One of the biggest tips to staying safe on snowmobiling trails is as simple as checking a map. That’s what OFSC District Seven Vice President wants sledders to remember as Snowmobiling Safety Week continues in Ontario. Larry Horton says the majority of trails around Muskoka are unavailable, which means they are unsafe for riders. Sledders can easily find the status of trails on the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs trail guide.

Horton says some areas are listed on the map as limited availability, which still aren’t ideal snowmobiling conditions.

If the trails are marked as red or unavailable on the trail guide, Horton says riding on them is trespassing. Even when trails are listed as green or available, Horton says sledders still need to be cautious all the time.

Horton says overall, it’s important sledders refer to safety manuals, keep to the right, pay attention on the trails, and ride within your abilities.

Snowmobile Safety Week is an initiative from the OPP to remind snowmobilers of the risks. There has already been one sledding death in Muskoka so far this season, and last year was the worst on record for snowmobiling deaths across Ontario since the winter of 2003-2004, with 27 fatalities.