Smart Choice #1 For Snowmobiling Is Riding Available OFSC Trails
(Barrie, ON: February 11, 2021) – Snowmobile trails operated by clubs belonging to the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) comprise about 40% of our province’s recreational trails, a network that continues to be the smart choice for where to ride your sled. Recent statistics provided by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) show that over 90% of snowmobile fatalities this season have occurred on roads, ice and unmaintained areas, and not on available OFSC trails. That’s one good reason why we’re pleased to welcome smart riders to over 22,000 kilometres of snowmobile trails now available for local riding this Family Day Long Weekend.
We want you to feel safe on our trails and arrive home without incident after every ride. To help, we’ve invited the OPP and other enforcement services to patrol our trails this weekend. You can do your part to safeguard your family by reminding everyone in your group of smart riding choices expected on our trails. There is no more important time to take this advice to heart than Family Day Long Weekend when so many families and new riders will be sharing our trails for a special winter outing. These smart choices include:
Stay On The Trail: OFSC trails are marked, mapped and staked to help guide snowmobilers where to ride and more easily find their way, so there’s no excuse for taking the additional risk of wandering off the trail or trespassing illegally on private property.
Zero Tolerance: As with driving your automobile, alcohol and drugs never have a place on our trails and are illegal during any snowmobile ride.
Go With Care & Control: Every snowmobiler should always ride defensively and within your own abilities, while moderating your pace according to trail and weather conditions and in compliance with all laws and traffic signs.
Ride Your Side: Similar to driving your car on any roadway, trail riders are expected to keep to the right side of the trail at all times, and to reduce speed when coming into corners or cresting hills.
Follow Stake Lines Across Ice: If you choose to take the risk, the smart choice for crossing ice is by following a stake line that marks the way across. Always check conditions and be observant of extreme weather changes.
Watch for Oncoming Sleds: You will encounter two-way traffic on OFSC trails, so constantly be vigilant and prepared for sleds coming towards you, especially at blind corners and hills.
Leave Space Between Sleds: Tailgating the sled in front of you is just as unacceptable as driving bumper to bumper on a roadway, so always maintain sufficient distance from the sled ahead so you are able to react and stop in time.
Ride Smart 2021: For this season, every rider needs to follow our simple and easy Ride Smart protocols to keep everyone safe and healthy while stopping virus spread. Plan Ahead. Be Aware. Mask Up. Clean Often. Spread Out.
Leave Tracks, Not Trash: With so many more riders doing outdoor pitstops and lunches trailside this season, it’s crucial to preserving our trails that everyone carry your litter out with you.
The OFSC reminds snowmobilers that 50 km/h is the maximum legislated speed limit for snowmobile trails in Ontario and not a recommendation. How close to this maximum speed a snowmobile operator should travel is a personal decision dependent on several factors including: operator experience, cognitive skills, fatigue, trail conditions, terrain, weather, visibility, traffic, equipment and familiarity with the location. In many areas and situations, the maximum legislated limit may be too fast for the safe operation of a snowmobile, and roadways and special locations such as residential areas have lower limits.
Remember that, like other motorsports activities, snowmobiling is inherently risky. So please don’t take your own safety or that of others for granted – be a smart rider, share the trail responsibly. Together, we can help keep OFSC snowmobile trails the smart choice for riding a sled in Ontario.
Click here for more information on snowmobile safety.
The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is a volunteer led, not for profit association that provides the voice for organized snowmobiling in Ontario. OFSC snowmobile trails managed by 200 community based, member clubs generate up to $3.3 billion in economic activity in the province each year.