Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $4.2 million for snowmobile trail maintenance and grooming across New York State and designated the weekend of January 25-27 as a free snowmobiling weekend for all out-of-state and Canadian snowmobilers. During this promotional weekend, the requirement to register in New York is waived for properly registered and insured out-of-state snowmobiling enthusiasts wishing to explore New York's 10,400 miles of snowmobile trails.
"New York is unrivaled in its natural beauty in all four seasons and offers a vast recreational trail system for snowmobilers to enjoy our stunning winter landscape," Governor Cuomo said. "By providing the funding to keep the trails in good condition and encouraging more tourists to visit our state for the free snowmobile weekend, we are helping grow our upstate tourism economy and maintaining our outdoor trails for generations to come."
New York State is providing $4.2 million for snowmobile trail maintenance to local communities in New York this winter, a five percent increase from last year. The trail grants support 10,400 miles of designated trails across the state for snowmobilers to safely enjoy. The local grants program is funded by snowmobile registration fees collected by the State Department of Motor Vehicles and deposited into the Snowmobile Trail Development and Maintenance Fund. County and municipal governments distribute the grants to about 230 snowmobile clubs across the state, which in turn groom and maintain the trails.
The following is a breakdown of awards by county:
Central New York
Western New York
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "New York's pristine trails offer an amazing snowmobiling experience for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. While riding throughout the state, snowmobilers can experience a wide variety of trails. Governor Cuomo's investment in New York's snowmobile trails will benefit not only those using the trails, but also surrounding local economies, bringing more visitors to these areas. The upcoming free snowmobile weekend is a great opportunity for everyone to visit these magnificent trails and experience some of New York's natural beauty."
Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said, With Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State is offering more and more reasons for outdoor winter enthusiasts to visit the Empire State. These grants will help keep trail systems safe and well-groomed for residents and visitors who want to make New York their winter destination."
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "When making plans to travel to New York State for our unparalleled snowmobile trails, I encourage everyone to maximize their stay to enjoy our local amenities and experience some of the state's world-class attractions while sampling our unique food and craft beverage offerings."
Terri Egan, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, said, "New York State not only has some of the most scenic and exceptional snowmobiling trails around, at the DMV, we have made the registration process fast and simple for both in-state and out-of-state enthusiasts. With just a few clicks online, riders will be ready to hit the trails. Whether you're sledding, skiing, or taking advantage of the many winter activities New York has to offer, we encourage everyone to enjoy the season responsibly."
Dominic Jacangelo, Executive Director, New York State Snowmobile Association, said, "Many thanks to the Governor for promoting snowmobiling as part of the winter tourism economy. Those who come to ride New York trails will be pleased with the diversity of riding opportunities we have in the state. Those who come once will come back time and again to contribute to the local economy. Remember to join a club where you ride and volunteer when you can!"
Trail conditions vary depending on snowfall amounts and other factors. Check the websites of area snowmobile clubs for information on trail conditions, including the status of grooming. The New York State Snowmobile Association website has information about snowmobiling and snowmobile clubs. Maps of the state snowmobile trail network are available on New York State Parks' website here.
The DMV reminds New York riders that snowmobile registrations must be renewed annually. DMV allows snowmobilers to renew registrations online on the DMV website, by mail or in person at a DMV office. Snowmobile registration costs $100, but is decreased to $45 if the snowmobiler is a member of a local snowmobile club.
Participants in free snowmobiling weekend must operate a snowmobile that is validly registered in their home state/Canadian Province and must carry any applicable insurance as required by their home state/province. Non-New Yorkers who wish to use a snowmobile in New York State before or after this promotional weekend can use the NYS Registration for Out-of-State Snowmobile service to get a 15-day registration and operate their snowmobile here immediately. DMV will send a permanent registration in the mail.
Winter travel continues to support economic growth across the state, generating $13.5 billion in direct visitor spending last year. More information on winter tourism in New York State is available at www.iloveny.com/winter and on the free I LOVE NEW YORK mobile app, available for download on the iTunes and Google Play app stores or at www.iloveny.com/mobile.
The state's snowmobiling community has a seasonal economic impact of $868 million, according to a 2011 study by the State University at Potsdam. New York State supports snowmobiling with a Statewide Snowmobile Trail System traversing 45 counties, maintained by over 200 clubs, and funded through 51 municipal sponsors. For information on snowmobiling, visit parks.ny.gov. Visit the DEC website here for more information on snowmobiling on state lands.