Local snowmobilers are preparing for the upcoming season.
The 2013-14 snowmobiling season is scheduled to begin Dec. 18, depending on weather and the close of hunting season. Trails need at least a 3-inch compacted base of snow to accommodate snowmobiling, so area clubs are expecting riders to wait to access the trails until the season officially begins to preserve the trails.
Early December snowstorms have riders excited about a good season.
"We're very optimistic that this season is going to be a great season," said Marcus Maloney, Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club event coordinator. In regards to the club's upgraded trails, Maloney added that the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club is always improving and working on trails. For the upcoming season, at least six bridges have been built or reconstructed by the club. The club has also purchased new equipment and currently utilizes 10 groomers to keep trails properly maintained.
According to the New York State Snowmobilers Association, members of snowmobile clubs save money on snowmobile registration costs, and club membership fees are directly invested back into the sport, which benefits all riders.
For more information about getting involved with the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club and a calendar of the club's upcoming events, visit www.chautauquasnow.com. For general information about snowmobiling in New York, visit www.nysnowmobiler.com.
Check online or call a local snowmobile club before riding on the trails to check conditions and make sure that the trails are open. The Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club's "Sno-Phone" can be contacted at 753-2924. Other local snowmobile clubs include the Cherry Creek Sno-Goers Inc., www.cherrycreeksnogoers.com; Ellery Sno Cruisers, www.ellerysno-cruisers.org; Lake Effect Trail Breakers, www.trailbreakers.com; and Sunset Drifters Snowmobile Club Inc., www.sunsetdrifters.net. Emails to other organizations were not returned.