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Snowmobilers hopeful for a strong end to the riding season

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Gov. Kathy Hochul announced March 3-5 will be a free snowmobiling weekend for out-of-state and Canadian riders. This will be the first weekend of a new yearly tradition.

Fortunately, riders are looking forward to having snowy trails, but that has not always been the case this winter. Unpredictable winter temperatures are making winter activities more difficult for central and northern New York.

Jennifer Senf, executive director of the New York State Snowmobile Association, said total snowfall has not reached levels that areas across the state are used to.

“Areas that typically get a significant amount of snowfall, they have gotten snowfall but just not those totals that we are used to seeing,” Senf said.

She added that the lack of snowfall impacts the number of trails that have been able to open this season.

“The warm weather and the lower than average snowfall in many areas of the state has impacted the number of trails that have been open this season,” Senf said.

Even when areas do get snow, Senf said that good conditions do not last long.

“When they do get snow, then it warms up and rains, it makes the conditions challenging,” Senf said.

The more than 220 snowmobiling clubs in the state are facing weather challenges aside from a lack of snowfall. Senf said that this year’s ice and wind conditions have made it difficult for volunteers to continue to maintain trails.

“There have been areas that have had significant amounts of trail work due to the ice and the wind that we seem to have had this year,” Senf said.

Still, Senf said riders are hopeful for a strong end to the season in late March.

“We are hopeful that many areas are able to get some much needed snowfall and cold temperatures to open up their trails and have a great second part to the winter season,” Senf said.

Abigail is a temporary WRVO News Reporter/Producer working on regional and digital news stories. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2022 where she studied English and Public Relations. Abigail enjoys reading, writing, exploring CNY and spending time with family and friends. Abigail first joined the WRVO team as a student reporter in June 2022.