“Do you belong to a snowmobile club?” It seems like a simple enough question – a yes-or-no answer would suffice. Yet too many people either B.S. their way through the answer or come up with an excuse as to why they don’t just sign up and do their duty.
If you’re one of those people, this article isn’t intended to scold because you’re certainly not alone. Though no official industry numbers are available, it is estimated that fewer than 25 percent of all North American snowmobilers belong to the clubs and associations that secure the land access, put in the trails and then groom and maintain them all winter, among other things. Hopefully that knowledge doesn’t give you an excuse to stay on the sidelines but rather inspires you to become part of the solution.
There are many reasons to join a snowmobile club – and many different levels of engagement among those members.
Join For The Camaraderie
One great reason to join a snowmobile club is that you’ll surround yourself with like-minded people. Hanging out with fellow snowmobilers is fun – it immediately expands your riding circle and puts you in touch with people who have similar experiences and interests.
Snowmobile clubs host club rides, organize fundraisers and hold social events. You’ll find yourself participating in those big trailside weenie roasts, summer picnics and early-season trail opener gatherings that you’ve read about in magazines or seen on posters. Most clubs even make monthly board meetings fun – before and after the formal meeting, it becomes a social event where riders get together, swap stories, make riding plans and enjoy each other’s company.
Club membership expands your riding circle. If you have a free day, you can almost always find somebody to ride with – dozens of other enthusiasts are just an email, a social media post or a phone call away. Also, sometimes there are monetary benefits to club membership, including discounts on lodging, trail passes, insurance and more.
Join To Help Out
Intrinsically you know it: Snowmobile trails don’t just appear like magic. And that person who drives the big rig through the woods and pulls the drag? He isn’t the Groomer Fairy, he’s often a club member or was hired by a club. While it’s true that in some locations government agencies do some of the grooming, the vast majority of the trail network is created, maintained, signed and groomed by snowmobile club members. That results in a lot of work and, at times, a lot of fun if you like being outside with friends.
In areas where snowmobile trails cross private land, club members must appeal to each land owner whose property the trail crosses each year and get them to sign a land lease. Then in the fall, club members go out and prepare those trail corridors. It can be as simple as posting the trail signs and trimming back overgrown brush or downed trees, or as complex as bringing in heavy equipment to rebuild a trail base or build a bridge across a stream. Repairs are sometimes needed in the winter, and then the signs have to come out in the spring
All of this is quite a chore, but brushing trails and posting signs can also be a lot of fun. And, as you were told when you were a child, “many hands make light work.” If you can even help maintain a simple 3-mile section of trail, you will have helped the cause, put in some good, positive sweat equity and can claim it as your own when you ride on it this winter. Most snowmobile clubs also host youth safety training courses, lobby local and state officials for trail or backcountry access, participate in charity events and spread goodwill throughout their community. They maintain grooming equipment and insurance for the trails and train the groomer drivers.
Join Because It’s The Right Thing To Do
While being a volunteer who attends meetings, chairs events or pounds signs into the ground every fall is what every snowmobile club needs, at the very least write out a check and mail it with a
membership form to join a club where you ride. And do it every year. Big membership numbers help lobbyists who work on behalf of snowmobilers. There truly is strength in numbers. Clubs
are also influential for establishing new trails and preserving existing trails because clubs often get businesses – which are powerful in communities – to jump on board.
So, even if you’re not a “joiner,” despise attending meetings or don’t have time at this point in your life to help out or attend the various social events, sign up because it’s the right thing to
do. Your sport needs you, now more than ever.
How To Join
Below you’ll see listings from snowmobile clubs that have chosen to participate in the Snowmobile Club Promotion program, complete with contact information. They are specifically reaching out to invite you to join their efforts to keep snowmobiling great.
If, however, you don’t see any clubs listed close to where you live or ride, the clubs that sponsored this program won’t hold a grudge if you join another club – they’ll just be happy that you
joined the important grassroots network that keeps snowmobiling alive. Go to snowgosite.wpengine.com/states-with-snowmobile-clubs for a listing of U.S. clubs, visit snowmobilers.org or visit the ccso-ccom.ca in Canada.
Find a snowmobile club near you!
Illinois Association of Snowmobile Clubs Inc.
Tri-County Snowmobile Alliance
Cedarville Snow Travelers
Prairie Drifters Snowmobile Club
Woodford County Snowmobile Club
Germantown Hills, 309/397-6922
Hampshire White Riders Snowmobile Club
Harvard Snow Gophers Snowmobile Club
Evergreen Snowmobile Club
Oak Forest, 815/249-5342
Cornbelt Driftbusters Snowmobile Club
Oaks Ridge Riders
Winnebago Sno-Gliders Inc.
