With 600 miles of groomed trails and lake effect snow, snowmobile trails in Chautauqua County are officially open
Riders are cautioned to watch for fallen trees and excess water and to drive at an appropriate speed.
All snowmobiles must be registered in New York state to ride the trails, and the process for registering is different this year than in the past several years. Registration forms must be obtained through an official DMV offices or a satellite office. Forms will no longer be processed by local hotels and snowmobile stores and they will not be able to provide a temporary certificate.
To improve convenience for local residents and out of town visitors, the Mayville office of the Department of Motor Vehicles has extended hours to include Saturday, from 9 a.m. to as late as 3 p.m., at the Dock's Restaurant on Route 394 in Mayville. Motor Vehicle Bureau hours during the week are 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Wednesdays.
''We want snowmobilers from out of the area to have a positive experience and to plan to return again and again for future visits,'' said Andrew Nixon, Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau executive director. ''It is important that the process of obtaining a valid registration be as convenient as possible.''
To register a snowmobile in New York, snowmobilers must complete the official Snowmobile Registration Application, provide proof of ownership, with a preference for the snowmobile's out-of-state registration, and present a valid driver's license for the person who owns the sled. The registration form is available at www.nysdmv.com/forms/mv82sn.pdf. A link to the form is found through the snowmobile section of http://www.tourchautauqua.com,/ in the Outdoor category.
County Legislator Fred Croscut, R-Sherman, and county officials are working to communicate several issues concerning the snowmobile industry to New York state representatives. Included will be the topic of alternate registration venues. Croscut, Barb Lucarella, a local DMV representative, and members of local law enforcement have worked over the past several years to institute the availability of Saturday registration and a temporary documentation program.
Riders should always check trail conditions with a local snowmobile club or or by calling 1-800-242-4569, pressing 2 for Chautauqua County, then 5 for a current snowmobile trail report. A list of six local snowmobile clubs can be found on http://www.tourchautauqua.com/.
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