“Historically the (Haliburton County Snowmobile Association) has very little in trail availability until January,” Vice President of Haliburton County Snowmobile Association John Enright tells the MyHaliburtonNow.com newsroom.

“We’re at the mercy of the weatherman,” he says. Tuesday was the first big dropping of snow in the region, but Enright says what is needed is not more snow, but colder temperatures so what’s on the ground freezes. “It’s been such a wet, wet fall,” he says.

One of the new bridges HCSA put in (Photo supplied by: John Enright)

“A lot of people think just because there’s a bunch of snow, the trails are open,” he says. “They’re not.”

Leading up to the trails opening, Enright explains a lot of preparation work is done. The volunteers with the HCSA have installed multiple bridges along their trails and rebuilt others. “There is a huge amount of trees down from the storm two weeks ago,” he adds. All of that and the other debris has to be cleared away as well before the trails can be opened. “One volunteer has probably cleared 30 trees,” Enright says.

The clean-up has only just started, but planning has been on-going since March. “A lot of (the planning) has to do with land use and ageing infrastructure,” he explains. Enright believes they’re busier in the off-season than they are during the winter. “For the passionate volunteers it’s a 52 week a year operation,” he says.

“For safety reasons HCSA trail grooming equipment is radio-equipped,” Enright explains. He says there are a number of dead spots along the trails that need to be addressed. “It has nothing to do with snowmobiling, but everything to do with the wellbeing of our people,” he says.

If you’re looking for information on trail conditions, Enright says the best place to go is the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs website.