(Barrie, ON - December 29, 2015) - The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) welcomes Ontario’s first major winter storm of the season. After almost 50 years of operating snowmobile trails in Ontario and experiencing many different starts to the snowmobiling season, the OFSC remains confident in providing many trail riding opportunities throughout the coming winter.
However today, the OFSC cautions snowmobilers that there are no safe riding opportunities yet in most parts of Ontario, including all OFSC snowmobile trails. OFSC snowmobile clubs and volunteers are working hard to get trails ready, but only with the continuing cooperation of Old Man Winter and Mother Nature can the start of the 2016 provincial trail riding season get officially underway.
So tempting as it may be to go for that first ride with fresh snow on the ground in many areas, snowmobilers are reminded again that no base has yet been formed to protect riders and sleds from hidden obstacles or underlying terrain irregularities. More important, with temperatures not consistently cold enough to date, the pre-requisite freeze up for safe riding anywhere is late and incomplete, so no ice conditions should be considered safe to support any weight at this time or to ride over on a sled.
Based on these current conditions and the present long range forecast, it is very likely that the OFSC provincial trail system will not be available to ride before the first week of January.
Meanwhile, snowmobilers are advised to go online at www.ofsc.on.ca to check the status of local snowmobile trails and for safety’s sake, to stay off all trails that show as Red (unavailable). Trails that show Yellow indicate Limited Availability, while trails that show Green indicate Available to Ride. Wherever trails show Red at this time, the OFSC strongly recommends that rider keep their sleds parked and avoid riding anywhere.
The OFSC is committed to proactive leadership in promoting safe, responsible riding, on and off Ontario snowmobile trails, by building safer snowmobiling knowledge, attitudes and behaviours through rider education, safety legislation development and enforcement.