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Some tips for snowmobilers as the season opens

Winter is just around the corner and the snow will be flying, soon. The Erie County Federation of Snowmobile Clubs would like to remind riders that snowmobile trails officially open on Dec. 19, for the season, provided that there is at least 6 inches of snow and the ground is frozen.

They remind all riders to be sure that their machines are in top running condition, so that problems do not occur, out on the trails.

Children’s and adult safety courses are offered, each and every year, by the clubs. They remind all riders that, if you have never taken a course or if you are a new rider, it is a very good idea to do so, now. Children ages 10 – 17 must take a course, to be able to ride their own machine. More information and scheduled dates for the courses can be found at the federation website at

One thing that most riders do not know is that, on any NYSOPRHP-approved trails, there is a maximum speed limit of 55 mph, unless otherwise posted, at a lower speed limit. All trail signs must be obeyed.

Several things that account for most accidents are excessive speed, drinking or drugs while riding, night riding and not paying attention to signage and trail conditions.

All clubs want every rider to enjoy themselves and have a safe and pleasant riding experience on the snowmobile trails, here in Erie County. In Erie County alone, there are 10 local clubs that put together over 400 miles of snowmobile trails. Most clubs meet once a month and all are happy to have you join up with them. By belonging to a snowmobile club, owners will also receive a discount on their snowmobile registration of $55 per sled.

Again, by visiting the federation website,, you can find more information, like trail conditions, club information, safety courses, calendar of events and meetings, map information and more. The snowmobile clubs in Erie County want to wish all riders to have a safe and enjoyable winter riding experience, here in Erie County!

Pete Duchmann
Erie County trail coordinator

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