It will be a while yet before our region’s snowmobile trails are safe.
John Enright, President of the Haliburton County Snowmobile Association, says despite the heavy snowfall over the holidays, there’s still much work to be done.
“We’re really at the mercy of the weather,” says Enright. “All this new snow we received is very, very heavy, and dozens and dozens of trees are blocking the trails. They all have to be cleared.”
He notes that warmer temperatures and rainy weather are also setting back efforts. “I would doubt there would be availability during this warmup,” he says.
Enright says that despite warnings to avoid pre-season riding for the safety of both rider and machine, he received several reports of people venturing onto closed trails over the holidays.
“There’s riders in the area in droves, which makes it very, very difficult for us to do our job,” Enright says. “We have to pack the snow and prepare it, and then you have a snowmobiler disturbing what we’ve just done.”
He warns that only grooming crews and other volunteers should be opening gates to get onto closed trails, as many trails are on private land and anyone caught on them could be charged with trespassing.
Enright says trails are beginning to open up in some places, and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs’ interactive trail guide is updated every few minutes. In the meantime, he says if a trail is showing up as red, and most are, “it’s for a very, very good reason, so please don’t ride it.”