Snowarrior Nation, with Fall rapidly coming to the North Country and Sled Registration Renewals from NY State beginning to hit our mailboxes, the white stuff cannot be far behind. Our new Groomer has been resting peacefully in storage just waiting to get out and tame the O’Neill Flow Trail once again. Please remember that we still need your support to pay down the debt incurred to bring the Tucker home to the Indian Lake trail system. All contributions are welcome and our goal to have our lady paid in full by 2021 is certainly attainable with your contributions. Hope to see you all up on the trails and for those of you unfamiliar with our story please read our background description below.
Thank you for the opportunity to present the Indian Lake Snowarriors for your funding consideration. Let me take you through a brief narrative of what has transpired at our club in the last 24 months for you to see how benefactors such as you can help this important snowmobile region.
Formed in 1967 the Indian Lake Snowarriors has always been a smaller grooming club operating in the Indian Lake/Blue Mountain region of Hamilton County, New York, the heart of the 6 million acre Adirondack Sate park. Traditionally the club used snowmobile pulled drags on local trails in the region. At the start of the 2015 season our club was considering applying for a grant to replace our 1987 Tucker 2000 which the club purchased in 2012/13. Once this process was begun, it quickly became apparent that the documentation of the club’s corporate structure was inadequate and would not stand up to IRS scrutiny for a charitable organization. This fact, combined with low membership due to the lack of snow, caused many of our officers and board members to leave the club which resulted in a serious crisis. In February of 2016 the harsh reality was that the Indian Lake Snowarriors were about to close down.
Fortunately, a few dedicated members remained and went out with a call for help. Having always been a member, albeit uninvolved since I was not a “local”, I went to a general membership meeting in March of 2016, heard what the issues were and decided to do something about it. I accepted the position of President and vowed to turn the Snowarriors into what they should be – a midsize grooming club that operates year-round on community outreach projects helping our community and growing the sport of snowmobiling in this important “connector” region. In case you are not familiar, the Indian Lake trail system anchors one end of the very popular Moose River Plains recreation area with Inlet/Old Forge on the opposite side. Indian Lake also connects with Speculator and points south, as well as provides access with Newcomb and Indian Lake via the Newcomb Trail. Having a “failed” snowmobile club in an area of such geographic importance to our beloved sport was unthinkable to me and several other diehards in the Snowarriors, so we began the arduous process of “tuning” the club up again.
First thing we did was reorganize the club as a 501(c)3 charitable organization which entailed a fair amount of legal and accounting wrangling to get decades of records updated to present to the IRS and the NYS Attorney General’s Charity Bureau. Next, we began the important task of overhauling our Tucker 2000 so that it would be more reliable for the upcoming season. This overhaul entailed replacing ice wheels all around, changing all fluids, upgrading lighting and warning beacon, replacing throttle cable, rebuilding carb, installing various safety equipment, replacing all bearings and lubricating our drag. Now while we have a fairly dependable groomer to maintain the 14 miles of vital connector trail that the region depends on the Snowarriors for, our old Tucker 2000 is still 30 years old. Every trip out remains an adventure with seemingly endless bearings to blow or bogey wheels to pop loose. Anti-freeze seems to drip from every connection and oil levels never seem to stay full. Our old gal is tired, and the question always remains as to who will take her out to the Newcomb gate only to walk back when it’s -20 degrees out. Aside from the safety issue of our Tucker, as I mentioned above, these are not just trails to no-where, rather these connectors keep sleds and their commerce running through Hamilton county and the region. When that trail goes down and is unrideable, it effects the livelihood of countless folks who depend on a vibrant winter economy connected by our trail system. While grooming is essential to our existence, the club’s membership is much more than playing with snow and it has focused on many community outreach programs to help the Indian Lake Community and give back to its residents and visitors. We have worked numerous events supplying “member-power” for the Summer’s Black Fly Challenge through the Moose River Plains, the Bike –ADK tour stop in Indian Lake, Indian Lake’s 4th of July Parade, Groomer Training Seminar with NYSSA, Adopt a Highway on Rt 30, and Indian Lake Moose Festival among others. Each February, the Indian Lake Snowarriors will be leading the charge at the Indian Lake Snocade festivities, hosting various snowmobile focused events and a dinner throughout this festive week.