Snowmobiling Fact book: Snowmobile History


The first attempts at building a vehicle that would move over snow on runners happened over 70 years ago. Many dreamed of building a power-driven sled, especially where heavy snowfalls often meant the difference between life and death when attempting to transport an ill person to emergency care.

In 1935, a snowmobile was built with skis in front and a sprocket wheel and tracked system in back. It carried 12 people, and family doctors, veterinarians, ambulance and taxi drivers were first in line to purchase one. A modified version found a market in the logging industry.

It was late 1950s, with the development of smaller gasoline engines, before the one or two passenger lightweight chassis snowmobile was marketed ~ and with it, a new recreational activity was born.

Ten years later, there were dozens of manufacturers producing snowmobiles that sold for a few hundred dollars a piece.

Today, with more than 4 million riders, snowmobiling is a major winter recreational activity and a significant factor in increased winter tourism in much of Canada, the snow belt of the United States, in Northern Europe, and in Russia.

The history of the "snow machine" is yet to be completed. Today's snowmobile bears little resemblance to earlier models. By today's standards, many of the machines of the 60's and 70's are considered antiques.

News & Info
Upcoming Snowmobiling Events
Take a Friend Snowmobiling Campaign
January 1—March 31, 2015
Action Manual
Contest Form
International Snowmobile Safety Week
January 17—25, 2015
Action Manual

Snowmobiling News
Subscribe to the snowmobile.org news feed
Yellowstone Announces Lottery for New Non-Commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program
Applications will be accepted starting September 3, 2014, for those interested in obtaining a permit to take a non-commercially guided snowmobile trip into Yellowstone National Park this winter.
The Farmers' Almanac Predicts A Colder Winter
The Farmers' Almanac is predicting a colder winter for much of the nation this year. The publication has been predicting the weather since 1818 and touts an 80% success rate.
$10 Million National Recreational Trails Program Benefits Snowmobiling
2014 The Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations (CCSO) is pleased that a portion of the $10 million trail funding investment in Canada to the National Trails Coalition from the Federal Government will be available for infrastructure improvements to our members' snowmobile trails.
Worldwide Snowmobile Sales Jump 9%
The snowmobile community is optimistic following the above-average snowfall throughout most of North America this past winter. The industry has experienced increases in sales, show attendance and miles ridden.
SAE Snowmobile Challenge 2014 Winner Announced
The 15th Annual SAE Snowmobile Challenge was held at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI on March 4-8, 2014. This year 17 Universities registered for the event. The members of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association—Arctic Cat, BRP, Polaris and Yamaha—are proud gold-level sponsors of the event. Representatives from all of the manufacturers were involved in the event and supported the skilled students from the participating universities and colleges.
Consumer Insight Study Shows Snowmobile Enthusiasts Consider Snowmobiling a Family Activity
Thanks to snowmobiling, winter has become a season to enjoy. Ask any of the three million people who take pleasure every year in the beauty of winter on the over 200,000 miles of groomed and marked snowmobile trails throughout North America.
Paper Cut-out Snowmobile Ready for Use
The Take a Friend/Go Snowmobiling campaign is pleased to present a new addition to its list of ready to use snowmobiling campaign material.
HOME ABOUT US STATS & FACTS SAFETY LINKS DOWNLOADS CONTACT US
Web site development by All Seasons Communications

Snowmobiling Sales & Registrations Snowmobiling Fact Book Snowmobiling Quick Facts
Safe Riders Kit Snowmobile Safety