RANGELEY — Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club is offering a snowmobile safety program and will participate in the Take a Friend Snowmobiling Program during school vacation week again this year.

RLSC supports this free program annually by offering a two-day special event in Rangeley. First, the RLSC along with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will offer a Snowmobile Safety Course from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Rangeley Region Guides’ and Sportsmen’s Club House on Old Skiway Drive.

The Take a Friend Snowmobiling event will occur Thursday, Feb. 24. The program was developed by the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association and is observed nationwide by snowmobile associations and clubs.

Participants will be guided on a leisurely trip west on Interconnected Trail System 84 to view one of the most scenic trails in Western Maine. They will also enjoy a free a trailside cookout. Registered Maine Guide and instructor Caroleen “Mac” Dudley and Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife safety instructor Lori Weaver will guide the group starting at 9 a.m. from Oquossoc Marine.

During the safety course, instructors will cover an introduction to the sport, rules of the road, snowmobile trail sign identification, snowmobile components and safety features, cold weather clothing, safety tips, first aid, map and compass, survival kit contents, driving positions and driving approaches to snow conditions and terrain.

Attendees will also learn about maintenance and repair as well as preseason checks, summer storage and troubleshooting issues affecting snowmobiles. Snowmobiles provided will be used for the outdoor part of the course where participants will have lots of field practice learning how to operate a snowmobile and how to perform common tasks such as checking and adding gas, oil and lubricants and changing the spark plugs and the drive belt. Hands-on practice will occur on a closed training trail.

“This is the perfect opportunity for people who wish to experience snowmobiling to do so in a safe, structured but casual and fun program,” Dudley said.

This two-day event is free for the public including non-snowmobilers and experienced snowmobilers. Preregistration is required for either or both events.

Call Dudley at 864-5919 or Weaver at 670-5505 for details and to make a reservation no later than Feb. 19.

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