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Becoming More Active

When was the last time you had a blast outside? If you are like most people, you might find your days stacked to the brim with redundant paperwork, instead of enjoying the great outdoors with your family. I want to teach you how to have fun again, which is why my blog centers around becoming more active. By taking a few simple steps today, you might be able to get into better shape, enjoy your free time, and bond with your family. I know that physical activity can improve just about every facet of your life, which is why I want to spread the word.

Becoming More Active

Snowmobiling In Maine: A Guide For Vacationers

by Rose Mitchell

Maine is known as Vacationland and it's no wonder. This vacation spot offers activities for nearly everyone from hunting, fishing and hiking to enjoying life on the snowmobile trails. In fact, Maine has 14,000 miles of groomed and trimmed snowmobile trails, 4,000 of which make up the Interconnected Trails System (ITS) leading from one end or the State to the other, says the Maine Snowmobile Association. If you are visiting Maine during the winter and want to explore nature, traveling the local snowmobile trails provides an excellent opportunity to view the landscape, encounter wildlife and have some fun in the winter snow. Before you head off into the Maine wilderness with your snowmobile there are some things you need to know.

Maine Snowmobile Regulations

According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife , any snowmobile driven on the trails must be registered. There are several registrations available. Maine residents can register a snowmobile for the season for $45, while non-residents must pay a fee of $99. Non-residents can also purchase a 3-day or a 10-day registration for a fee of $49 and $75, says the Maine Department o Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

In addition to the registration requirements, there are some age requirements for operating a snowmobile. Children under the age of 10 are not allowed to operate a snowmobile and children between the ages of 10 and 16 must complete a safety training program with their parent or guardian, according to Maine State Statue TITLE 12, CHAPTER 939.

Operating a snowmobile under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if your driver's license is suspended, is also prohibited. Other regulations apply, such as observing posted speed limits. Complete ATV/Snowmobile Rules and Regulations are available online or through local snowmobile clubs.

Maine Snowmobile Clubs

Maine boasts over 300 individual snowmobile clubs listed with SledMaine. These clubs work together to maintain the snowmobile trails and provide services to local snowmobilers. They provide maps of snowmobile trails and can give you valuable insight into the conditions of the trails in the area you wish to travel. If you are new to snowmobiling, or new to the area, a visit to the local snowmobile club can prove invaluable. Members are knowledgeable about the weather conditions and local sights you may want to observe and can even point in the direction for observing native wildlife. They can also direct you to the proper trails to take to reach your desired destination.

Snowmobile Safety and Trail Etiquette

Groomers spend long hours working to keep the trails well-maintained and safe for everyone. You can do your part by practicing safe operation of your snowmobile and observing trail etiquette.

  1. Always drive on the right hand side of the trail.
  2. Do not pass others until they have recognized you and motioned you on.
  3. Use your mirrors and beware of what's behind you.
  4. Do not harass wildlife.
  5. Do not litter or destroy property. Landowners give permission for trails to pass through their land. Show respect for their property.
  6. Always give the trail groomers the right of way.
  7. Slow down for oncoming traffic, or when passing other snowmobiles, and observe all speed limit signs.
  8. Yield to uphill traffic if space is limited. It may be difficult to restart the snowmobile and gain momentum when you are climbing a large hill or difficult incline.
  9. Park off-trail if you decide to stop and enjoy the view or observe wildlife. If parking off-trail isn't possible, park your snowmobiles on the right hand side of the trail in single file. Do not park side-by-side.
  10. Remove your helmet when you stop to talk to someone on the trail. This is less intimidating as it lets them see who they are talking to.
  11. Stay on the trails. It may be tempting to take a detour to get a better view or make a quick shortcut to another area, but it is easy to get in trouble if you venture into unknown territory. Breaking down on the trail may mean a short wait until another rider comes along, but breaking down in the middle of the woods puts you at risk of getting lost and suffering from exposure before you are found.

Snowmobiling in Maine is a great winter activity that allows you to enjoy time in nature. By observing Maine snowmobile regulations and practicing good trail etiquette you will be on your way to an exciting adventure in the Maine outdoors. Click here for more info about buying a snowmobile and preparing for your trip.