snowmobile trail

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by rambler, Nov 13, 2004.

  1. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Subject has come up again.

    Neighbors want to put a snowmobile trail through my farm. They have insurance. I'm not sure how that helps _me_, but they do....

    Now, I'm all for letting people have fun. Wish this was on some back 40 or something, it wouldn't bother me....

    But, this will be a quarter to a third mile from the house, buildings, and livestock. It will be running through 'the view' from the house.

    If I say no, I'm at the best the black sheep of the neighborhood, or I have bullet holes in the mailbox or the like....

    If I say yes, it's gonna bug me. Not that others are having fun - just I'm a kind of private person. I try not to bug others, try to stay out of the way & quiet - and kind of like to be treated that way myself....

    Really, really hate to say no tho - wish I could do something for the neighborhood.....

    All torn up about this. Again. What to do.

    --->Paul
     
  2. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Say no, your insurance company won't cover you in case of accidents, etc. They can have all the insurance in the world, but that still wouldn't stop you from getting sued. Tell them you are also concerned about granting what may become a permanent easement on your property (in effect, a public roadway).

    Ken Scharabok
     

  3. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like these neighbors are intimidating you into saying yes. One mistake you might have already made - it sounds like you told them you would think about it. A firm NO would probably be best, right up front. Don't let them bully you into something you do not want. But be kind, friendly, and let them know that you will be a good neighbor, but not furnish a playground for them. That is unreasonable. Good luck.
     
  4. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    There insurance most likely covers damage they cause to you/your property and/or vehicles/or what ever. (its liability type insurance).At least thats the type, i here of people getting for there ATVs here.Like to cover the other guy they might run into on the trails.
    Nope it will not stop them from suing you.Hopefully if there asking permission instead of just trespassing there responsible enough to hold them self into account for there own actions/accidents.But then agin,you never no nowadays. :rolleyes: If you say yes you might draw up a hand written waver,saying they will not sue.Not sure if it would stand up in a court of law or not but it would be better than nothing.(We have to sign them at a local atv riding track here,so i asum they work here in TN.)

    That would be a hard decision to make.Did they say how often they might be coming threw? You might not see them very often,or it might turn into a play ground.You never no. :( Would it be grown ups and/or kids.Id suggest also if you say yes,that you tell them all kids must be accompanied by an adult at all times! That way you cut down on two problems at once.Hopefully some liability issues and traffic. ;)
     
  5. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Remember, once you give permission, it will be just about impossible to take it back in the future. Once word gets around, I suspect you will have a lot more than your neighbors using the trail. Are you going to check everyone for insurance coverage. At the absolute least, talk to an liability attorney and a liability insurance agent. You may be covered from being sued by state recreational use laws.

    However, it still sounds like this is something you really don't want to do, so don't.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  6. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I side with Ken. Just say no.

    On the other side of the coin, though, consider this. Have a legal release drawn up by a lawyer for all users to sign. Help construct the trail. And charge admission to your property. It can't be an easement if you make them pay for every use.

    It won't be that long before no one will be able to afford the gasoline to run those things. If the peak oil crisis happens on schedule, it may be just a few years.
     
  7. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    Well rambler, most of the info posted is a million miles from reality. I suspect many of these people have never even seen a snowmobile, much less have even the slightest clue of what its all about.

    Snowmobile clubs indemnify landowners from ANY liability with the liability insurance they purchase. Of course, anyone that has ever been in snowmobile country knows the chances of winning a lawsuit pertaining to a snowmobile accident is the same as suing the state for an automobile accident.

    One is free to allow usage of snowmobiles across ones property and may halt usage AT ANY TIME for any reason. Permission to use snowmobiles has absolutely NOTHING to do with road easements. Period.

    If you don't wish to have the snowmobile trail crossing your property, it is your decision. You don't have to give any reason whatsoever for not wanting the trail crossing your property.
    Life will go on, with or without the trail crossing your property.

