It’s Time To Get Ready For The 2024 Season!
(Barrie, ON. October 23, 2023): The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) invites snowmobilers and other winter lovers to celebrate National Snowmobile Day with us on Saturday, October 28th. Canada has enjoyed a rich snowmobile heritage since Joseph-Armand Bombardier introduced the first “Ski-Doo” in 1959, an iconic debut that made 17th place on the CBC’s 2007 list of “The Greatest Canadian Inventions”.
Today, organized snowmobiling in Canada is a volunteer-driven, trail permit funded recreational activity united nationally through the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations (CCSO) and managed by 12 provincial and territorial snowmobile associations representing 729 non-profit clubs. Over 1.5 million family participants enjoy 130,700 kilometres of marked, mapped and maintained recreational snowmobile trails connecting thousands of snowbelt communities and creating over $9.3 billion in economic impact and 41,000 related jobs annually.
To set the tone for National Snowmobiling Day, the CCSO hosted a “Celebration of Snowmobiling in Canada” on October 24th in Ottawa. The leaders of CCSO member associations met with MP’s from their areas throughout the day, followed by an evening reception for all MP’s with guest speakers and a unique display of industrial trail grooming equipment on the Sparks Street pedestrian mall.
“Since 1967, the OFSC has played a leading role in Canadian trail riding and we are proud that our clubs, volunteers, landowners and communities can partner with the CCSO for National Snowmobile Day,” said Ryan Eickmeier, OFSC CEO. “It’s a recognition of those who helped build the OFSC trail system over the years, a celebration of the work that continues today, and an opportunity for everyone to get ready for the 2024 season.”
OFSC preparation starts with going online to purchase a 2024 Ontario Snowmobile Permit that allows legal access to available OFSC Prescribed Trails throughout the winter months. When purchasing on or before November 1st, early trail permit buyers can support their local club while saving $80 off the regular fee of a full season permit sold after December 1st. Information on 2024 permit types, availability and FAQ’s can be found at: https://www.ofsc.on.ca/permits/.
It’s also a great time to sign up for an online OFSC Driver Training Course. Delivered by the OFSC since 1976 under the authority of the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO), Driver Training has graduated more than 260,000 students aged 12 and older, teaching the rules and behaviours necessary to be a safe and courteous snowmobile operator. Upon graduation, course participants qualify to obtain an online Motorized Snow Vehicle Operator’s License.
Trip planning for the season also gets underway with the online OFSC Interactive Trail Guide (ITG) going live November 1st, 2023. Access to this free online tool is available on the OFSC website. The ITG is the only authorized source of OFSC Prescribed trail information, and riders are advised to always refer to it for route planning and trail status. Snowmobilers can also download the OFSC Go Snowmobiling App from either the Apple and Android App Store. Available in a free basic version, additional features are also available with the upgraded PRO version for a nominal fee of $4.99/year.
But the best way to celebrate National Snowmobiling Day is to contact your local club and offer to lend a hand with trail preparations this fall – even a few hours can make a big difference to getting trails ready, and nothing beats the feeling of pride and accomplishment from knowing you’ve done your part to help!
Winter’s just around the corner – and National Snowmobiling Day is when the getting ready kicks into high gear!
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 recreational snowmobile trails managed by community based, member clubs can generate up to $6 billion in economic activity in the province each year.