MANITOULIN – The Manitoulin Snowdusters snowmobile club has announced that all snowmobile trails on Manitoulin Island are now closed.
“Everything is closed down,” said Doran McVey, a member of the Snowdusters, when contacted by the Recorder last Friday. “The trails on the Island, and throughout Ontario, are closed for the season,” he said, noting that most businesses in Ontario are closing due to COVID-19.
The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) announced it was closing all prescribed trails in the province as of this past Saturday over COVID-19.
A statement posted on the OFSC website says the board of governors made a formal decision on Wednesday of last week to cease trail operations and grooming effective immediately on any trails still available to the public.
“These are unprecedented times and like many other responsible businesses we are taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of you, your families, our communities and businesses across the province,” the OFSC statement reads.
Effective midnight March 21, 2020 all OFSC prescribed snowmobile trails in Ontario were closed and anyone accessing these trails beyond that date will be trespassing. “We’d like to thank all our loyal permit buyers, landowners, club volunteers and partners for their support this season and encourage everyone to do their part and stay healthy and safe as we all work together in overcoming this pandemic,” the OFSC statement said.
“We want to stress that this decision is not based on an economic basis. Although grooming operations are reduced at this time of the season, we still spend substantial monies on our open trails. We want to ensure permit buyers that any savings from funds not spent this permit year will be invested in the next season,” the OFSC explained.