    In reality, there probably will be 1 or 2 of your neighbors that may not like your choice.

    Personally, I think your objection because "it runs through the view" at 1/4 to 1/3 mile away is ridiculous.....but in no way do I have the bond with your land as you do.
     
  8. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    I'd side with the "no" answer, but if you should decide to let them
    use your property, you should make rules, like the times when they
    can ride. Some use an old railroad bed on my property without
    permission, and it is all hours of the day and night. 4-wheelers
    also use it. They and the snowmobiles are loud and there are lights
    on the railroad bed into the wee hours. Or, another possibility is to
    suggest another route that isn't as close to your view or won't create
    so much noise. Either way, it is a headache.
    If you are a hunter, their presence may make the game scatter
    just when you are about to hunt.
    Ann
     
  9. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    Could you compromise and maybe let them go around your farm?? I'm surprised that you don't snowmobile yourself Paul, you sure have the weather for it. Most of our farmers here allow our local snowmobile clubs access over their fields in this area, they mark clear trails, and yes at times when people are on them at 3 in the morning, it can get annoying if you live close to them. Most users are responsible though, but you have to be happy with your decision, if you tried it for one year to see how it went, you could always say no the next time they asked.

    Carol
     
  10. Timberline

    Timberline Guest

    Hello Paul.

    When I had bought 40 acres there was already a trail through it, and it was close to the dwelling as you've described in your situation. Although I never really did notice until the seller mentioned it some time later. It wasn't so heavily used to be an issue for me, after all, it was only locals using it. No tourists and the like. I don't know what the exact situation is for you. I never had an issue, and if I had, a knock on the neighbors door would be about all it would take.

    Heck, I found 100 pot plants planted on my back acres, apparently one of the neighbor's kids. Those plants dissapeared and no one shot my mailbox up.
     
  11. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Say no and don't look back! We have a "snowmobile" trail that runs across the back of our property. Well, ten years ago it wasn't bad, only snowmobiles used it and there weren't that many. Also, they were not causing any damage going across the snow and frozen ground.

    Recently however, more and more atv's are using it in the spring/summer/fall. Let me tell you, a lot of these folks have no regard whatsoever for other peoples property! The trail is rutted and torn up. They don't stay on the trail (they even come into the driveway to ask for directions) and they have rutted up my hay fields. Once they get used to using it it's next to impossible to stop it, save yourself the aggravation.
     
  12. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Just say no. I had snowmobile trail along my side of hiway when I lived in MI. One Valentines Day counted over 500 using it. It may seem ok with just locals, but these things just get worse and worse with tourists. I even asked local trail groomer to move it across the road where nobody was living. They did for little while, but then powers that be that were making$$$$ off snowmobilers decided to play hardball and I either had to hire a lawyer or give in. Heck they didnt even want me to plow my driveway since that interrupted the trail. It was time to move for other reasons so that was easiest out.
     
  13. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Make a ledger with two columns. One positive aspects. One negative aspects. Only positive one I see is your neighbors will still like you. Lots of negatives noted above.

    Tell them maybe next year as you want time to think it over.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  14. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    I'd go with saying no (politely of course....unless they don't get the message). It sounds that you are like DW and myself in that privacy is something near and dear.

    The only person I have given permission (after checking with DW) to snowmobile is my cousin. I don't care much for the noise of snowmobiles but I figure if he ever takes advantage of the offer it will be infrequent as he lives 3 states away. I also made it clear that the offer extends only to him and his immediate family....no friends.

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

    Mike
     
  15. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Tell them you would like to talk to members of the club. Their insurance will cover you and they should put up no tresspassing signs along the trail if you ask.

    mikell
     
  16. sue currin

    sue currin Well-Known Member

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    I have a sled trail that goes through my land about half way back of the house.I have had no problems with it, I don't have a sled or use the trails, but have met nice people who have offered to bring me things from the store when the snow is deep. I put up pass at your own risk signes. It is nice for them to be able to continue a way of life they enjoy, while bringing me into there fold where we can all learn from each other. In the country it is all give and take, just talk to them about being respectfull for your land and peace, i am sure it will be a positive thing in the long run, you may even enjoy going along with a sleder to see the wonders of wilderness in deep winter
     
  17. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    I got a question, do Snowmobile trails tear up the land like ATV's?

    what I understand is you need like 4 inches of snow to use a snowmoblie or you'll tear up the tracks.

