Last week’s snowfall may not have been welcomed by everyone, but area snowmobilers were happy to see the first significant winter storm of the season arrive.
“It’s already better than all of last season,” said Mark Cramer, a member of the Salisbury Ridgerunners snowmobile club, when contacted Friday. “We were riding yesterday. We’ve got our groomers out now and they’re grooming the trail. You’ve got to be careful; these are spring-like conditions. There are a few rocks and open water holes — you have to be careful and keep the speed down.”
He said the Salisbury area had received about 10 inches of snow in the storm which began late Wednesday and continued into Thursday.
“Supposedly we’re going to get another three to five inches,” he added.
The Ilion Snowdrifters also had trails open on Friday.
“We’re open Thursday through Sunday from noon until whenever,” said Jim Ward, a member of the Ilion Snowdrifters, when contacted at the clubhouse at 1440 Cedarville Rd., Frankfort. “The parking lot is open and has been plowed out if people want to come and unload their trailers.”
He said the trails in the valley had been groomed Friday morning and the groomer was then headed for Litchfield to prepare the trails in that area.
“We’ve got a foot of snow and another storm on the way,” said Ward.
The Ilion club is responsible for brushing, signing and grooming close to 100 miles of trails.
And with weather forecasts showing high temperatures only in the upper 20s to low 30s for the next week, the snow is not likely to be disappearing right away.
In Old Forge, trails are reported to have a two- to four-inch base and are in good to fair condition.
Among the other area clubs are the East Herkimer Sno-Riders, the West Canada Trail Riders, Shu-Maker Mountain Climbers, the Ohio Ridge Riders and the Canadarago Snowtoppers.
After a disappointing season last winter, snowmobilers are eager to get on the trails, according to the New York State Snowmobilers’ Association, which points out there are more than 10,500 miles on the statewide snowmobile trails system traversing 47 counties, maintained by over 200 clubs.
In an effort to make it easier for snowmobile riders to register their sleds, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has developed online transactions that will allow snowmobilers to print temporary New York state registrations from any computer. Out-of-state riders may register snowmobiles online that are currently registered in their home states. The temporary certificate, combined with their home state registration document, will allow snowmobilers from out-of state to begin riding immediately in New York. New York residents may renew online, but new sleds must still be registered at a DMV office.
Page 2 of 2 - A New York state snowmobile registration costs $45 if the registrant is a member of the New York State Snowmobile Association. Otherwise, the cost is $100. Ten dollars of the registration fee goes to the state’s general fund, with the remainder going to the Snowmobile Trail Development and Maintenance Fund which is administered by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.