Thank You to Our Funding Partners and Volunteers Official Opening of Bridge Between Ontario and Quebec

Thank You to Our Funding Partners and Volunteers  Official Opening of Bridge Between Ontario and Quebec

On February 12 WCSTA held the Ribbon Cutting for the official opening of the bridge over thew Ottawa River joining the West Carleton Snowmobile Trails Association Club and OFSC trails to the Pontiac Snowmobile Drivers Association Club and FCMQ trails with a safe non-ice crossing on the longest snowmobile bridge in the world.  The rehabilitation of the former railway bridge was made possible through a grant from the Investing in Canada’s Infrastructure – Communities, Culture and Recreation Stream.  Present for the event, left to right are:

Peter Asquini – Governor, District 1, Upper Canada Snowmobile Region, OFSC

Alain Goulet – Pontiac Snowmobile Drivers Association, Pontiac District, FCMQ

Warden Jane Toller – MRC Pontiac County

Chantal Lair – Economic Development, MRC Pontiac County

Cyndy Phillips – Director, Economic Development, MRC Pontiac County

Steve Burgess – President, West Carleton Snowmobile Trails Association

Paul McDonald – Director, West Carleton Snowmobile Trails Association

Eli El-Chantry –  for the City of Ottawa, West Carleton-March Ward

MP Jenna Sudds, Kanata – Carleton Riding

Catherine Callary – VP Destination Development, Ottawa Tourism

George Darouze – City of Ottawa, Osgoode Ward


WCSTA would like to thank the representatives, volunteers and Club members that attended the event.  We look forward to the increased snowmobile and tourism opportunities the bridge and the joining of the OFSC and FCMQ trail systems will bring to West Carleton and Mississippi Mills and the Pontiac as well as across the Regions.

February 12, 2022 – Paul McDonald

Tourism Videos Will Highlight the Snowmobiling Opportunities and Trails in the Pontiac and West Carleton/Mississippi Mills

Tourism Videos Will Highlight the Snowmobiling Opportunities and Trails in the Pontiac and West Carleton/Mississippi Mills

On February 19, 2022 four members of WCSTA worked with MRC Pontiac and Tourisme Outaouais to take video and picture material to complete a tourism promotion of the new bridge over the Ottawa River and the snowmobiling opportunities in the Pontiac and Eastern Ontario.  The production is being put together by Valley Video , Caroline Dorothy Photography, MRC Pontiac and Tourisme Outaouais.

While taking the promotion video and still photography from 12:00 to 1:00 on Sunday, approximately 200 snowmobiles crossed the bridge in both directions.  Even though it was the free weekend in Quebec, it is obvious the benefit and attraction the bridge and new trails are to snowmobilers in Ontario and Quebec.  We thank our funding sponsors and volunteers for making this possible/

Pictured are the people involved in making the tourism video from Valley Video , Caroline Dorothy Photography, MRC Pontiac.

If you crossed the bridge at this time, watch for your participation.  We want to thank the snowmobilers that took the time to participate in the filming and pictures.

February 19, 2022 – Paul McDonald


Important message from the District 1 of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs about trails status

Message from


January 17 2020


MORRISBURG, Ontario – The sixteen (16) snowmobile clubs in District 1, Upper Canada Snowmobile Region of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs have been working very hard to prepare trails and are on the verge of opening pending the snow storm that is forecast.  We regret that circumstances beyond our control will prevent the whole system from opening at this time.  Approximately 25% of   our most popular trails will have to remain closed due to issues with our land use permission.  We want to warn snowmobilers that routes using abandoned rail lines are particularly affected and there will be closed gates along many of these corridors. 

DO NOT TRESPASS on closed trails and go to to the Interactive Trail Guide (ITG)  to check which trails are available. 

We want to assure our permit holders that we are continuing to seek solutions and if trails become available it will be reflected on the ITG.  Please have patience with our clubs because the volunteers are doing their best to provide trails for the enjoyment of the thousands of snowmobilers who have purchased permits.

