General ice thickness guidelines
No matter what you are going to do once you get on the ice – like fishing, snowmobiling, skating or even ice boating, it’s a good idea to contact a local bait shop or town authority about ice conditions. It’s also important to do some checking yourself once you get there. Several factors affect the relative safety of ice, such as temperature, snow cover and currents. But a very important factor is the actual ice thickness.
For New, Clear Ice Only
- 2″ or less – STAY OFF
- 4″ – Ice fishing or other activities on foot
- 5″ – Snowmobile or ATV
- 8″ – 12″ – Car or small pickup
- 12″ – 15″ – Medium truck
Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.