Over 11,000 kilometres of trails are now open, according to the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) trail guide, but Nunzio Iacobellis, president of Gravenhurst’s Snowcrest Riders, is urging patience.
“It’s been a long time coming,” says Iacobellis. The snowfall on Wednesday helped the clubs who are putting the finishing touches on the trails. “The majority of trails are clear,” he adds, however, he points out there are still some areas clubs haven’t been able to access that will need to be tidied up before they can open.
In anticipation of more trails being opened, Iacobellis says to make sure your snowmobile is maintained and make sure your OFSC trail permit is attached to your sled at all times as well as your Ministry of Transportation validation sticker. “The OPP will be out on the trails checking everything this year,” says Iacobellis.
Importantly, he adds to not go too fast. “It is early season conditions for anything that has become available to ride,” explains Iacobellis.
“Please, please, stay off closed trails,” reminds Iacobellis. Not only are the trails not ready, but he points out that it’s trespassing. Iacobellis says, in a worst-case scenario, going on a closed trail could end with a private landowner revoking trail access, which significantly hurts clubs. Iacobellis adds that if a trail is closed, it means clubs haven’t been able to inspect them and they aren’t safe.
As well, Iacobellis says to stay off the ice. “It would not be advisable to go on any water crossings until you know for sure they’re safe,” he says.
“Be patient,” says Iacobellis. He says clubs will be out all week and weekend to pack trails and get them in good enough shape to open. “We’re all sledders,” says Iacobellis. “We all want to ride as much as the next guy, you just have to do it safely.”