Shortly after the first snowflake makes landfall the NHSA office is often peppered with two particular questions: “Why aren’t the snowmobile trails open?” and “Why aren’t the trails groomed?” Everyone is itching to ride. Me too!
Why Aren’t The Snowmobile Trails Open?
Why is it so complicated to get the trails opened at times? Storms can wreak trail havoc. It can take every ounce of club resources to clear and rebuild in the wake of monstrous storm damage, diverting the few volunteers away from “routine” trail clearing and grooming.
The miracle workers in the woods get it done and deserve our utmost praise and respect. I bow down before them.
Why Aren’t The Trails Groomed?
With 106 snowmobile clubs in New Hampshire grooming independently of each other, the office doesn’t necessarily know the answer to that question at any given time, but we do know how you can find out. The best way to get snowmobile trail reports is at the Trails Bureau website, which is updated every Thursday.
Report Problems But Be Respectful
If you suspect an unusual problem, we encourage you to contact the club directly via email, phone, or social media. As dedicated as groomer operators are, life sometimes interrupts good intentions. And equipment breaks down.
Why Aren’t The Trails Signed?
While most trails are signed, some are better than others. Again, this gets back to the realities of limited manpower. However, there is a relatively easy fix. Contact the club and ask if you could help post signs. It’s actually an enjoyable task and makes for a relaxing afternoon of exploring. Most clubs have the signs in stock, just ask.
Why Are Some Trails Closed?
The majority of trails are on private property and occasionally a landowner isn’t prepared to open the gate just yet. Sure, we may be disappointed but that will be short-lived. If the gate’s closed, turn around.
Respect Yourself – Respect Others
Now it’s my turn to ask “Why?” Despite the basic premise of a closed gate – my door is closed and locked at the moment, please don’t enter – a few bad actors insist on B&E by forcing a gate open or bushwhacking an illegal bypass.
That level of disrespect is disgustingly insulting to the landowner and the volunteers who have nurtured the relationship for years. It’s also a direct threat to every snowmobiler and can’t be tolerated under any circumstances.
In response, clubs are installing cameras to monitor the trails, sensitive areas in particular. Snowmobilers in general are becoming more proactive in the protection of our trails and understand how fragile some routes are. Simply said, it’s illegal to ride off-trail, trespass, or damage private property. It’s a criminal offense, as if you didn’t know.