    I would say, "yeah, but keep it hush hush" and put up No Tresspassing signs, I don't see snowmobiles doing damage, especailly when they can only use the trails one season a year!

    However, it'll be a challenge, when the trails are noticable, ATV's and Dirtbikes might try to use the trail, that would be OK as long as you didn't have 40 ATV's riding the trail every weekend, but you know, ATV riders, will tell "hey I found a great place to ride"
    so you will need to CLEARLY mark it as a Snowmobile trail ONLY.
     
  18. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    If nothing else you could set up a food and drink stand and make a few bucks off your land. We sledders like hot food and a fire.

    mikell
     
  19. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    We love snowmobiling! We have a snowmobile trail on our 40 acres. It does not bother us in the least and we've never had a problem. Actually it's kinda nice since we are sledders and can get to the trail by just riding down our driveway.

    Don't let them put the trail through a hayfield, if you do, the grass/legumes will freeze (ie, die) under the compacted snow. Perhaps an alternative would be to allow them to route the trail around the edges of your property and not through the center.

    As you know, snowmobiling is good for the economy of the area. And the people who are members of the snowmobile clubs are down-to-earth...the kind of people who want to do the right thing.

    You'll be surprized how few snowmobiles travel the trail....most of the traffic is during the weekends. We'll get an average of one party of sledders every 20 minutes during peak sledding.
     
  20. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for all the views.

    This is a sportsman group that disks a path in your field, sets up trail markers, & grooms the snow trail every so often - a bit more organized than I may have implied at first. I'm not really sure where it comes from or where it goes... Can't really look at the past 3 years to determine traffic on it, as we have had _extremely_ light snow the past 3 winters....

    I like to spread manure late in fall. I'm planning to apply NH3 fertilizer yet the end of this week. I plant oats very early, I notice their trail markers in other fields as I start field work. I run a single barbed wire around cornstalks on other parts of my farm, and run cattle until Christmas or later - the wire does not come out until spring. It's not unusual for me to plow with a couple inches of snow on the ground...

    The fellows would like to set up the trail today. Yea, I'm sure they would work with me - but....

    Seems to crimp my style....... I farm differently than others.

    Insurance - anybody can sue anyone for anything in this country. I'm not worried about people on the trial - the club's insurance will take care of that. 'Somewhere' around here a farmer got sued for leaving a dirt clump from plowing in the road right of way ditch & causing a snowmobile accident. Was a gopher mound, farmer does no-till, but he still had a lot of headache with the lawsuit.... Leaves me with questions - not for the snowmobile club, I believe they are trying to protect me.

    Internally, I am a rather possesive person. I like to look out at my small farm & have it be mine. On the other hand, I never wanted anything of anyone else's. I can look at it intellectually & say of course it's no big deal, I'm not using the land (much I guess) in winter, and would be nice to do something for the neighbors. But, there is that possesive part of me that would be bothered. Why I don't know. :) I realize some will not understand that part, & Idon't believe I can really explain the little bugger that I don't really understand myself. :)

    We currently live at my wife's house in town, and were planning to move back to the farm when some estate stuff gets cleared up in a year. Wife is tired of the snowmobiles & ATV (both not allowed) running up & down the alley in town as well as the 110 decibel car radios in the neighborhood. She said why bother moving if we get the same stuff on our property at the farm?

    But, I'd like to be a good neighbor & help out others wanting to have good clean fun.

    So, I reflect the different replies I got. :)

    Anyhow, thanks for the replies.

    --->Paul