Lake Erie lake effect creates New York’s snowy secret, the great riding in Chautauqua County. This southwestern gateway to the Empire State is situated on a 1,500-foot high plateau that holds the white gold when other areas are browned out all around it.
Nearly 450 miles of excellent trails roll across a variety of terrain and are maintained by five local clubs. Parking areas for access dot the county, or you can ride directly from many lodging establishments. Some trails hit high ground for superb scenic views, while others lead to clubhouses and great pit stops.
A unique, self-guided, interactive Winter Trails Cell Phone Tour offers 25 stops scattered across the county. Each signed stop provides access to recorded audio and photographic information about the big county, and features nearby businesses that cater to trail users, with no charge beyond standard time usage fees. Visit rtpi.org/conservation/winter-trails-cell-phone-tour/ for details.
And Chautauqua County has outstanding support services. Favorites include Webb’s Lake Resort in Mayville, Peak ‘n’ Peak Resort outside of Findley Lake, Pine Junction with its vintage sled event and famous “Horse Balls” desert that’s also near Findlay Lake, Sandy’s White Horse Inn in Cassadaga, and Tom’s Tavern in Maple Springs. For assistance exploring the big county, contact Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Services at firstname.lastname@example.org for tour guides, sled rentals and other services.
Located about half-way between Buffalo and Cleveland, access to Chautauqua County is easy via I-90, I-86, or US 62. New York State snowmobile registration is required, and is available locally. See the snowmobile page at tourchautauqua.com for details. Or access facebook.com/Tour.Chautauqua, or call the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau at 716/357-4569.