The President of the Gravenhurst Snowcrest Riders Nunzio Iacobellis says the trails have been packed, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“On the trails, I’ve seen more families out riding than I’ve ever seen before in my years of sledding in Muskoka,” he explains, adding he’s spotted a number of older snowmobiles as well, likely ridden by people who are staying at their cottage. “The family riders are certainly out enjoying it,” he says.

“We’ve seen unprecedented travel on our trail system,” Iacobellis says.

“We didn’t get that really cold weather we always hope for,” he explains, which caused a slow start to snowmobile season. Once the trails were prepared by the many volunteers in Muskoka, he says that the trails have been busy. Recently, Iacobellis says he stopped by one of the club’s warm-up shacks and found a handful of people in there taking a break. “It was nice,” he says. “Everyone out enjoying the weather.”

On top of families and those that might be new to the snowmobiling, he says there have been plenty of veteran riders doing the “day loop” going through Muskoka. 

With all of the traffic on the trails, he says it’s been a challenge for the groomers and other volunteers to keep up with the demand. “We have a great group who have certainly stepped up to the plate,” he says. Iacobellis says he spoke to one homeowner that lives close to a trail who said they saw “hundreds” of sledders drive by their home in the span of an hour.

He predicts that trails to the south of Muskoka will start to close in the next few weeks, while the trails north of Huntsville will stay open a little while longer. “The challenge we run into in Gravenhurst is a lot of rocky terrain and a lot of swamps, so once we get that warmer weather that sort of puts an end to the season for us,” Iacobellis says.