Our district office is located in Morrisburg, and looks after administration and fieldwork inquiries for the 16 clubs. We have over 3000 km of marked groomed trails. The clubs in District One sells over 10,000 trail permits annually to families in Eastern Ontario.  The O.F.S.C. mission is dedicated to providing strong leadership and support to its member clubs. It is the members who establish and maintain the quality of our snowmobile trails, which are used in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, for the enjoyment of organized snowmobilers.

John Boals

District Manager

Snowmobiling and Rail Lines in West Carleton

Snowmobiling and Rail Lines in West Carleton
The 50,000 pound maintenance vehicle below came off the track outside Carp on March 11, 2019 due to snow pack.

Our Club has been approached several times recently about snowmobilers using the active rail lines in West Carleton, particularly in the Carp and Kinburn areas.

Specifically, people are using the railway to access services in Carp. Rail Term, the company that maintains the line, is concerned for the safety of snowmobilers, trains and their maintenance crew and equipment.

Snow can be packed on the rail bed hard enough to cause their equipment or a train to leave the track. The 50,000 pound maintenance vehicle below came off the track outside Carp on March 11, 2019 due to snow pack. This is a safety issue for Rail Term as well as the financial impact to the railway.

Trespassing on railway property is dangerous and illegal; cross only at designated locations. 

Locomotives and rail cars are wider than the rails and railway bridges, tunnels and rock cuts; this allows little or no room for you and your snowmobile. Riding next to the tracks puts you in extreme danger.

Railway tips for sledders

Operation Lifesaver and its safety partners want you to be alert when riding your snowmobile near railway property and when crossing railway tracks. A snowmobile operator’s first responsibility must be safety. 

Stay Safe: Keep these Lifesaving Tips in Mind 

Trespassing on railway property is dangerous and illegal; cross only at designated locations. 

Locomotives and rail cars are wider than the rails and railway bridges, tunnels and rock cuts; this allows little or no room for you and your snowmobile. Riding next to the tracks could put you in danger. 

Stay Off! Stay Away—Stay Alive! More Safety Tips 

Always expect a train on any track, in either direction, at any time! 

Ride on approved trails only. Look for posted signs warning that you are approaching a railway crossing. These signs, sometimes posted by the local snowmobile club, may be in any shape, size or colour. 

Always cross railway tracks at a designated and marked crossing and at an angle as close to 90 degrees as possible. Attempting to cross the tracks at a place other than a designated crossing could be deadly. 

Model and teach young riders the correct way to cross railway tracks: 

  • STOP no closer than 5 metres from the nearest rail. 
  • LOOK both ways and LISTEN for approaching trains. Remember that where there is more than one track, trains can travel on any track, in either direction at any time! Even if a train is already passing through the crossing, another train can approach unexpectedly from either direction on other tracks.
  • If you see a train approaching, or if the warning signals at the railway crossing are activated, STOP and wait in a safe place, away from all tracks. Once the train has passed and the warning lights have stopped flashing, ensure you have a clear view down the tracks and look both ways again for other approaching trains. 
  • Cross the tracks only when you are certain it is safe. 

Be cautious, especially when riding in snowy or night time conditions. These conditions reduce visibility making it difficult to see obstacles, passing trains or railway crossings. 

A passing train can create so much snow-dust that visibility is nil; always stop at a railway crossing to ensure you don’t ride into the side of a passing train. 

Your helmet, the engine, wind and weather conditions may muffle the sound of an approaching train. 

A mechanical breakdown of your snowmobile can occur at any time; don’t risk getting stopped dead on the railway tracks—Any time is train time! If your snowmobile should get stuck on a track or railway line, immediately contact the railway using the emergency number prominently posted at crossings, or call 911. 

Set the Example for Safety 

People die each year because they are not aware of the hazards associated with trespassing on railway property or they disregard railway crossing warning signs and signals. 

Inexperienced riders, especially children, learn by example. What you DO when you are on your snowmobile may be more significant than what you SAY. Set the example for safe snowmobile riding! 

