Ontario snowmobile trails are one of the recreation activities of Canada. The snowmobile trails are administered under the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) based in Barrie, Ontario. The organisation is non-profitable and volunteer-based and is majorly responsible for the snowmobile trail activity in the Ontario province of Canada.
The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs organizes the largest trail system in the world. The club is a community of 231 members who operate the activity in various regions of Ontario. The snowmobile trails cover a stretch of 39,000 kilometres linking the Snowbelt of OFSC communities.
A permit is required to ride or use the snowmobile trails in the province which needs to be issued by OFSC. The region of northern Ontario is considered the best for snowmobiling.
1. 4 Amazing Facts About Ontario Snowmobile Trails
1.1. History of Snowmobile Trails
Before 1967 the snowmobile clubs operating this recreational activity operated independently of each other. Thereafter a meeting was held on 4 February 1967 of 16 snowmobile clubs. The meeting was arranged by the Huronia snow riders in a hotel in Victoria Harbor.
The President of this organization proposed the collaboration of the clubs for the growth of snowmobile activity in Ontario. This collaboration made the Ontario Federation Snowmobile Clubs.
With time the collaboration grew to 70 member community. Drivers training programs were introduced which catered to a lot of students in the growing years. OFSC then introduced the driver’s permits to access the snowmobile trails.
New snowmobile trails were introduced and regions doing the activity increased from 16 to 23. The growth of the federation was tremendous throughout the years to date.
The introduction of new trail route accessibility, collaborations, and the introduction of new sledders all kept happening.
1.2. Best Snowmobiling Regions of Ontario
There are some best places to go for Ontario snowmobile trails with your friends and family are listed below:
Bancroft region in Ontario has a history of rail lines and old logs. The region has a population of around 3500. The corridors made in this area form a great trail network for snowmobiling giving accessibility to other trails.
The region of tourism is Ontario Highlands. Trail access is TOP B106E. The road access is through Highways 28 and 62. This comes under the OFSC districts 2 and 6.
Cochrane in Ontario holds the record of having the best snowmobile trail in 25 years. The region has a population of over 5000. The region has established itself in providing all the facilities and services needed by snowmobilers.
The Francophone community operates in Cochrane and have their access to the Northern corridor.
The region of tourism is Northeastern Ontario. The road access is through Highway 11. Trail access is TOP A. This comes under the OFSC District 15.
Huntsville is a region for the activity of snowmobiling located at the north end of Muskoka. The population of the region is 19,816.
The region of Muskoka is an all-time favorite of the people for a vacation in the summertime due to its great cottage country playgrounds. While in winter it is the ultimate destination for snowmobilers to access trail routes.
The region of tourism is The Great Canadian Wilderness. It comes under the OFSC District 7. The trail access is TOP D102B and Club Trail 72. The road access to this place is through highway 11 or 400 southern or northern side, highway 35 from the south side, and Highway 118 or 60 from the southeast side.
Mattawa is one of the regions of Snowmobile trails that offer good weather conditions for the activity. The population of the region is around 2000. The place is located in the Canadian Shield and the Laurentian mountain range.
The accessibility to the place is quite easy and runs through the town. The area is quite uncrowded and has underused snowmobile trails.
The region of tourism is Northeastern Ontario and the OFSC district is 11. Highway 17 is the road access to the place. The trail access is TOP A112A.
1.2.5. Owen Sound
This place is one of the famous snowmobile trails offering some great opportunities for day visits. It is located in the northern part of the region which is at the eastern end of the Bruce Peninsula.
Ontario’s Midwestern region included an area that is commonly referred to as ‘the Grey Bruce’. The Grey Bruce is present between Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. It also contains a major portion of the Niagara embankment which is called the Bruce Peninsula. The largest city in this area is the City of Owen.
The region of tourism is Bruce, Grey, and Simcoe. The road access is via highways 6 and 10 from the south side, highway 21 from the west side, and highway 28 from the east side. It comes under the OFSC district 9 and the trail access is via TOP B110 from the south side and TOP B from the east or west.
