ALBANY — More than $5 million has been awarded to communities in New York state for snowmobile trail maintenance and grooming.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the funding Thursday and designated the weekend of Feb. 2-5 as a free snowmobiling weekend for out-of-state and Canadian residents.

The Democratic governor said the state is providing $4 million in grants for snowmobile trail maintenance, a 15 percent increase from last year. The grants support more than 10,000 miles of designated snowmobile trails. The money comes from snowmobile registration fees.

The Indian Lake Snowarriors Association Inc. in Hamilton County was awarded $83,821 to purchase a fully refurbished snow groomer to maintain its 7.4 miles of connector trails for snowmobiling and cross country skiing.

In addition, the state parks office has authorized more than $1 million in federal Recreational Trail Program grants to help seven snowmobile clubs buy equipment to maintain trails.

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