visitors from Canada.”
All trail systems are open and trail conditions range from good to excellent. However, some specific sections of trail may have lesser amounts of snow and blowdown or other obstacles in the trail. Check the websites of area snowmobile clubs for information on trail conditions, including the status of grooming. Additionally, the New York State Snowmobile Association website has information about snowmobiling and snowmobile clubs. Maps of the state snowmobile trail network are available on New York State Parks’ website here.
A number of trails on Conservation Easement lands in the Adirondacks have been closed or rerouted to avoid logging operations. Check DEC’s Adirondack Backcountry Information website and area snowmobile club websites for information on trail closures and reroutes.
The state’s snowmobiling community has a seasonal economic impact of $868 million, according to a 2011 study by the State University at Potsdam. New York State supports snowmobiling with a Statewide Snowmobile Trail System traversing 45 counties, maintained by over 200 clubs, and funded through 51 municipal sponsors. For information on snowmobiling, visit parks.ny.gov. Visit the DEC website here for more information on snowmobiling on state lands.
Winter travel is responsible for 21 percent of New York’s total tourism, accounting for $13.6 billion in direct visitor spending in 2016. More information on winter tourism in New York State is available at www.iloveny.com/winter and on the free I LOVE NEW YORK mobile app, available for download on the iTunes and Google Play app stores or at www.iloveny.com/mobile.