The trails aren’t ready to be opened, but snowmobile clubs across Parry Sound and Ontario are hard at work preparing for the upcoming season.

“The first thing we do this time of year is clearing brush and dead trees,” President and Governor for Parry Sound Snowmobile District 10 District Barry Wilkinson says. He adds that work started in September and will be an on-going process during the season. “This year we had a lot of damage in some areas because of the wind storms we had,” he says.

He says they are also working on fixing or upgrading existing equipment. “Just making sure everything is ready to go,” Wilkinson says.

Volunteers are also putting up signage along the trails. “They’ve already put up a few hundred signs,” he says. A key part of getting trails open is the work done with private landowners. Wilkinson says they’re working with one farmer in Port Carling to get fencing up around his property to make sure no snowmobilers cross the landowner’s field. “We’ve had a few land owners that have changed their permission and we have to relocate off their property,” Wilkinson says. “But they haven’t been major”

There won’t be many changes along the trails because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wilkinson mentions that the warm-up shacks that are placed along the trails will be open. “All those will be posted to use at your own risk,” he adds. “They won’t be sanitized.”

He says the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs has put protocols in place for how to deal with riders going to and from different Health Unit regions. Wilkinson says some sections of local trails have been cut off because of that. “OFSC has their plan in place to deal with differences in health units,” he says.

He says to keep an eye on the OFSC’s interactive trail map to stay up-to-date on trail conditions.