Snow Vehicle Use

Welcome to the Department of Conservation and Recreation! We invite you to enjoy your outdoor recreation activities this winter and experience the fun of snowmobiling at forests and parks across the Commonwealth. To assist you in your planning, we would like to acquaint you with the regulations for snow vehicle operation, as well as state properties open and closed to snowmobile use. Come out and play! We look forward to meeting you on the trails.

304 CMR 12.29        Snow Vehicle…Operation

304, Chapter 12, Section 12.29 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations governs the use of snow vehicles within the property of the Commonwealth under the care, custody or control of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of State Parks and Recreation. The following regulations specifically apply to recreational snow vehicle use:

(2)           No person shall operate any snow vehicle…upon or over any property of the Division unless that vehicle is registered under M.G.L. c. 90A or c. 90B.

(6)           No snow vehicle is allowed on Department property unless the Director has opened that property to use by snow vehicles. Upon request to the Director and at the headquarters building in each Department property, the Division shall make available a list of all Department properties where snow vehicles are and are not allowed. (See list following regulations.)

(7)           In those areas opened by the Director pursuant to 304 CMR 12.29(6), snow vehicles may be utilized on any unplowed forest road or forest way unless posted to the contrary or prohibited by regulation.

(8)           No person shall operate a snow vehicle upon Department property unless the area superintendent has determined the sub-surface soil of the land of a particular Department property to be solidly frozen and completely covered with a minimum of four (4) inches of hard packed snow or ice. The Division shall post these lands as open or closed in accordance with existing weather and snow condition. The Division may post this information at the park headquarters, at the trail head, by written public notice or a combination.

(9)           When the Division has posted the frozen waters to prohibit it, no person shall operate a snow vehicle upon the frozen waters of the Department. In the absence of such a posting, persons utilizing frozen water bodies do so at their own risk and the Division assumes no responsibility either implied or expressed for the safety of any person who voluntarily assumes a known and obvious risk inherent in such activities. No person shall operate…a snow vehicle upon any frozen Department waters under any circumstance unless a minimum of five inches of solid ice cover is present. The operator shall determine the thickness of the ice, and assumes all responsibility in undertaking an activity with an inherent and known risk.

(10)        Each snow vehicle operated upon Department properties shall carry a spare spark plug, flashlight, and spare drive belt and sufficient tools to effect minor repairs.

(11)        No person shall operate…a snow vehicle in or upon the unfrozen waters or wetlands of the Department except for the purpose of crossing a stream over a bridge, culvert or similar structure or by operating the vehicle at the minimum speed required to maintain controlled forward movement and crossing in the most direct manner to minimize the potential for erosion of the bed or banks of the stream.

(12)        No person under 12 years of age shall operate any snow vehicle…upon or over any Department property.

Southeast – Region 1

Freetown-Fall River State Forest, Freetown

Myles Standish State Forest, Carver

Northeast – Region 2

NOTE: All use of snow vehicles in Region 2 permitted only during daylight hours.

Billerica State Forest

Bradley Palmer State Park, Topsfield

Georgetown-Rowley State Forest, Georgetown

Lowell/Dracut/Tyngsboro State Forest

Wompatuck State Park, Hingham (See Special Restrictions)

Central – Region 3

Douglas State Forest, Douglas

Hopkinton State Park, Hopkinton

Leominster State Forest, Leominster

Pearl Hill State Park, Townsend

Rutland State Park, Rutland

Spencer State Forest, Spencer

Upton State Forest, Upton

Whitehall State Park (See Special Restrictions)

Willard Brook State Forest, Townsend

CT Valley – Region 4

Brimfield State Forest, Brimfield

Erving State Forest, Erving

Lake Dennison Recreation Area, Winchendon

Mt. Grace State Forest, Warwick

Holyoke Range State Park, Amherst

Hubbardston State Forest, Hubbardston

Northfield State Forest, Northfield

Otter River State Forest, Baldwinville

Petersham State Forest, Petersham

Templeton State Forest, Templeton

Warwick State Forest, Warwick

Wells State Park, Sturbridge

Wendell State Forest, Wendell

Berkshires – Region 5

Balance Rock State Park, Lanesborough

Bates Memorial State Park, Hancock

Becket State Forest, Becket

Beartown State Forest, Monterey

Blackberry River Flood Control Area, New Marlborough

Bryant Mountain State Forest, Cummington

Buckland State Forest, Buckland

Catamount State Forest, Colrain

Chester-Blandford State Forest, Chester

Clam Dam Flood Control Area, Sandisfield

Conway State Forest, Conway

DAR State Forest, Goshen

Florida State Forest, Florida

Gilbert A. Bliss State Forest, Chesterfield

Granville State Forest, Granville

H.O. Cook State Forest, Heath

Huntington State Forest, Huntington

Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest, Hawley

Middlefield State Forest, Middlefield

Mohawk Trail State Forest, Charlemont

Monroe State Forest, Monroe

Mt. Greylock State Reservation, Lanesborough

October Mountain State Forest, Lee

Otis State Forest, Otis

Pittsfield State Forest, Pittsfield (See Special Restrictions)

Peru State Forest, Peru

Rowe State Forest, Rowe

Sandisfield State Forest, Sandisfield

Savoy Mountain State Forest, Florida

Tolland State Forest, Otis

West Lake/Abbey Lake Recreation Area, Sandisfield

Windsor State Forest, Windsor

Worthington State Forest, Worthington

Special Restrictions, Certain Areas

Ashuwillticook Rail Trail: Closed, except for special use licenses or agreements.

