Snowmobile operators, preparing to hit the trails after a fresh snowfall, need to be aware of the regulations that govern snowmobile use in Woodbury. While snowmobiles are permitted in the city, local ordinances restrict their use. The city's goal is to protect everyone's safety and to reduce the number of complaints we receive about snowmobiles. In particular, snowmobiles are prohibited in city parks including HealthEast Sports Center and the Eagle Valley Golf Course. They also are not allowed on walking paths, bike paths, and on school sites.
To summarize, city regulations stipulate that:
- You may operate a snowmobile only between the hours of 7 am and 11 pm.
- In residential areas, you may operate a snowmobile on the right hand side of the road while obeying all traffic laws. Riding on the boulevard of city streets is prohibited.
- Snowmobiles are prohibited in parks, on walking paths, bike paths and trails unless specifically designated as a snowmobile trail.
- In Woodbury, snowmobiles generally are ridden in the ditches along county roads and trunk highways. After dark, be sure to ride on the same side of the road and in the same direction as traffic is flowing.
- Operation of snowmobiles while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance is illegal (Minnesota Statute 84.91, 169A).
- Snowmobiles must be equipped with a muffler or other device which effectively prevents loud or explosive noise and complies with state laws and regulations.
- Towing a person or an object with your snowmobile is not allowed except with the use of a rigid tow bar attached to the rear of the snowmobile.
- When using the snowmobile trail maintained by the Washington County Star Trail Association, you must stay within the marked and groomed trail area. The trail generally runs east of Manning Avenue, north of Valley Creek Road, and east of County Road 19 between Bailey Road and Cottage Grove. Trail maps are available online and from the Parks and Recreation Department at City Hall. The speed limit for all trail systems in Minnesota is 50 miles per hour.
- Snowmobiles may be operated on any public waterway for which there is public access. (There is no access for snowmobiles on Powers, Colby, Wilmes and Carver Lakes, which are surrounded by city park land.) Please use extreme caution if you ride on frozen lakes.
- You may operate a snowmobile on your own property or on other private property if you have the written and dated permission of the land owner.
- You must be 18 years of age or older to operate a snowmobile on public roads and/or public property. Persons under 18 must follow Department of Natural Resources restrictions regarding snowmobile use.
- Snowmobile riders born after December 31, 1976, need a snowmobile safety certificate or driver's license with a snowmobile qualification indicator.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation has warned snowmobile operators to watch out for construction-related materials, such as soil stockpiles, pieces of unused concrete culverts, wooden survey stakes and steel right-of-way markers that might be buried beneath the snow.
Silt fences, which control water runoff during the spring, also pose a threat to snowmobile riders. The fences are made of black fabric reinforced with woven wire and held in place by steel posts. They are usually placed across ditch bottoms located near culverts, bridges, streams and lakes.
All snowmobiles must be registered with the state, even if they are operated only on private property. The Washington County License Bureau, located at 2150 Radio Drive, can assist you with registration.
Learn more about snowmobile safety at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.