Snowmobile in the woods

Photo by Timo Simms

Snowmobile Safety – Don’t wait for the snow to get ready

Snowmobiles on the Trail

NPS / Neal Herbert

Riding the trails through the woods and across fields on a swift-moving snowmobile can be a lot of fun. Mohawk Valley snowmobilers wait with excitement all year for the first significant snow fall so they can start up their sleds and have some fun outside in the snow. Snowmobiling is a great activity to do with friends and family all while enjoying the scenery of the great outdoors in winter.

While the weather has not yet cooperated in providing enough snow to ride the trails, now would be a great time to ensure you’re ready when the snow arrives. One of the first things to focus on is safety for all riders young and old.

New York State Snowmobile Safety Courses

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation outlines safety requirements for all riders on NYS Trails and public property.

Operator Requirements

Anyone who is at least 18 years old may operate a snowmobile in New York State without any other qualification except as defined by state and local laws regulating that operation.

However, it is recommended that all operators complete a recognized snowmobile safety course.

Youth 14 through 17 years old

May operate a snowmobile without adult or other supervision if they have completed a snowmobile safety training course recognized by the State of New York.

Youth 10 through 13 years old

May operate a snowmobile on lands upon which snowmobiling is allowed if they have completed a snowmobile safety training course recognized by the State of New York and are accompanied by (within 500 feet of) a person who is at least 18 years of age.

The Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will issue a snowmobile safety certificate to those who successfully complete this course. Youths who do not hold this certificate are subject to the same restrictions as children under the age of 14 years.

How to find a NYS Snowmobile Safety Course near you

For Mohawk Valley residents we have listed upcoming Snowmobile Safety Course upcoming in the Mohawk Valley:

Many of the NYS Snowmobile Safety Courses are coordinated and taught by local snowmobile clubs who are all part of the NYS Snowmobile Association.

About the NYS Snowmobile Association

All clubs in the state are members of the NYS Snowmobile Association which maintains membership for clubs and members. NYSSA is an umbrella organization for the 232 snowmobile clubs that organize members and steward the approximately 10,500 miles of trail around the state. NYSSA’s activities are governed by a Board of Directors selected by the clubs in each of 40 districts around the state. Our membership hovers around 60,000 and includes many families. NYSSA continues to be the largest snowmobile association in the world.

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