Snowmobiling: Getting Started

Snowmobiling - Ross SannerSometimes winter needs a little extra push. Skis and snowboards can only take you so far, and that is where snowmobiling comes in. As an article featured in Snowshoe Magazine attests, there are winter locations that can only be reached by snowmobile and the payoffs come big with high speeds and breathtaking views. With winter showing no signs of leaving us anytime soon, now is a good time to start preparing if you are going to try your hand at snowmobiling for the first time.

Snowmobiling is one of the nation’s most popular winter sports with prime trails and locations all over the country. But you will need some guidance before you hit the trails. Operating a machine that rides over snow may seem straightforward, but in reality there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration. One of the primary challenges that a new snowmobiler will face, is learning how to pilot the vehicle in different types of snow: packed snow, deep snow, dry snow, ice and raised terrain. Braking and steering can be affected by snow conditions and learning how is essential for safe, enjoyable snowmobiling.

There is safety in numbers, so make sure that your first snowmobile excursions are with someone who knows what they are doing. Given the popularity of the sport, chances are that you already know an experienced snowmobiler that would be willing to show you the ropes. If that is not the case, snowmobiling clubs are an excellent place to make friends and get face time with experts who are more than happy to share their knowledge with a newbie. Finally, if you are the type of learner who likes doing things by the book, there are training classes available on snowmobile operation. offers a list of training classes in virtually every area of the country.

Once you have learned what you are doing, the only thing left to do is hit the trails. Here is a guide to some of the country’s best trails.