With most local trails closed because of a lack of the white stuff, the message during Snowmobile Safety Week is a little different.

Snowmobile Safety Week runs until January 28th, and is a joint effort between the OPP and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs. Maple Leaf Snow Skimmers President Stuart McDonald says sledders are being reminded to stay off local trails for their own safety because of the closures.

McDonald says the club will need about 12 inches of snow and a freeze-up to reestablish enough of a base to get local trails open. He recommends that you check trail availability on the OFSC’s interactive trail guide, which is updated two to three times a week.

Meanwhile, Killaloe Constable Catherine Yarmel says police also recommend that you only ride on trails that are proven and safe. However, she also says police understand the importance of snowmobiling in the area, so if you do decide to head out, make sure you stay safe.

Yarmel also stresses the importance of wearing reflective gear to make sure you can be seen, and never riding if you’re impaired.

(Filed by: Andreas Pandikiu)