Local Snowmobile Club Urges Riders To Stay On The Trail

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The Muskoka Sno-Bombers (MSB), who maintain and operate about 100 kilometers of snowmobile trail around Bracebridge, are pleading with area riders to stay on the trail.

While trespassing has always been an issue, the Club says this year is the worst they have seen. The integrity of the snowmobile trail network in Muskoka relies on private landowners. MSB president Kevin Alexander has been working with several land owners over the last two weeks developing a plan to curb the problem. In certain circumstances, riders have left OFSC trail and traversed private land to end up in the land owner’s back yard. In others, riders blatantly disregard the No Trespassing – Stay on Trail signage that was recently installed. Often, riders unknowingly cause damage to gardens, septic systems, and lawns beneath the snow.

The MSB recognizes that backcountry riding can be enjoyable. To do so, riders need to have express written permission from the private land owner. Almost all of the fields and forest in and around Bracebridge are privately owned.

MSB will be increasing signage, installing snow fence, and working with the local OPP detachment to increase patrols in problematic areas. Further abuse of the trail network will result in revoked land owner permission, likely causing catastrophic trail closures to the network that cannot be re-routed.

Unlawfully removing trail signs can create some very dangerous situations, if you have knowledge of anyone removing OFSC trail signs please contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

17 COMMENTS

  1. Why aren’t the trails closed anyway like the North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit closed theirs under the stay-at-home order?
    Other Health Units and even the OFSC agree Toronto and area people need to stay home with their sleds and stop the spread.
    It’s not essential and it’s not exercise so anyone out for that reason should be fined $880.

  2. Snowmobilers don’t follow any rules. Covid or otherwise.
    They typically just run over “No Trespassing” signs.
    Drinking, speeding, excessive noise, playing submarine and 2 stroke stink. All part of it.
    Headline: Two Snowmobile Collisions This Past Weekend
    Headline: Two Gravenhurst men charged same day with unsafe snowmobiling
    Headline: Snowmobile Safety Week begins with 3 deaths in 2 Georgian Bay incidents

    You have to dive out of the way with your child when they roar up the sidewalk. That’s fine.
    If a Harley did that in the summer it would be a big deal.

    “While trespassing has always been an issue, the Club says this year is the worst they have seen.”
    It’s because for some reason the trails are still open here so Toronto and area people come up and go wild. While spreading the virus. Many other activities are closed and people are staying home.

  3. I am not a snowmobiler and agree with many of the above comments. However, I do walk the trails often and have been happy to see parents driving at a respectable speed with big smiles on their children’s faces as they pass and wave. These are very difficult times for young families as parents try to find pleasurable activities for their kids while schools are closed. I hope those who are disrespectful are dealt with severely and are prevented from ruining the activity for others, especially this year.

  4. Totally disagree with you about closing the trails, what about the locals and the people who social distance even when outside. Unfortunately the government can not currently stop people from coming up from the GTA unless they invoke something like martial law. Yes there are always people who will be a$$ holes, I have found them to be younger teens that think because daddy bought them a soup’d up snowmobile they can do what they want, that is the problem educating those people. Trespassing fines need to be increased so that daddy will have to take away sonny boy’s sled. As for harley’s they should be out lawed for the noise they make.

  5. Not all snowmobilers are like that it is a select few who belive they are above the law. As for closing the trails I believe the Toronto area trails should be closed and anywhere there is a high number of covid cases but that being said they should also make it so that if you live in that area you can’t leave that jurisdiction. The reason I say that is because of this past summer people coming from Toronto down to kingston to get their nails done made the amount of cases jump and left us holding the bag. Generally riding a sled you are not going to pass the virus cause there is always 6 feet or more between you. Don’t punish all for the stupidity of a select group who don’t care.

    • So bubblers are there to protect against snowmobilers – by sinking them in the lake? Good way to get charged with “Criminal Negligence Causing Death”.
      Property owners are legally responsible for the results of conditions they create.

      • You missed the part about trespassing. Don’t trespass. Don’t sink.
        Unfortunately some cottagers go overboard and leave unnecessarily large areas of open water all winter.
        Also unfortunately there are blinking lights now around the lake marking the open water as required.
        All of the above including the amount of trespassing is fairly recent.
        As the story says this year is the worst they have seen.

  6. Mac and Mark, trespassing happens by more people and ways then just snowmobilers also drinking, speeding and excessive noise is also caused by other people/motor vehicles. Now the headlines of collisions, charges of unsafe operation and and people drowning also happen by other means then just snowmobilers. The idea that bubblers are used to keep snowmobilers from trespassing would be criminal, would you be willing to share the names of these cottagers Mark? Also Mac can you give me the #’s on cases of covid spread by people snowmobiling, maybe you can ad that up while you are standing shoulder to shoulder in Walmart or Costco.

  7. Its out doors its on your own sled not a shared public situation. Wear a mask. Stay put of bars and coffee shops. Sledding should be allowed. Ski hills should close. Here in bc big white has had 220 cases since the new year.

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