LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWTI) — Although last week, Lewis County was a rider’s paradise, conditions are now dangerous on local snowmobile trails.
The Lewis County Shirrf’s Ofice confirmed on January 4 that all trails in the Tug Hill region are closed, as warmer temperatures and rain had melted most of the snow.
“The trail conditions in Lewis County are unfortunately horrible,” Lewis County Sheriff Michael Carpinelli said. “There’s a complete lack of snow. There are several ruts, rocks and several other items that could cause accidents or damage the sleds.”
The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies said they will be taking action to prevent riders from using the trails in the near future.
“If anybody is out there, you’re going to get ticketed,” Sheriff Carpinelli confirmed. “It’s now considered a trespass because you’re being told about it, there are marked signs, there are marked barriers. If you go on there, it’s considered a trespass.
This has caused frustration among the local snowmobile community.
The Brantingham Snowmobile Club is responsible for maintaining over 100 miles of trails throughout Lewis and Herkimer counties. Club members said they were initially excited at the start of the season.
“The trails were in super shape, to begin with,” Club Treasurer Douglas Dietrich shared. “But now, we’re bare.”
Dietrich also helps to groom snowmobile trails twice a week. He said it’s going to take a lot of work to reopen the area to riders.
“It’s going to take a while, even if we get a big snowfall to get the trails packed down and get a base going,” Dietrich explained. “We had a really great base going. Now, we have to start over.”
But the club is hopeful that Lewis County will continue to be a snowmobile destination this winter.
“Usually February is good,” Dietrich said. “We hope we get some snow so we can get a longer riding season.”