Nothing beats the exhilaration of that first ride of a new winter. That’s when you’ll rekindle the sheer joy of snowmobiling. It’s also when you’ll discover ESP…
Early Season Priority Trails are one way that OFSC clubs welcome you to a new season of great trail riding. We know that as soon as the first snow flies, you’re itching to go snowmobiling. So OFSC districts have identified as many ESP Trails as possible.
What Are They: ESP Trails are often sections of abandoned rail lines, utility corridors or old logging roads. Because their normal surfaces are usually flatter and smoother than most other terrain, these types of trails require less snow cover and are generally easier to groom. That’s why ESP Trails can provide the earliest riding opportunities, when Mother Nature cooperates. Best of all, many ESP Trails are within easy trailering distance of home.
What To Expect: Clubs are committed to showing their ESP Trails as “Limited Availability” (yellow) on their Trail Status Reports as soon as these trails ready to ride. The “Limited Availability” status means ESP Trails are passable with minimal snow for early season riding. At this time, riders should not expect the quality of in-season trails. Nor should we should plan to travel the distances we’ll ride later in the season, to connect with other trails, or to ride loops. The ride on ESP Trails is more likely to be for shorter distances, there and back on the same route with no side trails open. It’s also likely that, with no hard packed base as a foundation, ESP Trails may get beat up fairly quickly. But as long as fresh snow comes, clubs will do their best to keep ESP Trails operable until winter fully sets in. Where this is not possible, an ESP Trail that has shown “yellow” may go back to “red” (unavailable) until the next snowfall.
What About Other Trails: You may well wonder: how come only some trails are designated ESP? Because all trails aren’t created equal. Some require much more snow coverage than others; others can’t be opened until the landowner says okay, and clubs can’t get to some trails until the earth or water is frozen solidly enough to support the weight of a groomer. Even some sections may be easier to get ready than the rest of that same trail. So if you want to get that first ride out of your system, Early Season Priority Trails are for you. But please, do us a favour by staying off any adjoining trails that are not yet available to ride or ESP Trails that have gone back to “red”. Thanks, because your cooperation on ESP Trails will enable clubs to get the whole system up and running as soon as humanly possible!