OFSC Safeguards Trail Data

OFSC Safeguards Trail Data to Protect Trails, Groomer Operators, Riders & Landowners

Interactive Trail Guide and Go Snowmobiling Ontario Apps Remain the Only Authorized Source For OFSC Trail Info

(Barrie, ON: November 20, 2020) – Earlier this week, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) announced the release of a new navigation app for its 2021 Ski-Doo snowmobiles named BRP GO!, which has caused some confusion among Ontario snowmobilers. The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) would like to clarify this concern.

During a sales conference in February of 2020, BRP indicated that BRP GO! would contain OFSC trail data. At the time, BRP and the OFSC did not have an agreement to share trail data. Since spring, the OFSC and BRP have engaged in ongoing dialogue regarding opportunities to incorporate OFSC snowmobile trail data in BRP’s new app. The OFSC has had similar, but as yet unresolved discussions with Polaris over the authorized use of Ontario trail data on its Ride Command App.

Although discussions with BRP have been productive, the OFSC has not been able to come to an agreement that would enable BRP to move ahead this season. The principal issue is that technological barriers associated with BRP GO! fail to address safety and risk management concerns particular to Ontario snowmobile trails regarding the presentation of real-time trail data and information – a serious shortcoming identified by the OFSC for the protection of its trails, groomer operators, riders and landowners. Of note, the OFSC did offer BRP and other OEMs the opportunity to display the OFSC Go Snowmobiling Ontario app on their devices, which was refused. As a result, the OFSC declined the opportunity to share our data to BRP for this season but committed to continue to work with BRP to find a solution for next year.

The OFSC understands that technology, snowmobilers and connectivity are progressing at a rapid pace and we encourage this development for the benefit of everyone involved in the industry. We remain hopeful that in time, BRP may be able to find a solution to their issues and ensure the consistent and timely delivery of authorized Ontario trail data and information. It is essential for rider safety and land use securement that trail changes appear on these apps in real-time. This capability is especially important for the coming winter, given the high potential for Flex Trail changes in some public health regions.

For over 15 years, the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide (ITG) has been the sole source for snowmobile trail availability information in the province. Ontario snowmobilers are accustomed to viewing the ITG for accurate trail updates and safety information. The OFSC is committed to ensuring that the distribution of ITG data through all websites or apps remains consistent.

The OFSC wants to reassure Ontario snowmobilers of our continuing intention to seek resolution to the data sharing issue, provided that all concerns are successfully addressed. For the only accurate and complete trail data authorized for this season, the OFSC invites snowmobilers to download the Go Snowmobiling Ontario App Free or PRO version in Android or iOS, available December 1st.

 


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.

For questions or to schedule a media interview with the OFSC, please contact us at [email protected] or by phone at 705-739-7669

Sign up today to view more OFSC news and releases

OFSC Provides Fall Communications Recap For Snowmobilers

All the OFSC News You Need To Know (To Date) To Be Ride Ready This Winter!

(Barrie, ON – November 12, 2020): Since August, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) has shared a ton of information through our website, Facebook page and newsletters. Our communications focused on evolving developments affecting trail riding for this winter, in addition to news about the early permit sales program.

Now, with growing anticipation among new and returning snowmobilers to hit the snow, a brief recap and progress reminder about trail developments may be helpful to put everything that’s happening in context as we get closer to winter. We hope this update will also answer any questions those who may have missed our regular communications still might have.

August 11 – High Level Plans for Upcoming Ontario Snowmobile Season: Articulates our big picture goals for season preparation. 1. To deliver the best possible trail riding experiences for snowmobilers. and 2. To ensure the health and safety of its volunteers, landowners and riders for the coming snowmobile season. Also introduces new strategies currently under development to be reported in later releases (see below).

August 27 – OFSC Invests in Groomers for Better Trails This Winter: Speaks to our comprehensive provincial fleet management strategy, which focuses on optimizing the effectiveness and efficiency of one of the world’s largest trail groomer fleets for the coming winter, including millions of dollars for new groomers (also see October 15 investment update).

September 17 – OFSC Takes Driver Training 100% Online For 2020-21: In order to continue the program without interruption and for the health & safety of students, we are offering Driver Training courses are online only for the 2020-21 season – click here to register today!

