Snowmobiling is an off-road activity occurring in a natural, non-engineered, wilderness environment. Trails are primarily developed, maintained and signed by volunteers as a courtesy utilizing finite resources. As snowmobile trails are not engineered motor vehicle highways, nor is it preferable that they be so, trail signage differs significantly from that associated with roadways for motor vehicles.
Trail signs are posted by volunteers to assist snowmobilers for situations where there is an expectation that a safe, prudent and legal operator would unexpectedly be required to take immediate, corrective action such as aggressive braking or steering. Operators should familiarize themselves with snowmobile trail signs as they are not the same as the signs associated with engineered roadways. As with any wilderness environment, there isn’t any assurance or guarantee that signs will be there at any given time due to wind, rain, storms, wildlife or vandalism. Snowmobiling has inherent risks and unexpected potential hazards which cannot be addressed through trail signs.
Snowmobile trail signage guidelines have been developed for the purpose of consistency across Ontario. Snowmobile trail signs do not replace the responsibility for every snowmobile operator to drive with due care and control appropriate for the conditions. Familiarize yourself with these signs and make smart choices when snowmobiling.