BANGOR – Snowmobiling is a popular winter sport in Maine and game wardens want you to keep in mind ways to do so safely.
There are approximately 88,000 registered snowmobiles in the state with 14,000 miles of trails to ride.
“We want everyone to have a safe season out there this winter,” said Sgt. Alan Gillis of the Maine Warden Service.
Gillis said to ride on the right side of the trails and to ride sober.
“Just like motor vehicles on the road you cannot operate a snowmobile if you’re under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or drugs,” he said.
When you’re riding, Gillis said, drive safe speeds for the weather conditions. If it’s at night, or snowing, he says to slow down. Also, be caution of ice.
“This time of year we’ve gone through a point where we have no ice and now we’re developing ice. Eventually we’ll have good safe ice in most of the state but during that transition period it can be very dangerous,” Gillis said.
Ninety-four percent of snowmobile trails in the state of Maine are privately owned. Gillis said while you’re keeping yourself safe, also remember the rules that the landowners may have.
“Don’t go off and start wandering off,” Gillis said. “It’s very important we keep the landowners happy so we can continue to have 14,000 miles of snowmobile trails.”
Before you hop on the trails Gillis said let someone know when and where you’re going as well as when you’ll be arriving home.
“We put in a lot of time and effort and we find the person, only to discover that they really weren’t late, they really weren’t overdue,” Gillis said. “They didn’t intend to be home and they just hadn’t communicated that to their loved on or their friend.”