Snowmobilers Must Check Interactive Trail Guide Before Riding OFSC Trails
(January 11, 2024 – Barrie, ON): The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) launches Provincial Snowmobile Safety Week (January 13 – 21) by cautioning snowmobilers to always go online to consult the OFSC Interactive Snowmobile Trail Guide (ITG) before riding. Introduced in 2010, the proprietary ITG is well established as the sole authorized source for the status of 30,000 kilometres of OFSC Snowmobile Trails.
With the unusually late start to this winter, this Safety Week update is especially important because most OFSC Prescribed Snowmobile Trails have been unavailable for recreational riding as of this date. Making trails ready to ride requires prolonged sub-zero temperatures to set a deep frost into the ground and to freeze waterways and swamps solid, along with enough snow that groomers can pack a durable trail base. This essential and weather-dependent process is only beginning and may take a while to happen, so the OFSC emphasizes that riders must check trail status on the ITG to avoid trails that are not ready for snowmobiling at this time.
“As we await the cooperation of Mother Nature, I urge snowmobilers to make safety their #1 priority,” said Ryan Eickmeier, OFSC CEO. “Our clubs are eagerly awaiting the right conditions to make trails available, and the Interactive Trail Guide (ITG) is the place to go for trail status information.”
When consulting the ITG, snowmobilers should be aware of the following trail status categories:
- Available Trails are coloured GREEN, meaning that the identified route(s) is accessible with the understanding that the trail will likely vary considerably in quality, attributes and terrain over its length, and that snowmobilers enter exercising care and caution at all times.
- Limited Availability Trails are coloured YELLOW, meaning that the identified route(s) is limited with marginal riding opportunities, so snowmobilers enter with the understanding that they should exercise extreme care and caution while reducing speed.
- Unavailable Trails are coloured RED meaning that the identified route is not available at this time, access is prohibited and anyone entering the property may be trespassing, so snowmobilers must not enter under any circumstances.
The OFSC also urges snowmobilers not to be fooled by an early snowfall or a skim of new ice into placing their lives in peril by travelling on newly formed or untested ice, riding off trail or running on public roads, none of which is a responsible alternative to GREEN or YELLOW trails as indicated on the ITG. The OFSC appeals to every snowmobiler not to head out for that first ride of this season too soon, and even when trails show GREEN or YELLOW on the ITG, always put personal safety first and ride responsibly by not taking unnecessary chances.
The OFSC is committed to proactive leadership in promoting safe, responsible recreational riding on OFSC Prescribed Snowmobile Trails, by building safer snowmobiling knowledge, attitudes and behaviours through rider education, safety legislation development and enforcement.
For questions or to schedule a media interview with the OFSC, please contact: [email protected]