Local trails to benefit from state funds for maintenance

Published Jan 13, 2018 at 4:00pm

A total of $4 million for snowmobile trail maintenance around the state, including more than a quarter of a million dollars for Oneida County, was announced Thursday, a 15 percent increase from last year. 

The grants support 10,400 miles of designated trails across the state for snowmobilers to safely enjoy, according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s news release. Oneida County’s snowmobile clubs maintain more than 540 miles of trails.

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 trails.

Award amounts are determined based on trail mileage and type.

Area counties receiving funds and the amounts were: Oneida, $266,588; Madison, $142,251; Lewis, $272,051; and Herkimer, $184,718.

Statewide snowmobile registrations for 2016-2017 totaled 107,972, according to the season report prepared by the New York Parks, Recreation and Preservation Snowmobile Unit.

Oneida County had the most registrations at 6,176, followed closely by Erie County’s 6,144. Downstate Bronx County had the fewest, 12.

A breakdown for other area counties’ registrations shows: Madison, 2,061; Lewis, 1,996; and Herkimer, 3,111

In addition, State Parks has authorized more than $1.1 million in federal Recreation Trail Program grants to help seven snowmobile clubs purchase equipment to maintain regional snowmobile trails. Funding comes from the Recreation Trails Program, which is provided by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by State Parks. 

Area equipment grant recipients and the amounts were: Turin Ridge Riders, Lewis County, $200,000; Long Pond Sno Sled Club, Inc., Herkimer and Lewis counties, $200,000: Redfield Snowmobile Association, Inc., Oswego County, $200,000; and Square Valley Trail Blazers, Inc., Oswego County, $185,000.