Please remember: ANY TIME IS TRAIN TIME! 

For additional railway safety information, please visit: 






901 – 99 Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6B9 Tel.: 613-564-8100 Fax: 613-567-6726 E-mail: 

Weather Warning – Trails Closed

Tree branch with melting snow

Weather Warning!

We are closing all the West Carleton trails for Thursday and Friday this week because of warm weather and rain. We want to protect the base and will re open as soon as possible.

Thanks for your patience. We have a good base that will give us all a good season. Colder weather will follow on the weekend.

Thank you,
Scott Hamilton

Trails are not open yet! Please stay off of them.

Keep sleds parked

Groomers have started pre-season packing of West Carleton trails, and this cold weather is really helping to firm up our waterways and swamps. We need a little more snow, and things are starting to look good for a start to a great season very soon but TRAILS ARE STILL NOT OPEN.

There are various reasons, whether it be our landowners not able to open gates (yes livestock can still be out in the fields at this time of year). And there is still not enough dense snow in most areas which, as you may be hearing in the news is a serious safety issue. Club volunteers want the trails open as much as anyone, as we are all sledders too, but this takes a combination of the right snow/safety conditions and permission to open gates on our land owners properties. Trail patrol is now patrolling trails and with new legislation in place, trespassers can now be fined up to $10,000 for trespassing and riding on unopened trails. This is serious stuff.

Please, everyone remember that trying to get that jump on the season before trails are open risks it for all of us. We have lost some valuable links on local trails yet again this season and have had to significantly increase road running because of the few sledders who think that just one run on an opened trail does not matter. It does. Just one sled wandering where it shouldn’t be can result in a trail becoming a permanent dead end – and we can’t blame our landowners for trying to protect their crops, property and livelihood.

On a lighter note, West Carleton has some exciting new trails being opened this season, like rail bridges in Pakenham and Arnprior on the W311 and the A trail. It has taken thousands of hours and working with the goodwill of the public, towns and municipalities to get us, the sledders, access to these. These routes are being opened on a trial basis and access to these areas can still be revoked by riding on them now, before official opening.

It’s going to be a great year if people can please, PLEASE keep the sleds parked until they show “Available” on the Interactive Trail Guide. And if you know that person that still insists on trespassing on unopened trails – put some pressure on them – they are messing with all that money you have invested riding this year.

Pre-Nov. 1 Permit sales important update

Some riders have been having difficulty purchasing their permits online at pre-Nov. 1 pricing. OFSC has been working to correct this issue, but to help make sure everyone has an opportunity to take advantage of the 30% discount, MTO has approved extending the deadline by one day, and possibly more depending on when the system is back up and running. Please check back for further updates!

Driver Training Course – Dec. 2nd


WCSTA will hold a Driver Training Session on Saturday Dec 2nd, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kinburn Community Centre for those who would like to obtain a snowmobile operators license. Please plan to arrive early as we need to verify proof of age, and obtain the permission signature from the parent/legal guardian.

A snowmobile operators license is required to ride the trails in Ontario if you do not possess a valid drivers license. To be eligible, students must be 12 years old on or before the course date. A test will be given at the end of the course, and successful applicants can receive their Ontario Motorized Snowmobile Vehicle Operators licence. Any student under 16 must have signed parental consent.

Proof of age is required (example, passport or birth certificate must be shown). Students over the age of 16, if seeking a Ontario Motorized Snowmobile Vehicle Operators licence, will submit a Driver Status Check with the MTO to show the student is “Unlicensed”. Those with valid drivers licences may also take the course, and receive an “Adult Card” confirming successful completion of the course.

Course cost is $40.00. Pizza lunch will be served.

To aid us with the registration process, please complete the pre-registration form below. Once this information is received you will receive a confirmation email within a day or two to verify that your application has been received. Please note that proof of age and parent signature will still be required when you arrive at the driver training.

You may also contact Eric Mesdag at, or phone 613 314 3933 for more info.

    Eyeglasses needed*