Rail line trails – your action needed

We are currently at a critical time in plans for the future of the Ottawa Valley Recreation Trail (OVRT). If you believe that the rail lines purchased by municipalities should be available for use as multi use trails for all taxpayers, your voice is needed right away.

We believe that motorized and non-motorized recreation alike can coexist and benefit our communities. Sledders need to make their opinions heard or snowmobilers could be excluded if the former rail line were to become designated for non-motorized vehicles only.

We need you to send your comments to OVRT@lanarkcounty.ca. Please encourage everyone (your partner, other family members, friends) to send their views as well. Even if you filled out a survey form at one of the four Lanark County Open Houses, please email and register your feelings in greater detail.

Comment cards are also available or those who wish to visit 5-Span Feed and Seed in Pakenham in person.

Affected would be the former Canadian Pacific Railway rail corridor that connects Smiths Falls to Mattawa, passing through Carleton Place, Almonte, Arnprior, Pembroke and Petawawa.

Your voice and opinion really matters in this once-only opportunity, and it is important that we all speak up at this crucial time.

Thank you

Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail – Multi-use trail including snowmobiles

The Future of Rail Trails

As you may know, Lanark County purchased the rail bed within it’s boundaries from CP and are now undergoing community consultations for it’s use. While parts of the rail bed you know as the 311 are in use this season on a trial basis, the hope from the snowmobiling community it to continue to expand on this idea throughout the entire county, creating a trail that will give excellent access to towns and villages, as well as an uninterrupted thoroughfare for the entire length of the rail bed.

We believe that OFSC clubs and infrastructure offer great advantages with our volunteer base and great snowmobiling community, and want to work together with other interest groups to create a trail system that can be enjoyed by all. The revenue alone that snowmobiling brings to local businesses both directly and indirectly is huge.

The final of four meetings held through the region will be this Thursday Feb. 16th between 6 and 8pm in Almonte at Old City Hall. What we really need from our snowmobiling community is a strong show of support in numbers attending this event, and to hear the concerns so that we may all work together to have multi-use trails that will benefit all residents and people of all recreational interests.

Please look at the attached information sheet and join us next Thursday!

Snowmobiling Fact Sheet Feb 17 v3


Article – Crossing Farmers’ Fields

Article - Crossing Farmers' Fields
Crossing farmers'fields

Photo by Martin Lortz for Ontario Tourism

Every year when snow is on the ground and our throttle thumbs are itching, our club is often asked why some trails remain unavailable for riding each year longer than others. While weather, running water and terrain play a big part in it, opening trails and keeping them open is a process with many moving parts. To help explain, please have a look a the attached article, by Craig Nicholson and Graham Snyder, and courtesy of OFSC Go Snowmobiling Magazine, Vol. 8 #2.

GSM Vol8#2 OFSC – Crossing Farmers’ Fields


IMPORTANT message regarding riding on rail line from Carp to Craig Side Rd.


IMPORTANT message regarding riding on rail line from Carp to Craig Side Rd.

We have been informed that the people who keep the track clear for the trains are having trouble as some Snowmobilers are running down the section of track to connect with the trails. Please STOP doing this. Self explanatory. You are trespassing….

Here is a notice from the CN website:

ATV and Snowmobile Safety
Safety starts with you…

  • Riding a snowmobile or ATV can be an amazing outdoor experience. It can also be fatal — in the wrong hands. Here are some tips for riding safe.
  • Cross only at designated locations (it is illegal and dangerous to trespass on railway property).
  • Ride on approved trails only (look for signs about approaching a railway crossing).
  • Expect a train on any track, in either direction, at any time.
  • Be especially cautious at night or in snowy conditions (both make it difficult to see obstacles, passing trains or railway crossings).
  • Stop at railway crossings to ensure you don’t ride in front of or into the side of a passing train.
  • Contact the railway (using the emergency number prominently posted at crossings) or call 911 immediately if your ATV or snowmobile gets stuck on a track or railway line (a train can come at any time).
  • Keep in mind that helmets, engines, wind and weather may muffle the sound of an approaching train.
  • Do not ride next to the tracks (locomotives and railway cars are wider than the rails, leaving little or no room for you).

Trail Status: Some trails now to Limited

OFSC Permits


We are happy to announce that SOME West Carleton trail conditions have allowed us to open them to LIMITED status. Please check the ITG before you ride to see what trails are opening up!

Don’t forget to pick up your free 2016-17 Trail Guide at the clubhouse or one of our many supporters. There are lots of changes and some new trail! And, please support our sponsors!

Printed maps now available at the following locations:

Aquatopia Cafe – March Road @ 417

Blacks Corners Motorsports – Polaris – Carleton Place, Hwy 15

Carp Shell Gas Station – March Rd @ hwy 417

George’s Marine – Yamaha

The Lighthouse Restaurant – Constance Bay

Long Island Marina – 1424 Commodore Dr. Kars

March Road Motorsports – March Rd just East of Almonte.

Nicholls Gas and Variety – Dunrobin Rd. at Kinburn Rd.

Perth Power Sports – Ski Doo

The Point Lounge – Constance Bay

Sammy’s Restaurant – Dunrobin

Urban Powersports Yamaha in Arnprior.


2016-2017 Trail Guide now available in PDF

WCSTA Trail Guide and map









The WCSTA Trail Guide and map for the 2016-17 season is now available in PDF format. There have been quite a few changes and some exciting new additions to West Carleton trails for the 2016 – 2017 season. Much hard work has gone into getting access to the two sections of the old rail line between Arnprior and Blakeney and getting it opened up for OFSC member use. The BEAST has also been granted use of the same rail line from Carleton Place to Smiths Falls.

Printed versions to arrive very soon. To see our latest trail routes right now, download a PDF Trail Guide.

Pick up a printed copy when you’re visiting local club supporters and businesses in the new year. And please remember to support the businesses who have made this guide possible by advertising in it!

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Wait for it… wait for it….

Keep sleds parked

Another awesome dump of snow last night and today and in the distance I think I hear groomers starting to warm up for some pre-season packing. Hopefully a good cold snap will also help our waterways and swamps, which are still far from being safe. But things are looking great!

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 this season and have been working hard to find suitable reroutes. 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 the W311 – the rail bed linking us from Arnprior, through Pakenham, Almonte, Blakeney and continuing on in the BEAST as #311. Huge thanks to the families who went out and brushed and put up the signs!

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.