September 24 – OFSC Committed To Providing Trails To Ride This Winter: Introduces Trails To Ride 2021 plan (including Flex Trails) for getting trail preparations and operations underway this fall for the provincial trail system to achieve our top priority of having trails ready to groom as soon as snow conditions allow (see also October 22 Flex Trails release).

October 8 – OFSC Health & Safety Plan Protects Volunteers, Landowners, Communities & Riders: Introduces the most progressive pandemic response plan among Canadian trail user groups to ensure the health and safety of everyone working on, riding on or depending on OFSC trails, including the snowbelt communities, hospitality providers and residents that serve OFSC trails.

October 15 – OFSC Update On Groomer Investment for 2021 Season: Provides new progress details on groomer purchases, refurbishments and reallocations since the August 27 release.

October 22 – OFSC Updates Snowmobilers On Flex Trails & Recent Pandemic Developments: Addresses the benefits of Flex Trails and how they work, using real world examples from Modified Stage 2 Regions (now classified as RESTRICT/ORANGE under the new Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework announced November 3, 2020).

October 29 – OFSC Ride Planning & Trail Navigation Tools for 2021 Season: Reports on ride planning and trail navigation tools for the coming season, including the Interactive Trail Guide, Go Snowmobiling App, TrakMaps for Garmin GPS, and district trail guides.

November 5 – OFSC Launches Ride Smart 2021 For Safe & Healthy Snowmobiling: Introduces Ride Smart 2021, a common sense approach to help snowmobilers work together to keep the fun happening on our trails this winter.

The OFSC is pleased to reconfirm that we remain very confident of delivering lots of snowmobile trails to ride this winter. We are also encouraged by the more optimistic and targeted approach of the new Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework announced November 3, 2020, which provides better opportunities for hospitality services to remain open this winter. Meanwhile, snowmobilers can count on us to continue to communicate the latest news and updates for safe and healthy trail riding as we work together to make the winter of 2021 the best possible experience for everyone.

 


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.

For questions or to schedule a media interview with the OFSC, please contact us at [email protected] or by phone at 705-739-7669

Sign up today to view more OFSC news and releases

OFSC Ride Planning & Trail Navigation Tools for 2021 Season

 

Multiple Wayfinding Choices for New, Returning and Current Riders

What’s Included:
• Interactive Trail Guide Goes Live Today
• Go Snowmobiling Apps Available December 1
• District Trail Guide Availability

(Barrie. ON; October 29, 2020) – As part of its Trails To Ride 2021 plan to deliver the best possible riding experience this winter, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is providing an update on ride planning and trail navigation tools. These include the Interactive Trail Guide, Go Snowmobiling App, TrakMaps for Garmin GPS, and district trail guides.

The OFSC expects its digital planning and navigation tools to be increasingly valuable to snowmobilers this winter, and to be especially helpful for the many new riders expected on the trails. These wayfinding platforms are updated regularly throughout the season to show current trail availability, a feature not possible with printed guides.

“We are very pleased to offer new, returning and current riders a variety of wayfinding choices this season,” said CEO Landon French. “Along with tens of thousands of directional and destination signs installed by club volunteers across our provincial trail system, we are confident that navigating OFSC trails will be as convenient as possible for everyone.”

Interactive Trail Guide: The OFSC Interactive Trail Guide (ITG) goes live October 29. Access to this free online tool is available from the OFSC website. The ITG is the only authorized source of OFSC Prescribed Trail information and riders are urged to refer to it often for route planning, to ensure that your proposed trip only follows available (GREEN) or limited (YELLOW) trails. As a reminder, here is what the ITG trail status colours mean:

Interactive Trail Guide

In addition to current trail status, the ITG gives you one-stop access to the entire OFSC provincial trail system, showing where trails are, where they go, what they connect to, and frequently updating trail status.

An important Trails To Ride 2021 consideration for ITG usage this winter is that riders will also be able to view new in-season Flex Trail options for regional and local riding alternatives. These choices could be implemented if an area undergoes limited restrictions that might temporarily impact its trails or trail services.

Go Snowmobiling Basic App: For the 2021 season, the OFSC Go Snowmobiling App is available in a basic version that can be upgraded to the PRO version for a nominal fee. The basic app is free for permit holders and can be downloaded from your App Store for either Apple and Android operating systems starting December 1, 2020. As a starter app, it is intended to make basic trail information from the ITG available to every rider for your mobile phone, similar to what you would have using a printed trail guide, except with the benefit of trail status updates throughout the season.

