Keeping Snowmobile Trails Safe

January 1, 2014 Updated Jan 2, 2014 at 12:09 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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January 1, 2014 Updated Jan 2, 2014 at 12:09 AM EDT

TOWN OF BOSTON (WKBW) As temperatures dip and the snow continues to fall, many Western New Yorkers like to stay inside all bundled up, but for a select few it is time to ride. But as thousands of snowmobile riders hit the trails throughout the area, there is a lot of work that goes into maintaining and keeping those trails running.

"On this trail, on a given weekend, right conditions, probably 4,000 sleds will pass through this trail," Rich Lemieux, the president of the WNY Snowmobile Club said.

So Lemieux and his crew are out maintaining those trails. They are volunteers driving specialty equipment in the Town of Boston to get everything ready for riders.

"The guys are out here grooming the snowmobile trails, prepping them from the snow we just had, building snow bridges, removing fallen trees from the last wind storm, and getting the season started off again," Lemieux said.

Channel 7's Jason Gruenauer went on a rode along as trails were plowed and pressed down, leaving behind a smooth hard surface for the county's nearly 9000 registered riders.

But snowmobiling is much more than just recreation.

"It holds $860 million dollar economic impact, that was from an economic impact study a few years ago," Roger McCabe of the NYS Snowmobile Association said.

Keeping these trails clean and maintained is all about safety. Just last week, two brothers were killed while snowmobiling just South of St. Catharines, Ontario when they crashed into a fallen tree.

But even with the efforts of volunteer crews like Lemieux's, most of the responsibility of snowmobiling falls on the rider.

"They should dress right, the machine should be well maintained, they should have some extra supplies with them, maybe a cell phone. Keep the speed down, don't drink and ride," Lemieux said.