Whitehall State Park: Snowmobiles are only permitted during daylight hours and are to be operated only on frozen waters for ice fishing purposes.

Willowdale State Forest: Snowmobiles are prohibited except to access the trail to Bradley Palmer State Park.

Wompatuck State Park: Snow vehicles permitted on portion east of Union Street only.

The following areas are closed to snowmobile use at all times:

Southeast – Region 1

Acushnet Cedar Swamp State Reservation, Dartmouth, New Bedford

Borderland State Park, Sharon and Easton

Bristol-Blake State Reservation, Norfolk

Cape Cod Rail Trail, Eastham, Harwich, Brewster and Orleans

Cushing Memorial State Park, Scituate

Demarest-Lloyd State Park, Dartmouth

Dighton Rock State Park, Berkley

Ellisville Harbor State Park, Plymouth

Fall River Heritage State Park, Fall River

F. Gilbert Hills State Forest, Foxboro

Fort Phoenix Beach State Reservation, Fairhaven

Franklin State Forest, Franklin

Hawknest State Park, Harwich

Horseneck Beach State Reservation, Westport

Manuel F. Correllus State Forest, Martha’s Vineyard

Massasoit State Park, Taunton

Myles Standish Monument State Reservation, Duxbury

Nantucket State Forest, Nantucket

Nasketucket Bay State Reservation, Mattapoisett

Nickerson State Park, Brewster

Pilgrim Memorial State Park, Plymouth

Scusset Beach State Reservation, Sandwich

Shawme-Crowell State Forest, Sandwich and Bourne

South Cape Beach State Park, Mashpee

Watson Pond State Park, Taunton

Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Falmouth

West Bridgewater State Forest, West Bridgewater

Wrentham State Forest, Wrentham

Northeast – Region 2

Boston Harbor Islands State, Boston Harbor

Boxford State Forest, Boxford

Captain William K. Webb Memorial State Park, Weymouth

City Square State Park, Charlestown

Great Brook Farm State Park, Carlisle

Halibut Point State Park, Rockport

Harold Parker State Forest, Andover, North Andover

Lawrence Heritage State Park, Lawrence

Lawrence Riverfront State Park, Lawrence

Lowell Heritage State Park

Lynn Heritage State Park

Maudslay State Park, Newburyport

Plum Island State Reservation, Ipswich

Roxbury Heritage State Park, Roxbury

Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Salisbury

Sandy Point State Reservation, Ipswich

Walden Pond State Reservation, Concord and Lincoln

Warren Manning State Forest, Billerica

Willowdale State Forest (See Special Restrictions)

Central – Region 3

Ashburnham State Forest, Ashburnham

Ashland State Park, Ashland

Ayer to Dunstable railroad, right of way

Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, Northbridge and Uxbridge

Callahan State Park, Framingham (the former Glick & O'Donnell properties)

Cochituate State Park, Natick, Wayland and Framingham

J. Harry Rich State Park, Groton

Lake Park, Worcester

Lancaster State Forest, Lancaster

Marlborough-Sudbury State Forest, Marlborough, Sudbury

Moore Memorial State Park, Paxton

Nobscot Hill Property, Framingham

Oakham State Forest, Oakham

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation, Sutton

Quinsigamond State Park, Worcester

Sutton State Forest, Sutton

Wachusett Mountain State Reservation, Princeton & Westminster

CT Valley – Region 4

Carroll A. Holmes Recreation Area, Shutesbury

Chicopee Memorial State Park, Chicopee

Connecticut River Greenway State Park (Elwell Recreation Area), Northampton

Dunn State Park, Gardner

Federated Women's’ Club State Forest, Petersham

Gardner Heritage State Park, Gardner

Hampton Ponds State Park, Westfield

Holyoke Heritage State Park

Joseph Allen Skinner State Park, Hadley

Lake Lorraine State Park, Springfield

Mt. Sugarloaf State Reservation, Deerfield

Mt. Toby State Reservation, Sunderland

Mt. Tom State Reservation, Holyoke

Norwottuck Rail Trail, Amherst, Northampton

Red Bridge State Park, Ludlow, Wilbraham and Palmer

Robinson State Park, Agawam

Shutesbury State Forest, Shutesbury

Streeter Point Recreation Area, Sturbridge

Tully Recreation Area, Athol and Royalston

Berkshires – Region 5

Appalachian Trail, Berkshire County

Ashuwillticook Rail Trail (See Special Restrictions)

Bash Bish Falls State Park, Mt. Washington

Campbell's Falls State Park, New Marlborough

Clarksburg State Forest, Clarksburg

Clarksburg State Park, Clarksburg

Cookson Property, New Marlborough

Deer Hill State Reservation, Cummington

East Mountain State Forest, Great Barrington & Sheffield

Fountain Pond State Park, Great Barrington

Gardner State Park, Huntington

Jug End State Reservation and Wildlife Management Area, Egremont

Krug Sugarbush, Chesterfield

Leyden State Forest, Leyden

Mount Everett State Reservation, Mt. Washington

Mount Washington State Forest, Mt. Washington

Natural Bridge State Park, North Adams

North East Branch State Forest, Cummington

North Silver / South Silver Flood Control Area, Sandisfield

South River State Forest, Conway

Taconic Trail State Park, Williamstown

Wahconah Falls State Park, Dalton

Western Gateway Heritage State Park, North Adams