Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation


Skip Navigation LinksHome / Recreation / Snowmobiles

The New York State Snowmobile Program exists by mandate from the Legislature. The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) has been given the responsibility to plan for the development, maintenance and oversight of a statewide snowmobile program. The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest to:

  • Encourage the sport of snowmobiling as a family activity,
  • Promote the proper and safe use and operation of snowmobiles,
  • Provide an adequate safety educational program for youthful operators,
  • Limit the operation of snowmobiles upon public highways and private property without the consent of the owner,
  • Protect and preserve the state's natural resources, including its wildlife, wild forests, waters and scenic and wilderness character,
  • Reduce the effect on the environment of excess noise,
  • Insure privacy of remote areas,
  • Afford opportunity for compatible enjoyment of various recreational activities on the state's lands and open spaces.

It is the purpose of this title to promote the safe and proper use of snowmobiles for recreation and commerce in this state by encouraging their use and development and minimize detrimental effects of such use upon the environment.

Program funding is obtained through snowmobile registrations. With the exception of the first ten dollars collected, the registration fees are used to support snowmobiling in New York State. These fees are deposited into a State Special Revenue Snowmobile Account that provides financial support to accomplish what was mandated. This revenue is used to support local areas through grants-in-aid for snowmobile trail development and maintenance.

OPRHP has established programs for:

  • Municipal Snowmobile Trail Grants
  • A Snowmobile Law Enforcement Grant
  • A Snowmobile Law Enforcement Development School
  • Snowmobile Safety Education
  • Snowmobile Special Event Permits
  • Snowmobile Accident Reporting
  • Snowmobile Publications
  • Snowmobile Trail Grooming Education
  • Snowmobile Trail Signage Guidelines
  • A Snowmobile Laws Continuing Education Course for Magistrates

There are over 10,500 miles in the Statewide Snowmobile Trail System traversing 45 counties, maintained by over 200 clubs, and is funded through 52 municipal sponsors. This vast trail network is comprised of lands under the jurisdiction of OPRHP, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), NYS Canal Corporation, national forest land, local governments and many private landowners who have increasingly opened their property to snowmobiling with insurance coverage provided by the state snowmobile program.

OPRHP works closely with the New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA)Leaving New York State Parks. NYSSA represents over 200 snowmobile clubs and acts as an advocacy and advisory organization for the snowmobile clubs it represents. OPRHP is also a member of the International Association of Snowmobile Administrators (IASA)Leaving New York State Parks.