Staying Safe on the Snowmobile Trails

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Across Burleigh and Emmons county alone, there are 168 miles of trail to mark, maintain and ride throughout the season.

"The trails are set up to give people a safe place to ride, so if they want to avoid the hazards, then they're more comfortable on the trail then," says Todd Thronson, a state trail inspector with Snowmobile North Dakota.

Thronson says sticking to the trail will help riders stay safe and avoid hazards like approaches, trees and culverts.

Going off the beaten track can increase your risk of damaging not only the equipment and land, but maybe even yourself.

"We need a safe place to ride as well as a place where we are not riding on private property," says Bob Gregoire, Secretary of the Rough Riders Snowmobile Association.

A team from the Rough Riders maintains the trails around Burleigh County and keep them safe for riders.

But more than sticking to the trails, Snowmobile North Dakota says snowmobilers should ride smart in order to stay safe. They suggest riders check their gear, have a survival kit and appropriate clothing, never snowmobile alone and tell someone who, where and when you are going.

Haley Boeder has been riding snowmobiles for two years.

"I like to go slow and enjoy the ride," she says.

Her and her dad Duane are members of the Rough Riders Snowmobile Association and have made riding safe a family priority.

"Actually all three of my kids have went through the snowmobile safety course and have all been certified," Duane Boeder says.

Because starting with a foundation of safety, may ensure many years of trailblazing ahead.

To ride the trails there is a $40 fee.

Children twelve and older are required to have a safety certificate to ride. The Parks and Recreation department is holding a snowmobile safety certification class on December 13th at the Burleigh County 4-H building.

You can find more information and maps at www.snowmobilend.org.