It’s been a slow start to winter and that means locals haven’t been able to do many popular winter activities – snowmobiling being one of those things.

Maple Leaf Snow Skimmers Vice President George Tsagrinos is urging patience to those hoping to get their sled out of the garbage and ride the trails for the first time this season. He says with social media, rumours can spread fast. “Before you know it, there’s people running around on the trails,” he says.

Tsagrinos explains that getting trails ready is not as simple as you might think. First, groomers need to pack what is called an “ice base” that holds the snow throughout the winter. He says a base has been created on the trails, but there isn’t enough snow to do what else is needed. When more snow falls, they will be able to cut, shave and groom the trail so that it’s ready to be opened. “Everything has to be in place before these trails open,” he says.

“Safety is our utmost concern,” Tsagrinos says. He says understands it’s been a slow start to the season, but if anyone goes on the trails before they’re ready they risk damaging the work that’s already been done or injuring themselves. “If you’re out there riding around thinking the trail is great and you come around the corner and there’s an open creek bed there and you slam into it and hurt yourself there’s going to be problems,” he says. Tsagrinos adds that he thinks people know the trails aren’t ready yet but are just getting impatient.

He says he knows people are frustrated because they paid for their permit and want to use, but urges everyone to be patient and let them do their work.

When trails do open, it will be posted on the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs’ website.