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Winter Recreation Safety Tips from the DNR

12/26/13 Indiana Conservation Officers would like to remind the public how to be safe while recreating this winter. Whether it is heading to our favorite ice fishing spot, cross country skiing at Potato Creek State Park, or riding along Indiana’s longest snowmobile trail, The Buffalo Run, it’s important to remember a few key safety tips.

Anywhere we plan to recreate this winter it is important to dress warm. Bring along extra layers of clothes and drink warm fluids. Keep our outer extremities covered to prevent frostbite. Grab your cell phone before you leave and tell someone where you are going and when you plan on coming back.

When out on the ice remember that there is no such thing as safe ice, only safer ice. Remember that there needs to be at least four inches of clear good ice before we head out. Environmental factors such as wind, vegetation, wildlife, and water current may change the integrity of the ice. Just because there are four inches of good ice in one location, that may not be the same over the entire surface. Don’t forget that you are out on the water. Wear a lifejacket or float coat.

If you hit the lake or trail on a snowmobile, don’t forget a helmet that fits properly. Don’t drink alcohol and drive. Stay on marked trails and don’t ride on private property. Supervise children and make sure that they are wearing helmets and plenty of warm clothes. Make sure your snowmobile is registered in the state you reside and is in good working condition. Operate at a safe speed and be aware that there may be hidden objects under the snow.

There are many ways we can have fun this winter in Indiana. It’s important that we enjoy them safely so that we can take pleasure in having many more wonderful Indiana winters.

To contact a Conservation Officer in your area or ask about safety classes visit our website at or call (812) 837-9536.