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5 Tips for Trail Riding in the Winter

It’s time to go dashing through the snow in your ATV sleigh! The cold and snowy months are a fantastic time to ride the trails, but safety first! You’ll need to take a little extra prep time before starting your ride.

The crew at Mountaintop Adventures gave us their top five tips for trail riding in the winter. The local adventure outfitter specializes in guided tours, ATV, and SXS rentals throughout southern West Virginia. Recently, Mountaintop Adventures was named a 2018 runner-up for “Best Adventure Outfitter” in West Virginia by WV Living magazine.

Plan Your Adventure

Check the 10-day forecast for the area you’ll be visiting while planning your trip. Keep a watch on the forecast for any changes. If you’re looking for great weather you may just find it every now and then during the winter months in southern WV, but always keep in mind the weather in WV changes often. If you’re looking to plan a “snow ride” plan to come in a day or two prior to the snow, let the snow fall, then enjoy a few days of riding through the Appalachian Mountains. You’ll be amazed by the views. Don’t worry about the trip home. Unless there is unusual weather (watch the forecast) snow tends to melt off in our area within a few days.

Riding Gear

If you’re planning a winter trip- be prepared for it. Cold weather riding gear is a must. The main items needed are quality gloves and boots. It doesn’t hurt to have hand warmers either. Also, if you’re riding without a wind shield, we’d recommend something full face under your helmet. Extra boots and gloves are a must, along with a good boot dryer. Be Prepared!

Your Machine

Nothing is worse than a breakdown during your trip. What makes a bad situation even worse? A 10-mile hike out of the mountains in the snow and cold because of a breakdown. The moral of the story is: Be sure your machine is in top condition when planning a winter ride.

Know Where You’re Going

Even if you’ve ridden the area before, the trails change constantly. Plan your ride each day before you start out. Be sure someone who isn’t riding with you (like your lodging provider) knows what your plans are and where you’ll be going. Then, check in with that person when you return. Snow drifts and banks can make the trail seem like it’s there when it really isn’t. It’s a great time to ride, but you must take precautions. Finally, for added safety, consider hiring a local guide to lead the way.

Bring a Friend

It’s more dangerous riding in the winter. If there is an accident, hypothermia can set in before you know it. Then you’re in trouble. Hypothermia is one of the leading causes of death to riders in the winter months, mainly due to lack of tip #3. Like most things in life there’s safety in numbers. Your friends will most definitely appreciate the invite and you’ll appreciate them being there if something does go wrong.

There you have it! Your top 5 tips for trail riding in the winter. Get your ATV out of the garage and get ready. It’s time to plan your winter adventure on the H&M trails of southern West Virginia!

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