A dry January makes for little opportunity to snowmobile on the Tug Hill

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 5:09 PM EST
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TOWN OF MONTAGUE, New York (WWNY) - More than one hundred inches of snow have already fallen in Montague this winter. If you look around though, conditions on the Tug Hill are more of a dusting of snow, than a dump of it.

“Pretty much there right around the holidays it was a good quick burst of snow, what have you. Then pretty much there with the rain that we had December 30th, it just went away. It just disappeared,” said Josh Leviker, President of the Lewis County Association of Snowmobilers.

Despite two massive snow storms, the Tug Hill region is still two feet below average for snow fall at this point in the season. January is to blame. Even with a few inches of snowfall this week, the region has only gotten about half a foot during the month. Without more snow, it would be the least snowy January on record in 70 years.

“I’ve never seen a winter like this where we haven’t had snow for the entire month of January so far,” said Tricia Garvin, Owner of Tugger’s.

At Tugger’s in Barnes Corners, Garvin tells us that January has been anything but business as usual.

“Pretty slow. I mean, we have our locals and our regulars that still come in, but you don’t see the crowds that you would normally see on say a Friday in January,” said Garvin.

To get back on track, Garvin says it’ll take more than just a few inches of snow in the forecast.

“It’s not good for business. Right now, there’s no base left out there. So even if we get six inches of snow, we still need a little bit more than that to get them out riding again,” said Garvin.

Leviker hopes what the Tug Hill is missing out on now is made up for later this winter.

“The last five to eight years we really haven’t ridden past the middle of March, so hoping if we’re a week to two weeks behind now, we’ll be a week to two weeks longer to the end of March,” said Leviker.

Leviker tells riders to check in with one of the nine Lewis County snowmobile clubs for the latest updated trail conditions.