Photo: An ATV rider at Stone Tavern Farm.
Some people come to the mountains for peace and tranquility. Some come for things that go vroom vroom. Either way, you've come to the right place. For curious beginners, or those who just want to spend a few hours on a snowmobile or ATV, there are several private areas offering rentals and trails.
Stone Tavern Farm
This 400-acre horse farm, usually booked solid for weddings in the summertime, doubles as a playground for ATV riders. Rent an ATV by the hour and explore, or take a guided tour on one of the property's longer routes. Riders must be at least 16 and have health insurance. Roxbury.
Rip Van Winkle Ranch
Snowmobile rentals in the winter, ATV rentals the rest of the year. Rip Van Winkle has been running guided tours for over two decades on the Greene County mountaintop. Haines Falls.
Bear Creek Landing
Bear Creek is sort of an all-purpose vacation spot, with a restaurant, an 18-hole mini golf course, paintball and horseback riding. They also rent snowmobiles, and sport both wooded trails and a fast track on the property. Hunter.
Take note: ATVs are not allowed on state land in New York, mainly because they tend to make a rutted mess out of hiking trails. For the most part, ATV riders must ride on their own land or ask permission from other private landowners in order to ride legally.
Snowmobiles are another story. New York State has an extensive network of legal and popular snowmobile trails, mostly maintained by private snowmobile clubs. Snowmobiling is especially big in the Delaware/Schoharie County mountains. For a list of local clubs, see the New York Snowmobile Association's website.