Thinking of dusting off the snowmobile and hitting the trails again? Are you new to snowmobiling and not sure of trail etiquette and rules? Here are some tips and basic trail rules to help everyone have a fun time and stay safe this winter season.
Official snowmobile trails have signs that inform the snowmobiler about the trails. A trail diamond for instance is used to mark official trails. Directional arrows are also used to help prevent snowmobilers from getting lost. Arrows or chevrons are used to warn riders of sharp curves, these are similar to the chevrons that are used on roadways to mark a sharp curve. A sign with diagonal black and yellow stripes
is used to mark objects and obstructions that sit along the side of a trail. There are many signs used to mark snowmobile trails, the majority of which are similar to road signs.
Registration fees are required whether you are a resident of the state or not. The fee goes to a variety of places the majority of it going towards upkeep and care for the snowmobile trails themselves as well as new trails and maintenance equipment. This is done largely through government grants to individual towns and snowmobile clubs that then use the money for the trails.
While riding the standard is to ride to the right, like cars on a road. Staying to right will help everyone’s day run a lot smoother and keep everyone safe. It is important to use hand signals while riding so that everyone else on the trail knows what you are doing, they cannot read your thoughts. Most of the hand signals used are the same as when riding a bike. Also keep in mind that not only is it dangerous to operate a snowmobile while intoxicated it is illegal.
Bring a map and stay on marked trails. It is dangerous enough if you are lost or injured on marked trails but if you are not even on an official trail it will be increasingly more difficult to find you and that could cost you more than just a day of fun. Another way to get into trouble real fast is to snowmobile alone. If you are with friends and something happens they can help. If you are alone you can easily find yourself stranded miles from help. Something else that is good to know is that even though some trails pass through private property the landowner is not responsible for the upkeep or safeness of the trail.
The best suggestion is to use some good old fashion common sense. The vast network of trails available offers plenty of fun for many winter seasons. To keep the fun coming simply follow the rules, respect the land and everyone will be able to have fun and more importantly return another day for more.
By Megin K at VTLiving.com
Scott Freerksen “The Lake Guy”
Lakefront Living Realty, LLC
Office: (508) 377-7167