Wisconsin snowmobiling routes and rules

Wisconsin is the birthplace of snowmobiling and continues to offer some of the best snowmobiling opportunities you are likely to find, especially in northern Wisconsin. More than 200,000 registered snowmobiles hit Wisconsin’s 25,000 miles of groomed trails each winter, making safety an important part of the ride. Ride smart from the start – take a snowmobile safety course!
If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1985, and are at least age 12, you must complete a snowmobile safety certification course to operate a snowmobile on Wisconsin public snowmobile trails and areas. DNR recreational safety specialists recommend snowmobile operators complete a safety course.
Snowmobile Routes
You can ride on highways which have been designated as routes and which are identified by signs.
• Towns, cities or villages may designate state trunk bridges, a sidewalk or one lane of the bridge as a snowmobile route.
• When a town, city or village designates a highway as snowmobile route for snowmobile operation, you must observe the following rules:
• Snowmobiles must be operated on the extreme right side of the roadway.
• Left turns must be made as safely as possible from any position depending on snow cover and other prevailing conditions.
• You must yield right-of-way to other vehicle traffic and pedestrians.
If a town, city or village allows the “Purpose of Residential Access” or the “Purpose of Access from Lodging” a snowmobile may be operated on a portion of the roadway or shoulder of a highway, but only after observing roadway speed limits. Check with your local officials to see if an ordinance exists before you ride. Riding on roads illegally is the most common violation. Stick to the trails and snowmobile routes.
Small Snowmobile Rules
Small snowmobiles of any size must be registered and may only be operated by a child at least age 12 that has a snowmobile safety certificate.
The exception is that a small snowmobile with an engine of four horsepower or less may be driven by a child of any age; without a safety certificate while operating in sanctioned races, derbies, competitions, exhibitions or only on private property.
A child may only recreationally ride a small snowmobile on a trail or frozen waterway if they are at least age 12 and have a snowmobile safety certificate.
Alcohol and Drugs
It is illegal to operate a snowmobile under the influence of alcohol or drugs while on any property that is held open to the public (generally this means—trails, routes, lakes/rivers or corridors).
• Wisconsin’s maximum blood alcohol concentration limit is 0.08% and the limit is strictly enforced. However, a person can be under the influence of alcohol and in violation at lesser concentrations.
Avoid alcohol altogether while riding.
It is illegal to operate with a detectable amount of restricted controlled substances in your system.
You are required to provide a sample of your breath or blood if an officer has probable cause to believe you are operating a snowmobile under the influence. By operating a snowmobile on areas open to the public you have automatically consented to provide a sample of your breath, blood or urine to an officer who requests the test. If you refuse to provide a breath, blood or urine sample, you will be charged with an additional violation.
• Each year, serious injuries or deaths occur after snowmobile operators decide to ride after drinking alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol slows your reaction time and distorts your judgment.