The Sundridge is one of the snowmobile trails which have an excellent network of trails for sledding. The place offers excellent terrain for snowmobiling to the riders.
The area is present in the majestic Almaguin highlands. This is a stretch of 8000 sq kilometres of the wilderness of the Canadian Shield between Lake Nipissing and Muskoka. The area of Sundried has a mixture of surroundings like small hills, rocky cliffs, fresh lakes, various woodlands, and a rural community.
The region of tourism is the great Canadian wilderness. Highways 400 and 11 are accessed by road. The trail access is by TOP C104D. The OFSC districts are 7,10 and 11.
The Sudbury area is known to be the largest urbanized center of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Ontario. The population of the region is more than 160,000. The place is counted among the best snowmobile trails in the province.
The area even has various other attractions like shopping, nightlife, and the amenities of an urban city to fill in the time when snowmobiling is not available.
The region of tourism is Northeastern Ontario. The road access to this place is via highways 69 and 17. The OFSC district is 12. TOP D & C is the trail access.
Pembroke is one of the best snowmobile trails which is located in the heart of the Ottawa valley. The population of the region is 24,000.
This trail system makes up an excellent network of trails with well-developed trails for the adventure. It occupies the area of Madawaska and Highlands of Calabogie and also a part of the area between Ottawa River and Algonquin Park.
The region of tourism is Ontario Highlands. Highway 17 via the road access to the place. It comes under the OFSC District 6 ad trail access via TOP A.
1.2.9. Smith Falls
Snowmobile trails at Smith Falls are the best trails known for providing great facilities and services to visitors. The region has a population of around 8,780.
The place has a charming downtown feel to it with very friendly and hospitable people. It provides easy access and interesting day-riding loops to the trail systems.
The region of tourism is Ontario Highlands. It comes under the OFSC District 1. Highways 7 and 15 are roadway access to the place. TOP E is the trail access from the south and west side and TOP A311E is from the north side.
1.3. Trail Guides
There is an interactive trail guide that needs to be followed for snowmobile trails. The trail status reports need to be checked before going for a snowmobile ride.
The trail status reports provide you with the accessibility of the trail route but not the trail quality. The trail route is depicted with the help of color-coded bars showing the availability, unavailability, and limited availability of the route.
The recreational activity of snowmobiling occurs in non-engineered environments and wild surroundings. The trail conditions vary considerably at any time depending upon the traffic and weather conditions which significantly change. The rider is already informed about the said conditions and accesses these snow tours at their own risk and is asked to exercise extreme care.
1.4. The OFSC Trail System
There is an interconnected network of 16 groups of regional snowmobile club trails which are called OFSC districts. These district trails network together and form a fully unified OFSC provincial trail system. There are four types of trail systems:
The first type is the local trail which is depicted with numbers particular to each district and the color orange on the trail network.
The other three are the Trans Ontario Provincial Trail System (TOP) mentioned above.
- The first type is TOP trails are trunk trails. They are depicted by single letters like TOP A and represented by the color red. Trunk trails travel across the province by multiple district routes.
- The second type of TOP trails is feeder trails depicted by blue color and a single letter. A single letter depicts to which trunk trail the feeder trail connects. Eg: TOP C112
- The third type is the connector trails. They are green-colored and depicted with a number, letter, or a combination of letters.
So, it is advised for snowmobile riders to check the district trail guides and provincial trail guides before heading out for the tour.
The Ontario Snowmobile Trail activity is identified as one of the thrilling adventures of Canada. These trail networks are meant to give an exceptional and memorable experience to its rider.
The destination Ontario is one of the key places for snowmobiling as it offers key benefits. The area offers a great Snowbelt in winter with friendly atmospheres and some amazing opportunities for food. The other condition is the largest network of Ontario snowmobile trails of tens of thousands of kilometers interconnected with each other.
Well, Snowmobiling is a great activity to learn and discover something new and have fun.