Go Snowmobiling PRO: Permit buyers can upgrade to the PRO version for a low annual fee of $3.99. In addition to the basic trail information from the ITG, its premium navigation features provide the capability to:

• View exactly where you are on the trails whether or not you have cell service, Internet access or a data plan.
• Check out trail conditions beforehand to confirm your intended route.
• Locate trailside services.
• Calculate the distance to your destination and trailside services.
• See every detail with the improved, high-resolution zoom level.
• Save and share your trip itineraries.
• Add friends to share your location and saved trips with.
• Customize your profile with information about your sleds.
• Tilt your phone on the side to rotate the screen for mounting on your favorite docking accessory.
• See a list of the most recommended routes offering scenic views or unique experiences.

The OFSC reminds snowmobilers the ITG and Go Snowmobiling Ontario App are the only authorized way to view OFSC trail status, availability and changes for the 2021 season, making them your most accurate and trustworthy choice on the trails.

Trak Maps Snowmobile Ontario for Garmin: For snowmobilers who would prefer to have the OFSC trails loaded on their Garmin navigation device, the Trak Maps Snowmobile Ontario product is available for purchase on the OFSC website for $79.99.

OFSC District Trail Guides: For snowmobilers who still love their printed maps, the following OFSC districts are publishing 2021 trail guides showing data available at press time. Given the cancellation of their primary distribution method at snowmobile shows, these guides will mostly be available from your local club and through snowmobile dealers, trailside hospitality services, clubhouses, some tourism offices and other snowmobile-related outlets. For the most part, the district trail guides will not be available by mail from either district offices or the OFSC. The districts printing trail guides this season are:

District 1 – Eastern Ontario/Upper Canada Snowmobile Region (Ottawa-Kingston-Cornwall)
District 2 – Central Eastern Area Snowmobile Region (Kawarthas-Bancroft-Mazinaw)
District 4 – South Central Snowmobile Region (Newmarket-Orangeville-Sutton)
District 5 – Southwestern Ontario
District 6 – Snow Country Snowmobile Region (Haliburton-Bancroft-Ottawa Valley)
District 7 – Muskoka
District 8 – Mid Ontario Snowmobile Trails (Barrie-Midland-Orillia)
District 10 – Parry Sound Snowmobile District (Georgian Bay Region)
District 11 – Near North Trail Association (North Bay-Mattawa-Burk’s Falls)
District 12 – Sudbury Trail Plan (Sudbury-Espanola-Manitoulin)
District 13 – Algoma Sno-Plan Affiliation
District 14 – Timiskaming Abitibi Trail Association (New Liskeard-Kirkland Lake-Timmins)
District 15 – The Northern Corridor (Cochrane-Kapuskasing-Hearst-Hornepayne-Greenstone)
District 17 – Northwestern Ontario (Thunder Bay-Dryden-Kenora)

Throughout the coming season, the OFSC advises snowmobilers to check the ITG and Go Snowmobiling Apps regularly and frequently to plan your rides and reconfirm your route before starting each morning.

 


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.

For questions or to schedule a media interview with the OFSC, please contact us at [email protected] or by phone at 705-739-7669

Sign up today to view more OFSC news and releases

GSO App Launches

OFSC Launches Go Snowmobiling Ontario 2019-20 App

(Barrie, ON – December 2, 2019) – The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) has released the Go Snowmobiling Ontario 2019-20 App. With the success of the GSO App last year, we’ve taken rider feedback and added some exciting enhancements and new features for the upcoming season, including:

  • Optional views (portrait, landscape and 2.5D);
  • Location sharing enhancements;
  • Ride planning, saving and sharing;
  • Real time location sharing;
  • Access to trail accessible and nearby amenities and attractions;
  • Optimized performance and battery usage; and
  • Increased zoom detail
    • Riders will be able to download district views to have more detail available while in remote areas without cell services.

Most importantly, snowmobilers will have real-time access to trail availability information from their mobile device.

For only $3.99 a season, snowmobilers can purchase the app from either the Apple or Google Play stores.

OFSC Interactive Trail Guide Offline

 

 

To show our appreciation for use of your land and to protect you during the off-season, we will be turning off trail data on the Interactive Trail Guide and Go Snowmobiling Ontario App in the next few days.
Snowmobilers, we’ll be back on line closer to the start of the 2020 snowmobile season.