Michigan Snowmobile Association
Grand Rapids, 616/363-2285
Gogebic Area Grooming Inc.
Byron Center Snowmobile Association
Byron Center, 616/459-8545
Western Michigan Snowmobile Council
Gun Lake, 269/672-9507
Elk Country Sno-Travelers
Yankee Springs Snowmobile Association
Michiana Trail Riders Coalition
South Bend, 574/250-2203
Snomads Snofari Club
Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association
Brooklyn Park, 866/214-7669
Freeborn County Snowmobile Trail Association
Albert Lea, 507/402-1319
Andover Sno Dragons
Ash River-Kabetogama Snowdrifters
Ash River/Kabetogama/Ray, 800/777-8405
Baxter Snowmobile Club
Bay Lake Sno Packers
Bay Lake Twp./Deerwood, 218/678-2051
Belle Plaine Boroughriders
Belle Plaine, 952/873-4320
Hinckley/Pine City Flames
Big Lake Sno-Cruisers
Big Lake, 763/263-5809
Byron Snow Bears
Caledonia Sno-Gophers Snowmobile Club
Cambridge Drift Dusters
Carver County Snowrunners
Carver County, 612/483-5638
Rice Creek Trail Association
Circle Pines, 651/260-8508
Wood City Riders
Cook Timberwolves Snowmobile Club
Delano Snowstormers Snowmobile Club
United Lakes & Trail Riders Association (ULTRA)
Detroit Lakes, 218/847-6019
Drift Toppers Snowmobile Club
Eden Prairie Snowdrifters
Eden Prairie, 952/934-7863
River City Snow Riders
Elk River, 763/441-6881
Blizzard Snowmobile Club
Faribo Sno-Go Club
Farmington Sno Tigers
Finland Snowmobile/ATV Club
Forest Lake Snowmobile Club
Forest Lake, 612/751-4666
Hamel Sno Runners
Houston Money Creek Snowriders Snowmobile Club Inc.
InternatIonal Voyageurs Snowmobile Club
International Falls, 218/286-3102
Inver Grove Heights Snowmobile Club
Inver Grove Heights, 651/900-3540
La Crescent Snowmobile Club
La Crescent, 507/895-6363
Lakeville Sno-Trackers Inc.
LeSueur County Snowmobile Trails Association
Lincoln Lakes Area Snowmobile Club
Maple Plain Snomads
Maple Plain, 952/929-0405
Southwest Trails Association
Merrifield Marathons Inc.
Rum River Sno-Riders Inc.
E.C. Riders Snowmobile Club
Gull Lake Drifters
NorthWest Trails Association
Otsego River Riders
Prairie Snow Drifters
Parkers Prairie, 218/338-9813
Otter Trail Riders Snowmobile Club
Prior Lake Snowmobile Association
Prior Lake, 952/445-9066
Red Wing River View Riders
Red Wing, 651/301-0058
Country Snow Cruisers Inc.
Rockford Ridge Riders
Rollingstone Snowbankers Inc.
Benton County Snowmobile Club
Sauk Rapids, 320/241-7005
River Valley Trail Blazers
South Tonka Sno-Mobilers
Spring Valley, 507/259-4813
Foxtailers Snowmobile Club
St. Michael, 763/497-3802
Low Plains Drifters
West Central, 320/284-2269
Zumbro Valley Snowmobile Association
Zumbro Falls, 507/843-2855
Snowmobile North Dakota
Rough Rider Snowmobile Association
Nebraska State Snowmobile Association
Schuyler Snow Stars
South Dakota Snowmobile Association
Dakota Trailblazers of Clear Lake & Gary
Clear Lake 605/933-0382
Terry Peak Trailblazers
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Whetstone Valley Snowmobile Assn.
James Valley DriftSkippers
Town & Country Snowdrifters Snowmobile Club
Black Hills Snowmobile Club
Rapid City, 605/391-8602
Sioux Falls Sno Trackers
Watertown Snowmobile Club
Northern Hills Snow Cruisers
Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs
De Forest, 800/232-4108
Berlin River Riders Inc.
Birchwood Bobcat Riders Inc.
Namakagon Trail Groomers
Cozy Corner Trails Inc.
Schnee Katzen Snowmobile Club Inc.
Sawyer County Snowmobile & ATV Alliance
Howards Grove, 920/377-1122
New Berlin Suburban Sno-Hawks
New Berlin, 414/940-7130
Oakdale Area Snowmobile Association
Plain Hillcrest Riders
Snow Runners LTD
Port Washington, 414/828-5265
Rome Sno-Bandits Snowmobile Club
Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club
Sussex Sled Bugs Snowmobile Club
Twin Runners Snowmobile Club
Twin Lakes, 262/995-0202
Bear Point Sno-Cruisers