Club: Trails not yet open

Published Dec 12, 2017 at 4:00pm

Snow has arrived but the West Rome Riders snowmobile club warns riders that the trails in the area may not all be open and passable at this time. 

“Our area received a lot of rain over the past several weeks, so unfortunately there’s open water that needs to freeze up before snowmobiles should head out, and especially before our groomers can go out to pack the snow down to a nice, safe base,” said Jim Rolf, West Rome’s grooming coordinator.

Hunting season has prevented area clubs from getting out onto some trails in order to finish signing or to open gates, the club noted. “Southern Zone hunting season is still going on right now, so those trails are definitely still closed until Tuesday, Dec 19 at dawn. We urge riders to please show respect for our landowners and stay off trails south of Rome until after Monday,” said club President JR Purrington. “And to heed the warnings about open water holes not frozen yet, with stumps, rocks, and ruts in the trail sub-base that could be present in the first snowfall of the year hidden under the fresh snow.”

The southern trails for the West Rome club should be open by Wednesday, Dec. 20, “providing no major warm ups hit,” Rolf said.

“We are hoping and planning to have our north trails open over the weekend,” he added.

He described the current conditions as wet, unusually so in the low spots. “We need cold temperatures to freeze the deeper ones.”

Other clubs are working on some last minute “unexpected reroutes too,” Rolf noted, and he suggested riders check with the clubs in the areas they are looking to ride in before venturing out, especially the first ride of the early season.

When trails do open, riders should always follow the signage placed by the clubs, staying on the marked trails and respecting the landowners, said Rolf, who is also the New York State Snowmobile Association’s statewide trails coordinator.

He warned that “if gates are closed, riders should not continue past them.”

“There’s a reason why,” Rolf said, adding that “Reports are out there from other local clubs of trails still closed as well, so any snowmobiler that wishes to get out on the trails in this first snow of the year should check out each local club’s web pages or social media sites to see what their respective trail situations are.”

For more Oneida County snowmobile club information and each club’s contact links, visit oneidacountysnowmobiling.org.