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OFSC says to be aware of changing snowmobile trail condition as weather warms

With the warm weather upon us, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs Governor Cheryl Reid conditions can change rapidly on the trail.

Reid notes that if we don’t get intense rain then the trails could be open for another three weeks.

With warmer weather, Reid says creeks would be starting to melt. She says to watch for water holes, which can randomly appear on a trail. She says that some of these holes may not be there in the morning, but could appear in the afternoon and create a hazard. The OSFC will do their best to mark them, but Reid says they can appear in a matter of hours.

She says that trail conditions are expected to hold up through March break with no heavy rain predicted in the long-range forecast. If surprise snow or a cold spell hit in the next few weeks, the season could be extended.

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Reid says that volunteers will be checking water crossings on a daily basis to make sure that the ice is holding up. She said to check the trail guide for the most up-to-date information. If you aren’t able to check the map before you leave, Reid says to keep an eye out for the orange markers. She says that if you see that the orange stakes have disappeared, the trail is closed and the lake is no longer safe. She adds that even if you really want to get going, you should always make time to check the trail guide before you leave.

Reid also says that with the snow being as soft as it is to take corners slowly and with caution, as they are slippier than normal. She also stresses for riders to ride your side. She says that above all it is important to keep to the right while on the trails.

She says if you are going off-trail to use your head and do not cross a strange lake or one you are unfamiliar with. She said a recent fatality in Bancroft was the result of someone crossing the water off-trail. She says to never cross ice at night, and to keep an eye out for water holes.

Above all, she says to think before you proceed, especially if you are going off-trail.

Written by Trevor Smith-Millar

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