Cross-country skiing on trails also used by snowmobiles: Apart from common courtesy and common sense, is there any etiquette that I should be aware of?
I have an OK grip on cross-country skiing trail etiquette
, but I am wondering specifically about sharing trails with snowmobiles.
Back-story: Last summer I did C25K and was enjoying running a few miles every couple of days, right up until the days got short and the cold settled in. I am so tired of being stuck indoors and sedentary during this long, cold, snowy winter that I've gotten my old cross-country skis out of the attic. It's been 20+ years since I did any skiing, probably closer to 25. I was basically an amateur; my parents set up the whole family with basic equipment and we did a few group lessons in the classic style. At the time we lived in a rural area with some logging roads in the woods behind our property, and I would go ski there by myself fairly regularly... once in a while there would be snowmobile tracks but I pretty much had the place to myself.
Now I am fortunate enough to have a huge trail network practically at my front door, but snowmobiles come and go on a regular basis. I wouldn't call it high-traffic, but it's enough that I'll always be listening extra-carefully for approaching engines in hopes of not getting run over. My natural inclination is to just get off the trail whenever I hear a snowmobile approaching, but after reading this
and a sampling of online snowmobile forums I'm wondering if I'm just going to irk snowmobilers off no matter what; a common refrain is "I pay a state registration fee that goes towards trail grooming, why should I have to share the trail with slow people on skis and snowshoes who don't pay anything!"
The land in question is state-owned (Massachusetts) and as far as I can tell there are no posted restrictions on winter activities. Now that I think about it I realize that people may well ski in there all the time, but never having gone in during the winter I wouldn't know! I am probably over-thinking this, but it's one of those situations where I have so little knowledge of the culture of either
activity that I wouldn't be surprised if there was some kind of "well of course everyone knows that person [X] has the right of way!" rule that I just don't know about. (For cross-country skiing alone, I know that people coming downhill get the right of way)
So... TL;DR: is there any kind of unofficial inter-sport winter trail code of etiquette that I should be aware of, beyond "stay out of the path of the high-speed 500 pound machines?"