New grooming equipment for some of the best maintained trails in the system.
In Western New York, the Northern Erie Sno-Seekers, Inc. (NESS) maintains over 120 miles of trails that are part of the New York Statewide Snowmobile Trail System. These trails provide direct connections to 10 municipalities, local attractions and businesses, emergency services, and other regional trail systems. NESS-maintained snowmobile trails also connect riders and visitors to the Erie Canal, West National Heritage Corridor, and natural, cultural, historical and recreational areas throughout the region.
In recent years, it became clear that new grooming equipment was needed to maintain its vast expanse of New York's Snowmobile Trail System. The club's aging fleet was increasingly out of service for maintenance. The club was also interested in expanding the trails to further connect riders to parks, recreation and other resources in the region.
Although rich in membership and volunteers, the club lacked the financial resources to purchase the equipment it needed to properly maintain the trails. Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funding was needed to address these issues.
The Sno-Seekers Trail Grooming Equipment Project, funded with $151,128 from the RTP, strengthens stewardship of the State's trails system. Equipment purchased with funding from the RTP grant enables more volunteers to groom the trails more often and more efficiently, reducing volunteer fatigue and enhancing the quality of trails.
The new equipment also maximizes the accessibility of trails, critical to riders with mobility impairments, by finely processing the snow to ensure a smooth, flat durable trail, resulting in well-maintained trails and linkages and providing for safe and enjoyable recreational opportunities for all residents and visitors. In support of regional planning efforts, the new grooming equipment will also enable NESS to expand the trails an additional 15-20 miles into Niagara County, creating new trail linkages and improving the continuity of New York's Snowmobile Trail System.
The unprecedented collaboration led by NESS among volunteers, local governments and over 200 landowners across three counties has resulted in trails that are among the best maintained in the system. Without RTP funding, NESS would have been unable to purchase this needed equipment. Through a combination of fund raising and bank financing, NESS contributed a cash match of $43,477 toward this project.
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