There appears to be some misunderstandings about the Massachusetts Snowmobile and Recreational Vehicle Law’s 323 CMR 3.00 Section 3.03 Item 6 entitled Snow Cover. This regulation states that:

"No person shall operate a snow vehicle on any public land where such operation is otherwise permitted by the agency in charge thereof, unless such land is covered by snow to a minimum average depth of four inches of packed snow"

Many people are aware of this portion of the law as it covers most of the trail riding conditions we encounter. However, there is another section of this regulation which continues as follows:


"such other depth as is determined by the person in charge of said land or his designee to be sufficient to preserve the ground cover."

This second section raises some interesting interpretation questions. Is an inch of solid ice sufficient to protect the asphalt pavement from studs and carbides? If the ground cover is ballast rock, then exactly what is necessary to preserve ballast rock? Have fun thinking about these questions. The main point raised here is that there is a second section of the law that you should be aware of.