By Sandi Barrett, Contributing Writer
REGION – Sunkissed snowflakes sparkle like winter diamonds across a wide field of fresh white powder. As you cut the first tracks of the day, your snowmobile glides along with a whir of kicked-up snow dancing in a cloud of white crystals. A beautiful day for a winter adventure.
Across Massachusetts, intrepid winter outdoor enthusiasts are revving up their motorized sleds and breaking trails in fresh powder. Snowmobiling combines the fun of exploring beautiful New England winter scenery while satisfying an underlying need for speed. Adrenaline junkies throttle up their massive sleds and take to the trails as the snow blankets the forest and fields.
It doesn’t matter if you are brand new to snowmobiling or have a fleet of your own snow toys, Massachusetts offers an extensive trail system, mostly on state land, for the let’s-go-play-outdoors adventure seeker.
State Forest snowmobile trails
The Massachusetts State Forest and Park system offers riders a wonderful selection of snowmobile trails. From north to south and east to west, snowmobilers can hit the trails and enjoy a glorious day exploring Mother Nature’s winter beauty.
Following are some of the best snowmobile trails in Massachusetts, in no particular order:
Mount Greylock State Reservation
One of the best snowmobiling and hiking trail systems in Massachusetts is at Mount Greylock State Reservation. A showstopper for the region, Mount Greylock clocks in at 3,491 feet, the highest point in the Commonwealth.
It’s popular for motor sled enthusiasts because you can ride your way up to the frosty summit. A ride to the top is not for the faint of heart, but on a clear day, the panoramic, snow-covered views are spectacular.
Located in Lanesborough, the reservation is open year-round and offers a variety of programs in its visitor center. Ample parking and restrooms (9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) are two important perks available at Mount Greylock State Reservation.
Leominster State Forest
Riding through a snow-covered forest is a magical experience. At Leominster State Forest, snowmobilers can zip across snow-packed multi-use trails that crisscross the 4,300-acre forest. Winding through five towns, Westminster, Princeton, Leominster, Fitchburg and Sterling, the North Central Massachusetts trail system is a winter wonderland adventure.
Off-season free parking is available in the lot on Route 31 near the beach area. Because the trail system is multi-use, keep an eye out for cross country skiers utilizing the snowmobile tracks as “groomed” trails.
Douglas State Forest
Riding through a dense forest draped in a white snow blanket is the backdrop for stunning snowmobiling photos and a great day on the trails.
At Douglas State Forest, you can traverse over 30 miles of trails on the 5,900-plus-acre woodland park. Bordering Connecticut and Rhode Island, it is a wonderful spot to enjoy a day exploring the trails.
Myles Standish State Forest
Tucked away in Carver is the massive 12,400-plus-acre Myles Standish State Forest. Trails cut through lush pine forests are a perfect setting for snowmobile enthusiasts. Stately pines flocked in soft white snow tower overhead as you glide along trails breathing in the fresh, crisp winter air.
Tolland State Forest
The Berkshire Hills is one of the most picturesque regions in Massachusetts. The centerpiece is Otis Reservoir, a 1,065-acre body of water. Frozen water views from the trails make picture- perfect memories as you ride past the pretty scenery.
The 4,415-acre Tolland State Forest in East Otis is an outdoor paradise.
Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts
The Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts (SAM) helps develop and maintain interconnecting snowmobile trails from Worcester County to the Berkshires. Encompassing over two dozen private clubs, it is a go-to resource for individuals looking to join a group of like-minded people.
Snowmobile safety is paramount to enjoying the trails and sharing them with other winter outdoor enthusiasts. You can find several safety rules courses on the SAM Website.