Snowmobile Trails, A Unique Winter Asset Benefitting All Ontarians
(Barrie, ON – January 24, 2022): For more than 50 years, community-minded landowners have partnered with volunteers in local snowmobile clubs to provide their area with recreational snowmobile trails. This rural tradition has created many economic, recreational, social, and health benefits to enhance the winter well-being of hometowns and their residents across the province.
With over 50% of trails now available for recreational riding, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is celebrating these unique and enduring relationships, and the incredible trail network of 30,000 kilometres of OFSC Prescribed Trails we’ve built together, about 60% of which are located on private property. Today, the OFSC is issuing a special call to action: Let’s work together to Save Our Trails.
The OFSC Save Our Trails campaign reminds everyone how valuable OFSC trails are to snowmobilers, to landowners, and to all Ontarians, while recognizing that Illegal off-trail riding is becoming a challenge that requires our united action. Trespassing on private land is not only harmful to longstanding landowner relationships. It also causes serious land access issues for member snowmobile clubs in many areas, while threatening the winter livelihoods of many rural and northern communities. Save Our Trails asks Ontario snowmobilers to take personal and collective action against trespass by:
- Always staying on the designated OFSC trail and never riding a closed trail.
- Respecting landowner rights and property.
- Refusing to ride with friends who trespass.
- Reminding new participants why it’s important to stay on the trail.
- Spreading the message across personal social media outlets.
- Supporting OFSC advocacy for stronger anti-trespass enforcement and legislation.
(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.
Snowmobilers Warned To Stay Off Closed Trails Until They Re-Open Next Winter
(Barrie, ON: March 11, 2021) – After delivering some of the best trail riding opportunities in recent memory throughout much of Southern Ontario, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) reports that snowmobile operations are ending for this winter in many of its southern-most districts.
With the trail base deteriorating rapidly from mild and rainy weather this week, many local snowmobile clubs, especially those in predominantly farm country areas, have now closed almost 10,000 kilometres of trails, many for the season. More are expected to shut down soon if early spring-like conditions continue. Other clubs are asking snowmobilers to stay off their trails this weekend, until groomers can roll again next week, so as not to increase existing damage to the fragile snow base.
2021 Season Includes Many Positive Indicators For Organized Snowmobiling
(Barrie, ON: February 18, 2021) – Overcoming many of this season’s uncertainties, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is making considerable progress on our promise to deliver the best possible trail riding experiences for snowmobilers this winter. Following extraordinary efforts, our districts, clubs and volunteers made over 22,000 kilometres of OFSC trails available for your local riding pleasure on the 2021 Family Day Long Weekend. This included many close to home, day ride opportunities throughout Southern Ontario.
In fact, local trail riding was allowed and available last weekend in about 89% of the 27 Ontario public health units (of 34 in the province) that have OFSC trails within their boundaries. Now the OFSC is pleased to report some additional riding opportunities. With the new re-opening framework easing into place, even more OFSC trails are becoming available again between Yellow or Green public health units. But note that in keeping with continuing provincial restrictions, any OFSC trail crossing the boundary of a Gray, Red or Orange public health unit will remain temporarily closed under the OFSC Flex Trails plan.
To date, the 2021 season is highlighted by numerous positive indicators for organized snowmobiling, including these signs of increased interest and participation (no final numbers yet available):
Boundary Lines Assist Snowmobilers To Ride Locally Within Their Public Health Region
(Barrie, ON: January 27, 2021) – With winter finally upon us and thousands of kilometres of trails now showing either Green or Yellow on the Interactive Trail Guide (ITG) for local riding, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) has created a new tool to assist snowmobilers.
As of today, we have temporarily added public health region boundaries (blue lines) to the ITG on our website, which are visible in both Trail Network and Trail Status views. They will also show on the Go Snowmobiling Ontario Apps after your next regular data update. The blue boundary lines will help you to stay within your own public health region while riding available OFSC trails and enable you to plan your local rides more easily while complying with public health measures.
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.”