Please avoid taking any foolish risks – for your own safety keep your sled parked until next winter because the OFSC’s provincial snowmobile trail system is now closed.
That’s the urgent safety message from the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) as new snow may accumulate this week in some regions of the province. The OFSC is warning all snowmobilers to stay off closed OFSC trails and not to trespass on private property.
The provincial trail closure means that grooming operations have ceased, regional trail connections are shut down, gates are locked and signs are being taken down.
The snow base on most trails has disappeared entirely or is deteriorated to the point of being unsafe to ride, leaving many hazards exposed including rocks, stumps and bare ground.
All ice is now becoming either too unstable to support sleds or has melted away to open water. Spring run off and flooding is underway, making trails impassible, breaking trail connections and resulting in extreme danger. The OFSC also cautions snowmobilers that off-trail locations or conditions are now unsafe for riding, including roads and open fields.
For snowmobilers looking for one more ride this season on local trails, a few clubs in OFSC Districts 15, 16 and 17 (Northern Ontario) are still reporting limited spring opportunities available, but their trail segments may not be linked to other trails, loops or towns and should be entered with extra caution.
Before heading out, it is imperative to check local trail status at www.ofsc.on.ca and with the local club.