Snowmobile Safety Essential
A snowmobile, also known as a motor sled, motor sledge, skimobile, snow scooter, Ski-Doo, or snowmachine, is a motorized vehicle designed for winter travel and recreation on snow. It is designed to be operated on snow and ice and does not require a road or trail, but most are
driven on open terrain or trails. Snowmobiling is a sport that many people have taken on as a serious hobby.
Minnesota has over 22,000 miles of snowmobile trails. Access to trails depends on the cooperation of landowners, non-motorized trail users, other recreationists, and local units of government. The vast majority of trails are groomed and maintained by snowmobile club volunteers. Be aware that trespass is the most frequent complaint landowners have against snowmobilers. Trespass seriously impacts the ability of clubs to get private landowners to allow grant-in-aid trails on their property. We recommend that all recreational users ask first before entering private lands, even if the land is not posted.
REQUIREMENTS Residents born after December 31, 1976, must complete a snowmobile safety training course to operate a snowmobile in Minnesota. While operating a snowmobile, you must have either: • a snowmobile safety certificate in your possession or • a snowmobile safety certificate indicator on your driver’s license or on your Minnesota ID card *Minnesota’s enhanced driver’s license does not allow for certification indicator Ages 11 to 15 Youth can complete safety training by selecting one of the choices below.
Either choice will have a required “hands-on” snowmobile riding course. Choice 1: Attend a Traditional classroom snowmobile course • Course fee $5.00 • 8-hour course provided by DNR Volunteer Instructors • Meets two or more times in a classroom setting • Required “hands-on” snowmobile riding course** Choice 2: Complete the Online snowmobile safety course • Snowmobilecourse.com [course fee $24.95] • Attend required “hands-on” snowmobile riding course** **Additional fees may apply to attend the hands-on course. Contact the Instructor.
Where do I find a training course? On the DNR website www.mndnr.gov, click on Education & Safety and then under Recreational Vehicle Safety Classes to find snowmobile safety training. You may also contact the DNR Information Center by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone 1-888-646-6367. Ages 16 and older Anyone who is 16 years or older may complete the online course at Snowmobilecourse.com and click on the Minnesota course link.
Non-residents Certificates for snowmobile safety training issued in another state will be recognized in Minnesota.
Another resource available is the Minnesota United Snowmobile Association providing information for all snowmobilers about trails and snowmobile events and safety.
Lake of the Woods specifically has staked and groomed snowmobile trails extending from Wheeler’s Point south to Baudette on the Rainy River, 42 miles north to the NW Angle and west to Warroad.
-273 miles of land trails on the south end of Lake of the Woods alone.
-Trails extend from Baudette east to Birchdale and then to Big Falls. This is probably the most wilderness type trail in the state. It goes for 87 miles one way and only crosses two roads. There are gas stations in Birchdale and in Big Falls. The stretch from Birchdale to Big Falls is 53 miles.
-They also extend west from Baudette to Williams, Zippel Bay State Park and over to Warroad. You can also go south from on that trail and hit Roosevelt and enter part of Beltrami Island State Forest.
-Also extend from Baudette south all the way to Waskish.
-Don’t forget about the NW Angle. Land trails extend through the wilderness from Angle Inlet throughout the northernmost point of the continental U.S.
Our marvelous lake also has many staked and groomed trails to travel for a winter-time adventure. Both the Northwest Angle and the south side of the lake have full time groomers that keep the trails in excellent condition. Two snowmobile clubs in the area offer current information and keep the trail shelters available for travelers to rest in.
The Lake of the Woods Drifters and the Northwest Angle Edge Riders snowmobile clubs are the ones to contact when riding the lake. Remember they are the professionals and are always exploring the lake trails for any dangerous ice areas, etc. Contact them or contact www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com at 218-634-1174 or email@example.com for current snowmobile maps. You can also find these maps virtually on that same website. After logging onto the site, go to Outdoor Adventures>Recreation>Snowmobiling to find them.
For more information see these websites: