A Message from the President
It's time once again to communicate with members of Valley Snow Travelers Club. I hope all is well with you and your summer is going well. Also I trust you are looking forward to another great snowmobile season on Tug Hill.
I am quite proud to report that I have received numerous positive compliments on the quality of the trails the Club maintained last winter. The quality of our trails is a reflection on the 10 volunteer groomer/operators work. These guys are operators, not drivers. Great job, guys! I know you love the task! I hope you all agree that we maintain some of the best trails on Tug Hill.
Club Memberships are climbing; however, we have a goal to exceed 1000 members. Each member means $25 income to the Club making every 100 members a financial increase of $2500. Cracking that 1000-member ceiling should help us with some long-time goals: (1) an addition to the barn to store the third groomer inside; (2) a meeting room/kitchen area to make Club events more accommodating. Groomer expenses ($25000 for diesel fuel and monthly payments of $2000 for the groomers) leave us with little excess money for other things. So if you have riding buddies that belong to other Clubs, that's fine; but please ask them to join our Club too. We certainly will appreciate their support.
At the April 2018 meeting of Valley Snow Travelers, it was decided by unanimous decision to do a membership promotion raffle. At this point, twelve different prizes have been donated by nine different businesses. Please find details at Membership Promotion Raffle.
Membship Promotion Raffle
If you join Valley Snow Travelers by the end of December 2018, you are in this raffle. No other tickets will be sold. Please spread the word. Tell your friends and riding partners to give us a try this year!
Prizes will be awarded in no specific order.
- Ridgeview Lodge/Ridgeview Inn: Two-night stay with $75 gift certificate from Ridgeview Inn
- Flat Rock Inn: One-night lodging for 2
- Montague Inn: (2) $50 gift certificates
- Tug Hill Hook & Ladder: (2) $50 gift certificates
- Steak & Brew: (2) $50 gift certificates
- CJ's Skidoo: Snowmobile helmet with goggles
- Doyle's Restaurant: (2) steak dinners
- Maples Restaurant: $50 gift certificate
Where are we Located: The Valley Snow Traveler's groomer barn is located at 3642 Rector Road which is about 6 miles northwest of Lowville. Our location is right on the trail system.
Our Trail System: Currently Valley Snow Travelers maintains 72 miles of trails which include mileage in the Townships of Turin, Martinsburg, Montague, Pinckney, Lowville and Harrisburg. About 25% of our trails cross private lands and the remainder are on seasonal township roads.
Grooming: Currently our grooming schedule is set up to send groomers out on a daily basis with the main corridor trails on the tug hill to be groomed 5-6 times per week and the secondary trails to be groomed 3 times per week. Please be aware this schedule is for ideal snow conditions. We have eleven regular certified operators and three more in training. Please understand that it takes about 12" of snow on the trail to do effective grooming without breaking our equipment. Also, the temperature for grooming needs to be at or below the freezing point to make smooth trails. Basically, if you can form a snowball the grooming process does not work. We are a volunteer organization and do the best job we can.
Also use good judgment when snow coverage is thin, please stay off. We will do our part and try and keep flat trails, you do your part and show respect by staying on the trail!
New Tractor Has Arrived
As was mentioned in our newsletter the club has upgraded to a new Case Puma 185 Tractor with a track system and a new 10' 6" trail paver drag to pull behind it. This is our second tractor groomer. The 220 Case Puma tractor was purchased last year with a grant that the club was fortunate to be awarded.
This equipment does a great job of cutting bumps on a rough trail and lays down a flat compacted riding surface. The only drawback is that we had to secure a HUGE loan to make this purchase!
Vintage Sled Show / Race March 5/6
This year our club has decided to combine these two events into one weekend. On Saturday the Vintage Show will also have vender space available. Bring the items you wish to sell. Registration for the Show will begin at 8:30 AM. This day will conclude with a short trail ride.
Sunday will be the Annual Vintage Race on the 1.6 mile course to be laid out on the property next to the groomer barn. There will be 7 classes in the competition with trophies given to the top finishers. Great food will be on hand for both days of this event.
If you have items you wish to sell vendor space will be available for a small fee. For more information contact Eric at 315-408-3774.
Help With Website
Without a doubt one of our club's weaknesses is communication. We are seeking a person who would work with our web administrator. This would be a huge plus for us. Contact Bill at 315-376-2503.
Smart Rider Tips: Stay Right - you will see signs to stay right or keep right on the blind hills and other caution areas. Please always ride on the RIGHT side of the trail!
Stay on the trail - please stay on the marked trail. We would hate to loose any trail because a landowner becomes disgruntled. Also when club members mark trails they pick the best route free of any hazards.
Quiet Please - Some of our trails travel near houses or residential areas. Please travel slow and avoid unnecessary noise, especially snowmobiles with the aftermarket or modified exhaust systems.
Watch For Groomer - Our club does have a grooming schedule and sends groomers out on a daily basis. Therefore every time you ride please watch for us. Remember groomers are large and New York State Law says groomers have the right of way. It's great when sleders pull to the side when meeting groomers. One request from groomer operators is to please dim your headlights. Also, please signal the number of riders in your group to the groomer operator.
Bridge Project: In October 2011 club members installed a bridge to cross the stream at the groomer barn property. The bridge eliminates stream crossing problems at both ends of the season that have plagued us in the past. A special thanks to: Bill Matuszczak, Francis (Jasper) Kafka, Butch Matuszczak, Ben DuBois, Henry Tarasek, Bill Tarasek and Gary Jones.
Copenhagen/Carthage Trail Upgrade: Valley Snow Travelers had discussed straightening a section of the Maples Trail through a wooded area for years. In the fall of 2011 the Club hired a bulldozer and with the help of Henry and Bill Tarasek the project was completed. We are hoping it helps improve safety and smoothness of the trail.
Trail Change on the route to Stewart's in Lowville: In an effort to accommodate a local farmer the club has rerouted its trail to no longer cross the farmer's alfalfa fields. This project involved building a road crossing and changed the grade of a side hill area. Over $1000 was spent on this project.
Storage Building Project: Because our Club has a lot of its trail mileage on private lands we had outgrown our storage for trail marking stakes. Club members Ben DuBois, Walter Beyer and Bill Tarasek constructed a 10' x 12' storage building to hold the several hundred trail markers that we put out each year.
Trailheads/Parking Areas: Valley Snow Travelers has two places that you may unload and begin your snowmobiling for the day.
At the Groomer Barn - 3642 Rector Road - this is a large parking lot directly on the trail. You should most always find enough snow to leave from this location.