Snowmobiling In New Hampshire

Snowmobiling in New Hampshire is one of the state’s most popular forms of winter recreation. With 7,000 miles of snowmobile trails throughout the state, it’s easy to see why.

While there are a number of trails on state owned or managed land that are maintained by the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails, the majority of trails are on private land. 70% of New Hampshire land is privately owned. Private land trails are maintained by the local snowmobile clubs. The clubs are responsible for obtaining landowner permission and maintaining the trails based on their wishes. It is essential that snowmobilers respect landowners’ wishes and their land. NO RESPECT = NO TRAILS

New Hampshire State law provides certain protections for landowners who open their land to those using it for outdoor recreation.

Snowmobilers can only ride on trails designated and signed as a snowmobile trail. Riders should familiarize themselves with signage and state laws.

A state-wide corridor snowmobile map (maintained by the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association) can be accessed here. Hard copies may be obtained from the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails via email or by calling (603) 271-3254. The corridor map provides an overview of New Hampshire’s trail system. Maps for the trails maintained by each local club can be obtained on a club’s website or by contacting the clubs directly.

Registering Your Snowmobile

In New Hampshire snowmobiles must be registered when operated anywhere other than the owner’s property. Riding is only allowed on approved trails or on someone’s land that has provided the rider with written permission. There are no additional trail user fees in N.H.

2016/2017 snowmobile registrations are valid from the date of issue through June 30, 2017 and are not prorated. Registrations can be obtained in person at authorized registration agents throughout the state. They may also be obtained in person from the New Hampshire Fish & Game Headquarters, or by calling Fish & Game at (603) 271-4300.

Current registration fees may be accessed here. Fees are reduced for both resident and non-resident snowmobilers if they are a member of a snowmobile club. To learn more about joining a club contact the club that maintains the trails in the area you ride.

Your Snowmobile Registration Fees at Work

Registration fees in New Hampshire are split between two state agencies, NH Fish and Game and the NH Dept. of Resources and Economic Development, Division of Parks and Recreation’s Bureau of Trails. In addition, $1 from each registration goes into the Fish & Game Search and Rescue Fund, $3 from each registration goes to the registration agent, and $2 from each registration goes to the vendor of the electronic registration system.

NH Fish and Game is responsible for the administration of the snowmobile registration program, snowmobile safety education, and law enforcement out on the trails.

The majority of monies the Bureau of Trails receives are returned to the local snowmobile clubs through the Bureau’s Grant-In-Aid Program. There are two types of snowmobile GIA grants, the Summer Grant that provides funds to the clubs for snowmobile trail construction and maintenance (including bridge building/maintenance) and updating or replacement of snowmobile trail grooming equipment, and the Winter Grant that provides funding to snowmobile clubs to help with fuel costs of grooming the snowmobile trails.

New Hampshire has a reputation for excellence with its nationally recognized wealth of wide, well-groomed snowmobile trails. By encouraging snowmobile club membership, providing Safety Education and enforcing snowmobile laws, we work together to provide a safe and enjoyable riding experience. These high standards are maintained by snowmobile registration fees. For a registration cost allocation breakdown see the documents linked below:

Snowmobile Trail Signage

New Hampshire’s snowmobile trail signs have been created based on international standards for the safety of riders, as well as the rest of the public.
 
Why?
Because who wants to be out on the trail lost? It’s not a good feeling when your gas is getting low and you don’t know where you are or how far away the pumps are. Or what if a rider experiences a medical emergency and needs to let help know their location? And riders should always be able to tell if they are still on an authorized trail system, or have taken an incorrect turn.

It is the rider’s responsibility to familiarize themselves with trail signs and follow direction of them while using New Hampshire’s trail system.

Snowmobile clubs should keep in mind that trail users may not be familiar with their trail system and sign appropriately and adequately. The Bureau of Trails (BOT) has created Trail Signing Guidelines to assist clubs in knowing where and how to post trail signs. The BOT urges all clubs to follow these guidelines and to use the signs supplied by the Bureau so that trails are uniformly marked throughout the State.

Remember to respect landowners and stay on designated trails! Without landowners' permission, there would be no trail system!

Other FAQs regarding snowmobiling in New Hampshire

Links of Interest