Some, But Not All, Snowmobile Trails Are Now Open
The Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club announced this week that the trails were open as of Thursday, just eight days after the originally planned opening date at the beginning of snowmobile season on Dec. 20. The delays came first in the form of a lack of snow and exceedingly muddy trails, but consecutive weeks of harsh and heavy snowfall transformed the trails into a snowscape requiring many man hours and equipment to clear.
“CLSC trails will be open (today), but ride with caution,” the club announced in a statement. “Snow is deep and wet underneath. It may also be hiding branches or fallen trees. Snow banks at road crossings are a major safety concern, some nearing 6 feet high. We are trying to open them up. Some signs may be hidden in the snow. There are still a few gates we are trying to get open. Please stay on the trails. Our landowners have been more than generous.”
The announcement added that the trail to Busti is still closed, and four of its 10 groomers are currently down, making for difficulty in getting all the trails as navigable as they could be.
“Grooming will be limited and some trails have not been checked, so ride safe and with a partner,” the announcement concluded.
The county offers over 450 miles of snowmobile trails, which take riders across rolling foothills, open meadows and forestlands.
These trail systems are the result of a strong collaboration among Chautauqua County’s five snowmobile clubs: Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club, Cherry Creek Sno-Goers, Ellery Sno-Cruisers, Lake Effect Trailbreakers and Sunset Drifters; and hundreds of landowners, volunteers and other key stakeholders.
Snowmobile registration can be done at any of the County’s three Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices and registration is $45 for snowmobile club members and $100 for non-members. DMV offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday and each office has one day a week where they are open until 5:45 p.m.
The Dunkirk office is open late on Mondays, the Mayville office is open late on Wednesdays and the Jamestown office is open late on Thursdays.
To learn more about the county’s snowmobile clubs, and to keep updated on trail conditions, visit chautauquasnow.com, cherrycreeksnogoers.com, ellerysno-cruisers.org, trailbreakers.com and sunsetdrifters.net.
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