Snowmobilers ride Jan. 22 near Steve’s Family Market in Wilton. Access to private land is being threatened by riders going off marked trails. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo

Snowmobilers veering off marked trails are threatening access to private property, according to some area clubs.

A sign at Emmanuel Assembly of God Church on Route 17 in Livermore Falls states snowmobiles are not to ride on the front lawn. A recent post on the Jug Hill Facebook page shows photos of snowmobile tracks on either side of the sign. The post says legal actions will be taken if necessary and parents will be fined if children are riding there. “USE THE BACK TRAIL OR LOSE THE TRAIL,” the post reads.

Attempts to reach the Jug Hill Riders club for further details were not successful, however, members of several other clubs did address the issue.

Mark Bickford, president of Andy Valley Riders in Jay, said he hasn’t heard any complaints from landowners.

Snowmobilers usually stay on the groomed trail unless they get on a big field, he said. “It’s more when they get near homes.”

Loud exhausts near homes is the biggest issue for the Livermore Trail Blazers, former trail master Scott Richmond said. He said he heard about the church issues but hasn’t had any complaints from Livermore landowners.


More markers and signs are erected along trails to help riders know where the trails are, Bickford said.

A Jan. 22 post on the Wilton Woodland Wanderers club Facebook page reads, in part, “We sign our trails exactly how our wonderful landowners want us to. People that DO NOT respect this and decide to NOT stay on marked trails are a nuisance to this sport. If you can’t stay on the MARKED trails, then please STAY OFF OUR TRAILS.

The club uses elaborate signs and double signs the former John Tyler and McCrillis Corner fields, club President Mike DeRusha said. If there are no signs in a field, there is nothing telling you not to go somewhere, he said.

The Chesterville Country Ramblers has lost a landowner or two in the past, Lane Thomas said. “People just don’t respect the landowners, not staying on trails, leaving garbage. We have been able to keep routes open.”

In Industry, a trail was rerouted last year at the owner’s request, Lucy Sorensen with Northern Lites snowmobile club said. It was because of riding off trail, she noted.

“Going out and boon docking, or whatever they call it, just ruins it for everyone else,” Sorensen said. “If people don’t stay on marked trails, landowners are going to shut their land off, then you can only go so far (and) will have to turn around and there will be no loop.”

Shiretown Riders snowmobile club in Farmington had to reroute a trail last year, club Secretary Betsy Brady said. “The respect thing is so not there today, respect in general is at its lowest,” she noted. “We want it to be enjoyable, if we don’t have landowners we don’t have trails.”

Brady said there are 52 miles of trail in Farmington, 200 registered snowmobiles and 70 landowners. She wishes landowners would touch base to update their address information by calling 207-778-6563.

“It is one or two people out of 100 that give a bad name,” Brady said. “If you ride a sled, you should be part of a club to understand what’s needed to keep trails open.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.