OFSC Message For International Snowmobile Safety Week, January 14 – 22

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As the non-profit, volunteer-driven association that oversees organized snowmobile trails in Ontario, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is cautioning snowmobilers that the greater majority of its 30,000 kilometres of OFSC Prescribed Snowmobile Trails are currently identified as being “Unavailable” to ride.

Most OFSC trails do not typically become Available to ride before mid-January, and although the recent unseasonal weather has impacted overall trail readiness, snowmobile clubs and their volunteers continue to work hard on making as many OFSC trails as possible Available to ride in the near future.

Only Ride Available Trails:

For safety week, the OFSC reminds snowmobilers to only ride Available or Limited Availability OFSC trails and avoid riding Unavailable trails at any time during the winter. Snowmobilers can easily find out where there are Available trails to ride by checking Trail Status 24/7 on the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide (ITG) or on the OFSC Go Snowmobiling App. Trail Status shows on the ITG as:

GREEN for Available: The identified route is accessible with the understanding that the trail will likely vary considerably in quality, attributes and terrain over its length.

YELLOW for Limited Availability: Access to the identified route is limited with marginal riding opportunities, so snowmobilers enter with the understanding that they should ride with extreme care and reduced speed.

RED for Unavailable: The identified route is not available at this time, with access prohibited, and entering any Unavailable trail on private property is trespassing.

Stay On The Trail:

The OFSC also reminds snowmobilers riding an Available OFSC trail throughout the winter, to always stay on the trail. OFSC Prescribed Snowmobile Trails are planned, prepared and maintained for the use of responsible recreational snowmobilers who display valid Ontario Snowmobile Trail Permits on their sleds.

These snowmobile corridors are the smart choice for safety’s sake, and to avoid trespassing on private property or compromising the safety of landowners or their property.

Snowmobile incident stats indicate that entering an Unavailable trail, riding off-trail on roads, waterways or areas without trails is a very risky choice.

Ride Responsibly:

The OFSC encourages snowmobilers entering Available OFSC trails to always ride responsibly, with caution, care & control. OFSC trail riding, like many other outdoor activities, has inherent risks that may occur in an unpredictable and uncontrollable natural environment, often far from home.

So snowmobilers must take personal responsibility for their own safety by making prudent choices, practicing safe riding behaviours, and always being prepared for the unexpected.

“Safety is a shared responsibility, a reminder that we send to all snowmobilers every January,” said Ryan Eickmeier, OFSC CEO. “Safety week is an early season focal point to refresh ourselves on key safe riding principles to ensure everyone enjoys OFSC trails this winter.”

The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is a volunteer led, not for profit association that provides the voice for organized snowmobiling in Ontario. OFSC snowmobile trails managed by 200 community based, member clubs generate up to $3.3 billion in economic activity in the province each year.

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