Snowmobile trails are starting to open up in Muskoka, but clubs are begging sledders to stay off the closed ones.
Nunzio Iacobellis, President of the Gravenhurst Snowcrest Riders, says clubs saw “good traffic” on the limited trails that opened up in Muskoka over the weekend.
He says the conditions still aren’t ideal, though.
“We’re still, obviously, in desperate need of more snow,” Iacobellis says. “The volunteers are working so hard right now to make sure when we get the snow, we can have the trails available.”
While trails opening is welcome news for eager sledders, one club is dealing with an issue that could cause the club to “ultimately fold.”
Steve Walter, Vice President of the Muskoka Lakes Snowtrail Association, posted on the club’s Facebook page criticizing sledders who could cause the trail system between Glen Orchard to Cranberry Marsh to close. He says it’s because of sledders riding off-trail onto the hydro lines just west of Glen Orchard.
“If we lose this section of trail we have zero alternative’s and our club could ultimately fold,” Walter wrote in the post. “To those riding the closed trail in Glen Orchard with your modified exhaust and then ripping down Butterfly Road, the residents are done and it will not be tolerated again this year.”
Iacobellis says this is a “huge problem” that isn’t limited to just one club. Riding on closed trails could lead to a private landowner revoking access and in other cases, it could lead to injury because volunteers haven’t cleared it of debris yet.
“I cannot stress enough to please stay off trails that are not available,” he pleads. “It affects the local businesses, it affects the riders, there are many levels to what could happen.”
Keep an eye on the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs’ interactive trail guide for the latest on trail conditions.