Over 130,000 snowmobiles sold last year, 10% more than the year before, which means there are more people out riding, and more trespassers on private property too.
If you are the unfortunate owner of the land where people were riding illegally, you will need to take steps to prevent it from happening again. What is the best way to stop snowmobiles from trespassing on your property?
The best way to stop snowmobiles from trespassing on your property is to put up orange snow fencing. This lightweight, brightly colored plastic mesh fencing clearly indicates that the area is not open to the public, and most snowmobilers are familiar with it at a glance. Better still, snow fencing is cost-effective and reusable when stored properly.
How To Stop Snowmobiles From Trespassing
Stopping snowmobiles from trespassing on your property can be frustrating, and you may feel personally targeted.
However, this is rarely the case. Most snowmobilers are content to stick to trails and public lands, and those in your yard may not even know they are on private property, especially if you live near a trail or other frequently used area.
I will walk you through everything you need to know to safely and legally stop snowmobiles from trespassing on your land so you can enjoy it in peace and quiet.
1 – Orange Snow Fencing
Orange snow fencing is inexpensive, easy to find, and quick to install. Additionally, it is a well-recognized sign that an area is not friendly to snowmobiles, skiers, or other trespassers.
Unlike other fences, this brightly colored plastic fence is easy to spot from miles away and impossible to miss up close.
If you want to see what orange snow fencing looks like and how incredibly easy it is to put up, I recommend this video from Watkins Tree Farm.
In the video, they place posts and attach this simple, lightweight, visually dynamic plastic fencing to help protect some trees, but you can do it to warn snowmobilers away.
A roll of 50 to 100 feet of 3- to 4-foot-high snow fencing should run anywhere from around $11 to about $50, depending on where you live.
Happily, since it’s lightweight, you can mount it a couple of feet off the ground if necessary to ensure it sticks out above the snow.
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2 – Build A Fence or Wall
Building fences and walls around your land is a good idea if you want to keep out sleds and other undesirables.
Unfortunately, this is not the cheapest solution, so it works better when your parcel is small, a couple of acres or less.
However, a simple, sensible, strong barrier will stop any snowmobiler. Just remember to put in a solid gate as well.
Robert Frost coined the phrase “good fences make good neighbors” in his 1914 poem “Mending Wall.” While the meaning in the poem may have been slightly more about ‘turf protection,” it can also be applied to adding value to a home and property.
3 – Post No Trespassing Signs and Flags
Sometimes the most basic solution is to place signs and orange plastic safety flags.
By taking the time to go around and mark your property line, you are ensuring that the snowmobilers at least know they aren’t welcome.
If you live near public land, trails, or other areas where there’s a lot of snowmobile activity, the riders may be unaware that they’ve trespassed.
Moreover, marking your private property clearly, every few yards will also ensure you can show you acted to prevent the unauthorized use of your yard space.
Hopefully, you won’t need to take more serious steps, but if you do, it is always good to show you proceeded accordingly to try and warn sledders off.
4 – Flag Them Down and Record Everything
Sadly, a few unpleasant and stubborn people give this wonderful outdoor pastime a bad name by acting like the world is their trail.
Most snowmobilers are reasonable people, so flagging them down if you see them pass through is an excellent step to help prevent unwanted trespassing.
Ensure that you are polite but firm and record the interaction unless your state explicitly forbids two-party recording on private property.
A recording is allowed almost everywhere outdoors so long as it’s your property.
You can also put-up trail cams to catch the problematic riders or those who become repeat offenders after being warned.
Snowmobile registration is required in many places and is generally located as a decal on the forward half of the cowl.
If you can get a clear shot of the registration number, you can contact the local authorities about the trespassers.
5 – Call The Local Club
I have left this solution last on the list, so it stays freshest in your mind. Many local snowmobilers will join clubs and ride together.
Particularly if you have a lot of people coming through on sleds frequently, someone in the group is likely to be a snowmobile club member.
Your property may be near a known trail or oft-used trail access, or a former owner may have even given riders specific permission to ride there.
Most snowmobile clubs are adept at managing relations with local residents because they want to continue having fun.
Some will even come out and put-up snow fencing and signs for you to help remedy the situation.
Please get online, look up the local snowmobile club phone number(s) and call them first.
Doing this could save you a lot of hassle, and it will show you made a good-faith effort to try and stop the trespassers if there’s ever an issue with property damage.
Helpful Tips To Know About How To Stop Snowmobiles From Trespassing
With a little common sense and the right equipment, most homeowners will have little trouble preventing snowmobilers from using their space without permission.
Whether you use a fence or call the local club, there’s a solution for every budget.
Here are a few more helpful tips to know about how to stop snowmobiles from trespassing.
- Several boards and sites recommend baling wire and other things that will catch on skis and entangle the tracks of snowmobiles. However, it’s essential to understand that you are opening yourself up to lawsuits if you do this. Please do not string hard-to-see wires or place anything designed to damage sleds or riders. They may not be allowed on your property, but you are still not permitted to cause riders physical harm or damage their vehicles intentionally.
- Orange snow fencing is also called construction fencing or safety fencing and is used for other practical applications thanks to its high visibility.
- When you want a more natural-looking solution, plant thick hedges that are tall enough to rise above the usual snowline in your area. Bamboo is another fast-growing option, but you must be vigilant about cutting it back, or it will take over your yard space. You can also landscape in a manner that makes your home an unpleasant place to ride with plenty of close-together trees or buildings. Physical barriers don’t have to be fences or walls, but you need something tall and sturdy enough to resolve the problem.
You have the right to stop snowmobiles from trespassing on your private property, but you have to be sensible.
Threatening people or intentionally creating a dangerous situation to harm them or their machines is illegal, and no one wants to get sued.
Instead, try the ideas on this list to calmly, safely, and legally get rid of unwanted guests on snowmobiles.