After the snowstorm that hit Bracebridge and parts of Muskoka on Oct. 20, many don’t want to think about or see snow for a while, but Nunzio Iacobellis, President of Gravenhurst’s Snowcrest Riders, can’t wait for the next snowfall.
“It was nice to see the white stuff coming down,” he says.
As snowmobilers prep their sleds for the season, Iacobellis points out they have until Nov. 1 to purchase a trail permit from the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs at a discounted price. He says the cost will go up $80 next month.
As for the snowmobile clubs, Iacobellis says he and the many others associated with snowmobile clubs in the region are prepping for what they hope is a good sledding season. Notably, Iacobellis says with the help of multiple other clubs, a trail now connects Muskoka directly to trails in the Minden area. “There had been a big, big, washout and it cost several thousand dollars to repair it,” he explains, adding they received support from the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) and the province to repair it.
Iacobellis says there have been other trail projects “all of Muskoka” including upgraded bridges, crossings, and reroutes. The goal, he continues, is to make the trails as accessible as possible for sledders, both new and returning.
Speaking of new snowmobilers, Iacobellis was part of a group that traveled to the Toronto International Snowmobile Show earlier this month representing OFSC District 7. “There were lots and lots of visitors to the booth inquiring about riding in Muskoka this winter,” he says.
While there is no snow on the ground yet, Iacobellis says clubs are hard at work making sure the trails are in good shape for when the snow does start to fall. “We’re being mindful of the hunting season that’s still on,” he adds.
Iacobellis points out that clubs don’t have access to some trails until this time of year so they have lots of work ahead to clear debris and repair or replace signage.
“There’s always a need for volunteers,” he says, pointing out that there is a small number of people that do a lot of work.
“I love it,” Iacobellis says of working for the club. “I love meeting riders. When you put a call out for help the volunteers are always there quickly ready to help.”
He suggests reaching out to the snowmobile club in your area to inquire about volunteering. “Anyone that can and will be welcomed with open arms,” Iacobellis says.