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Snowmobilers going full throttle with good conditions

February 18, 2021   ·   0 Comments

The season was delayed this year due to a lack of snow on the trails, but snowmobilers in the region finally got the green light on January 23.

There was snow on the ground, however there was not enough to make the trails safe and able to be groomed properly.

Another dumping of snow provided enough cover for grooming machines to get busy.

The season is now in full swing with a lot of riders out on the trails.

“We have around 20 active Club volunteers, but we typically sell around 550 to 600 trail permits each year,” said Mark Whitehead, Member and Former President of the Alliston & District Snowmobile Club. “That would be people supporting our Club directly. We opened the trails on January 23, this year. That’s a little late for us. Typically, we’ve had the trails open between Christmas and New Year’s for the last three or four years.”

Now that there is a decent base on the trails and they have properly groomed, local snowmobile enthusiasts have been out in large numbers.

Club members are hoping the cold weather sticks around for a while.

“So far, this is looking to be our best year in probably the last six years,” Mr. Whitehead said. “Last year, we had 20 days open and the previous three years we had ten days open but that was split between five days in December and five days in February. We normally need at least six inches of snow, but the last few years we’ve noticed that, with ATV’s being more popular and riding in the same areas we put out trails in, we’re finding we need at least a foot in some areas to fill in the ruts. A lot of our trails are on private property and not on crown land.”

All riders on the trails require permits to ride legally. Permits are issued by the Ministry of Transportation.

The Alliston Club oversees 88 kilometres of trails running from Alliston up to Creemore. Snowmobile trails in Ontario also connect to different regions in the province for a total of 30,000 kilometres of trails across the province.

“I like that fact that you can connect to all these different towns and have a destination – in most years. Everything is now closed for COVID, but most typically we’ll have a destination and go there for lunch and hang out with some friends and other people who are passionate about snowmobiling. And it’s also about being involved with the Club – I’ve met a lot of great people who are like-minded.”

If you’re going to head out on the trails, make sure you have a proper permit or you could receive a fine.

Permits help pay for grooming the trails and keeping the sport safe for all riders.

By Brian Lockhart
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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