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  1. #1
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    Winter Riding on Snowmobile Trails

    Not sure of the legality and wondering if anyone else does this and if you've run into any problems.

    We've been riding on the local trails for years when conditions permit (groomed/packed or better yet hard and icy) and have never had any issues. The snowmobilers are generally pretty cool and are curious or just think we are nuts. We do offer to share our beer, so that helps.

    I picked up a fat bike last year and a buch of buddies have done the same this year, so we are looking to do a lot more winter riding on the sled trails. That's assuming we actually have a winter this year!

  2. #2
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    I would think the best place to check would be the NY forest division that covers snowmobiles, and trails, that is if your riding official snowmobile trails.

    Here in Pa it's divided into motorized and non-motorized. In Pa XC skiing and snow bikers use Rail Trails.

  3. #3
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    I ride throughout the southern Adk's on snowmobile trails. No problems so far. When I hear them coming I get over or off the trail and give up the right of way. I also try to avoid main corridors and stick to the secondary trails. There are more problems with ATV's on the snowmobile trails.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEPMTBA View Post
    I would think the best place to check would be the NY forest division that covers snowmobiles, and trails, that is if your riding official snowmobile trails.

    Here in Pa it's divided into motorized and non-motorized. In Pa XC skiing and snow bikers use Rail Trails.
    In NY the trail system is on a combination of state and private land and local clubs maintain the trails through funding from snowmobile registrations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sac29 View Post
    I ride throughout the southern Adk's on snowmobile trails. No problems so far. When I hear them coming I get over or off the trail and give up the right of way. I also try to avoid main corridors and stick to the secondary trails. There are more problems with ATV's on the snowmobile trails.
    We do the same, get off to the side when we here them coming. Yeah the ATV's and anything that ruts up the trails are not welcome.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AleRider View Post
    In NY the trail system is on a combination of state and private land and local clubs maintain the trails through funding from snowmobile registrations.



    We do the same, get off to the side when we here them coming. Yeah the ATV's and anything that ruts up the trails are not welcome.
    I should clarify that I ride almost exclusively on state land. The few times I've been on private land hasn't been a problem but I see where it could be.

  6. #6
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    Tried it last year in Thendara and was almost run over, will not try it again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiRt DeViL View Post
    Tried it last year in Thendara and was almost run over, will not try it again.
    I was warned of the Old Forge area. I also try to stay off the corridors AND ride during the mid week. Speculator is a good area. Perkins Clearing, Arietta, Piseco have an abundance of secondary trails.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiRt DeViL View Post
    Tried it last year in Thendara and was almost run over, will not try it again.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sac29 View Post
    I was warned of the Old Forge area. I also try to stay off the corridors AND ride during the mid week. Speculator is a good area. Perkins Clearing, Arietta, Piseco have an abundance of secondary trails.
    Yeah, the Town of Webb/Old Forge trails are mobbed when there is snow. They are the only trails in the state that you can't ride your snowmobile unless you purchase a pass from the town ($80 I think).

    The trails we've biked (and xc skied) are around Brookfield, Waterville, Clayville and Ilion. Except for Brookfield, these are on private land. They don't see a ton of traffic and we've had no problems.

  9. #9
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    Down in my parts it's more heavily populated than up north, state lands are scarce and pretty much the only areas in addition to power lines where they can be ridden. With a permit most parks encourage them, however atv's are not and the rangers hunt them down with a vengence. I've never had conflict with snowmobilers, in fact they're usually fascinated with fatbikes and always have a lot of questions. They are essential to packing down the trails, the more the better.

  10. #10
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    I would love to get a fat bike and ride snow mobile trails. I was thinking of riding all the no longer used rail roads around here too. While I don't know of the legal issues I don't think there'd be any issues. I know a lot of guys that snow mobile and I doubt they'd have an issue with riders on "their" trails. As with any mutli use trail, a little respect goes a long way.

  11. #11
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    Sticking to hiking trails for now



  12. #12
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    Nice photos DDevil! Shaping up to be a cold winter, hopefully decent snow.

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    Be Careful

    FYI. The snowmobile trail system in all of NYS is off limits to everyone until the end of hunting season. A vast portion of the trail system is located on private property and we are blessed with the generosity of many of these land owners. Once the trails are open they are for all to enjoy. With the exception of any motorized wheeled vehicle. Snowmobiles are very fast and come up on you very quickly. When you here them coming get out of the way. Never stop in any blind areas and if night riding be sure to have good lighting. There are lots of local snowmobile clubs and almost all of them have websites. If you have any questions in any particular area try to contact the local snowmobile club and get in touch with them. Kevin

  14. #14
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    Kevin, Are you referring to a private trail system? I searched for a reference because I ride on the State trails in the southern Adks all year including deer season. Never had a problem with DEC or anyone.

  15. #15
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    Snowmobile trail system

    My reference is to the NY state snowmobile Trail System. While some of is is on state land most of it is on private land. The private lands are not open for public use until the local snowmobile club having maintaining that portion of the trail system determins it is safe and suitable for snowmobiling and after hunting season is over. I believe the state land is open to all anytime but the private lands are not. As far as non snowmobile use of the trail system Our club has never had any discussion regarding that. We do see a fair amount of X-country skiers but really I dont think I have ever seen bicycles on the trail. The snowmobile clubs have a comprehensive umbrella policy covering the private landowners for any snowmobile related liabilities. I'm not sure how the bicycle issue would fit in here. Personally I wouldnt worry too much about it. Just be visible and be safe. I am more concerned about a biker being injured by a sled than anything else. I will have to try it this winter if we ever get a good base going. Kevin .

  16. #16
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    If it wasn't for the snowmobile tracks, my ride today at Stewart State Forest would have been a bust. The snow was several inches deep and had a hard crust on top from freezing rain. So, you would just sink in and then you could not make progress. The snowmobile tracks had packed it down pretty well though. It was still tough going, but it was ridable, whereas, the singletrack was not. That said, I'm all for sharing some trails with the sleds!! And I've never had a bad encounter to date.

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