Snowmobiles in Finland are used for both recreational and professional purposes. Snowmobiles are used by the police, border guards and rescue services as well as by reindeer herders and in forestry, among others. Snowmobiles are important also for the activity companies in tourism – long snowmobile safari convoys are a familiar sight in Lapland.
Recreational riding is allowed in three locations: on general snow mobile routes, on snowmobile tracks maintained by the municipalities and by Metsähallitus, and on ice if the ice is thick enough for safe riding.
Riding on general snowmobile routes is free, but riding on snow mobile tracks requires a permit and often a fee. Riding snowmobiles on public roads is not allowed, nor is riding off from the designated routes or tracks. The age limit for riding a snowmobile is 15 years.
Often it is difficult to distinguish by the markings whether you are riding on a general route or on a track that requires a (paid) permit. The difference between these two is defined in the law: on a general route, regulations of the Road Traffic Act and official traffic signs apply, and at least a tractor-driving license is required. On tracks, regulations of the Cross-Country Traffic Act apply, demanding the minimum age of 15 years of the driver, as well as taking caution and care while riding. The administrator of the track is responsible for the safety of the track as per the consumer Safety Act.
|General snowmobile routes||Snowmobile tracks|
Sign for the general snowmobile routes. Notice the round shape of the sign.
Sign for the snowmobile tracks. Notice the square shape of the sign.
Setting up a snowmobile route
Setting up a snowmobile track