This sport is a Canadian invention, having been jump-started by Bombardier's invention of the Ski-Doo snowmobile. It became a major recreational sport in the mid-sixties, and has become a great family winter sport. Today's snowmobiles are quieter, more stable, and more reliable than the early snowmobiles, and some models are downright luxurious, with foot and snack warmers aboard.
To drive a snowmobile, remember that you throttle (accelerate) with your right hand and brake with your left. You straddle the seat cushions, and rest your feet on the running boards, letting your legs absorb the bounces on the bumps. Today's snowmobiles can go as fast as 100 km/h, though you do not want to go at speeds beyond 50 km/h if you wish to see the natural terrain around you.
For safety, when snowmobiling, stick to marked/tracked trails, carry emergency food & fuel, and if in the backcountry, carry emergency transceivers.
To go snowmobiling you need a snowmobile, and a truck or trailer to carry it. You do not need a licence to drive a snowmobile, but the vehicle must be registered with the provincial Motor Vehicle Branch. Snowmobiles can cost from $4000 to $15000, with trailers starting at $400. Fortunately in good snowmobiling areas, you can rent them by the hour or by the day. You should also wear warm winter clothing, like a one or two-piece snowmobile (or ski) suit, goggles and helmet.
To snowmobile legally in Ontario you must have:
To use trails in Ontario, you must have a valid snowmobile permit, isssued by a local
chapter of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (in Barrie: 705-739-7669) or 905-562-4922
Annual Trail permits: $230 after Dec 1st, $180 before, and a 7 Day Permit is $100.00 and a 1 Day Permit is $35.00
Golden Hill State Park Trails
Snowmobile Paths are available at the 511 acre Golden Hill State Park, along the shore of Lake Ontario, 20 miles northeast of Lockport Take Route 104 or Route 18, to Route 269. Turn right on Route 269 to Lower Lake Road, left at stop sign and go 3/4 mile to park entrance.
Joseph Davis State Park Trails 388 acre Joseph Davis State Park in Lewiston, NY (4143 Lower River Road) has snowmobile trails.
For trails & Conditions.