OFSC Provides Final Update For Snowmobile Trail System and Interactive Trail Guide

(Barrie, ON: March 25, 2021) – During this OFSC Landowner Appreciation Week, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is confirming that there are now no OFSC Prescribed trails available for snowmobiling anywhere in Ontario. All of our more than 30,000 kilometres of trails are showing RED on the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide (ITG), meaning that the entire provincial trail system is now shut down for the season, thereby ending safe and legal snowmobile trail riding opportunities in every OFSC district until next winter. Meanwhile, we join the Ontario Provincial Police and other police services in warning snowmobilers to stay off any ice, which is disappearing rapidly now that Spring has officially arrived.

Out of respect for our landowners and to protect private property, crops and livestock from off-season trespass by other trail motorized users, the ITG will go offline effective March 26, 2021 until November 2021. Our Go Snowmobiling Apps will not show OFSC trails until December 1, 2021, while your subscription to PRO remains valid for 12 months from your date of upgrade purchase.

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OFSC Urges All Snowmobilers To Follow Public Health Protocols

Together We Can Do This!

(Barrie, ON: January 20, 2021) – On January 18th, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) received the news that, effective January 21st, 2021, North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (NBPSDHU) is temporarily closing all OFSC trails within its region for the duration of the provincial Stay At Home Order. This district stretches from Parry Sound on the shores of Georgian Bay, east to Mattawa on the Ottawa River, and from Novar north almost to Marten River. It also includes many OFSC clubs and their volunteers in OFSC Districts 10, 11 & 7 who have worked very hard to prep their trails and, in some cases, had commenced grooming operations despite a late start to winter.

In a news release from January 18th, 2021, Dr. Jim Chirico, NBPSDHU Medical Officer of Health, stated that: “I have received many complaints about people travelling from other districts to use the local snowmobile trails, thus putting our district at risk of COVID-19. The OFSC recommends that snowmobilers avoid trailering and travelling to destinations that are outside their health unit region to snowmobile, but people have not taken the direction seriously.”

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10 YEARS OF DATA REVEAL POOR BEHAVIOURS BEHIND MAJORITY OF SNOWMOBILE FATALITIES

(ORILLIA, ON) – With Snowmobile Safety Week underway this week, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has released a ten-year data report on snowmobile fatalities, which officers hope will encourage snowmobilers to avoid the recurring behaviours that contributed to the majority of the incidents over the past decade.

During the past 10 snowmobile seasons (2009-2019), the OPP has investigated 175 snowmobile fatalities throughout the province. Among the findings in the report, excessive speed, loss of control, driving too fast for the conditions and ability impaired by alcohol were listed as the top contributing factors. In fact, alcohol was involved in almost half (45 per cent) of the deaths.

Another compelling fact is that almost half (45 per cent) of the snowmobilers who died were traveling on frozen lakes or rivers at the time of the incident. The circumstances that led to the deaths include intentionally driving onto open water (puddle jumping/water skipping), breaking through the ice and collisions with other snowmobiles and natural landmarks. (See complete data graphic below).

“Whether you are a beginner or seasoned snowmobiler, it is important to avoid all manner of risk while enjoying the thousands of kilometres of diverse, scenic snowmobile trails Ontario has to offer. Maintaining control of your snowmobile at all times and never making alcohol or drugs part of your ride will go a long way to keeping snowmobilers and their passengers safe this season.” — Vijay Thanigasalam, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation

“Our OFSC Interactive Trail Guide is an excellent tool for keeping snowmobilers well-informed about the status of trails throughout Ontario. The OFSC, in partnership with the OPP is counting on all snowmobilers to take full responsibility for their own safety as well as the safety of their passengers and fellow riders this season.” — Andrew WALASEK, Director, Stakeholder Relations, OFSC

The OPP is reminding operators that no ice is safe ice. All riders should ensure they use proper safety equipment in addition to wearing appropriate outerwear for the environmental conditions they may encounter. Snowmobile Safety Week runs from January 18 to 26, 2020.

HELPFUL LINKS

Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs

Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations

OPP Contact: Sergeant Paul Potter, Coordinator, Specialized Patrol Phone: (705) 329-7660

OFSC Contact: Andrew Walasek Director, Stakeholder Relations, Phone: (705) 739-7669

OPP REPORT SEASON’S FIRST SNOWMOBILE FATALITY, ISSUE WARNING WITH OFSC AHEAD OF HOLIDAYS

(ORILLIA, ON) –. With mild temperatures forecast for many parts of the province into the holidays, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) are warning snowmobilers to stay off closed OFSC trails. The OPP is also urging riders to stay off frozen waterways as they too remain unsafe.

The OPP responded to its first snowmobile fatality of the season earlier this month after a man lost control of his snowmobile. The tragic death is the latest reminder that snowmobiling comes with an unpredictable environment and unique set of risks.

Excessive speed, driving too fast for the conditions losing control and alcohol are among the top contributing factors in OPP-investigated snowmobile fatalities every season.

Snowmobilers are reminded to regularly check the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide for real-time trail availability information over the holidays and throughout the season. OFSC prescribed trails are subject to laws governed under the Ontario Motorized Snow Vehicles Act and enforced by police throughout the province.

The OPP remains committed to saving lives on Ontario highways, waterways and trails.

The OFSC wants to remind snowmobilers to Go Safe when they Go Snowmobiling Ontario!

 

LEARN MORE

 Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs

 Snowmobile Safety in Ontario

 

OPP Contact:         Sgt. Paul Potter, Coordinator, Specialized Patrol

Phone:                       (705) 329-7660

 

OFSC Contact:      Andrew Walasek Director, Stakeholder Relations,

Phone:                      (705) 739-7669