Chautauqua County is being featured in the current issue of Snow Goer magazine.
County Executive Greg Edwards and Chautauqua County Legislator Fred Croscut, R-Sherman, recently met David Wells, contributing writer of Snow Goer magazine, to discuss the snowmobile industry in Chautauqua County. Snow Goer, a Plymouth, Minn. based magazine, covers everything in the world of snowmobiling from product reviews, technology updates, how-to-tips, trails, and snowmobile racing.
Since 2011, Stephanie Burdo, communications coordinator of the Chautauqua County Visitor's Bureau, has been working to organize the opportunity for Wells to visit Chautauqua County, but the warmer winters over the past few years have postponed his visit.
"Stephanie has played a crucial role in getting David here," Edwards said. "Through her hard work, she has undoubtedly changed the way that snowmobile enthusiasts around the nation will view Chautauqua County. David seemed very impressed with our trails and he was able to cover a lot of ground during his three-and-a-half day visit, enjoying nearly 300 miles of snowmobile trails."
Burdo, working with Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Services and representatives from local snowmobile clubs arranged for five to 10 snowmobilers to ride along with Wells and his camera man each day, and among some of the riders was Croscut.
"The tour wouldn't have been possible without the five snowmobile clubs in our county," Croscut said. "Each year, the clubs work together with landowners to create and maintain these trails. It is through their dedication that they have given residents and visitors the opportunity to come out and enjoy one of Chautauqua County's greatest winter recreational activities."
There are 450 miles of groomed trails spanning across Chautauqua County and each trailhead is nestled among service stations, restaurants, and accommodations so riders never have to venture far from the trails for amenities. The trails are usually open from late December to late March and take riders across scenic terrain from rolling foothills, to open meadows and forestlands.
The trails are maintained by members of the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club, Cherry Creek Sno-Goers, Ellery Sno-Cruisers, Lake Effect Trailbreakers and Sunset Drifters. The local snowmobile clubs cooperate with hundreds of private landowners to maintain safe and smooth riding conditions.
According to a survey conducted by the Chautauqua County Visitor's Bureau during the 2009-10 snowmobile season, of the 978 snowmobilers surveyed, 51 percent were Chautauqua County residents and 49 percent were non-residents. Combined, riders spent an average of 15.7 days on the trails and an average of $101.86 per day while out snowmobiling.
"None of this happens without the clubs," said Andrew Nixon, Chautauqua County Visitor's Bureau director. "Without them the trails wouldn't be maintained and snowmobilers wouldn't know where they could ride. It is the snowmobile clubs that create the product using snow and hard work."
For more information about snowmobiling in Chautauqua County, visit the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau website at www.tourchautauqua.com or call 866-908-4569.
Residents and visitors can also get current snowmobile trail conditions in Chautauqua County by calling 800-242-4569, press 2, then 5.