Thunder Bay – Sport – On January 12th, 2021, the Province of Ontario announced a second province-wide State-of-Emergency and a new Stay At Home Order. The Order, which has come as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, January 14th and will last at least 28 days.
The OFSC has been in close communication with government officials to seek additional clarity regarding these changes and at this date and time, we can confirm that snowmobile trails and grooming operations are allowable across the province as they have been since the last shutdown began on December 26, 2020.
As stated in Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, Ontario Regulation 82/20dated January 11, 2021, in Schedule 3, clause 4. (2): “The following outdoor recreational amenities may open if they are in compliance with subsection (3)” with the permitted uses listed in subsection 16 as “Snowmobile, cross country ski, dogsledding, ice skating and snow shoe trails”. As of this date, snowmobiling is a permitted recreational activity, provided that the participants comply with all other provincial and local public health unit directives.
This means that snowmobilers with valid trail permits are permitted to access any available (GREEN) or limited availability (YELLOW) trails at this time, but in doing so, must remember that the Province is not recommending travel from one public health region to another. However, as the regulations supporting this announcement have not yet been released, the OFSC cannot yet comment on what legal measures may be enacted to enforce this restriction.
As per the previously released Flex Trail Plan, the OFSC will continue to keep feeder trails between public health regions unavailable (RED) and are urging all snowmobilers to stay close to home, ride with those in your household in groups of 5 or less, and only ride local trails if they become YELLOW or GREEN. For latest trail availability, please check the Interactive Trail Guide. The OFSC encourages all riders to respect local communities and ride in as self sufficient a manner as possible.
All questions pertaining to provincial legislation and enforcement should be directed to your local law enforcement agency.
The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is a volunteer led, not for profit association that provides the voice for organized snowmobiling in Ontario. OFSC snowmobile trails managed by 200 community based, member clubs generate up to $3.3 billion in economic activity in the province each year.