Happy New Year! Trail Status Update

snowmobile trail grooming first pass on open field

Hello everyone and Happy New Year from your WC Snowmobile Club.

95% of the trails have been packed two times. The other small percentage we cannot get into yet with water in the swamps. But our volunteers are monitoring this on a daily basis.

We are moving a few trails to Yellow status, Limited (use with caution).

W19 is going to yellow.

W11 from Carp Rd into Constance Bay. Including the W11A in Torbolton Forest is also going to yellow.

W11 from Carp Rd into Kinburn will remain closed until we get some more snow. One field took along time to pass with the groomer and is not in great shape yet.

W16 is close to going to yellow. Lining up volunteers to go and sign and picket from Canon Smith to Stonecrest. There is also an electric fence between Dunrobin Rd and Buckham’s bay that we are negotiating to open. This trail will go to yellow later this week but stay tuned for updates.

The W311 (rail bed) is getting close to yellow but need some more snow in a few areas before we can safely change the status. The same goes for the rest of the trail system. We just need some more snow.

Please use caution on the trails we have opened to limited

The ITG (interactive trail guide) will show the change in status in the next couple of day. As we are sending this information to the District today and they will see it only tomorrow.

Thanks for you patience, let’s hope we get some more snow this week.

Thanks much,
Scott Hamilton

More on the Snow – Important Changes Coming

More on the Snow - Important Changes Coming

OFSC More on the Snow banner


Members should attend the WCSTA club meeting on Tuesday September 6th to learn about important changes coming to snowmobiling in Ontario. At this year’s OFSC AGM in September, our club has 2 votes, either in favour of or against these changes. Your understanding of these changes is very important to us and at our next WCSTA meeting on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 we will be discussing how we want our delegates to vote. If you can, please make a special effort to come to our meeting to learn more about MOTS.


The future of our club and snowmobiling is at stake.

Our sport, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC), OFSC District One, and WCSTAI are all under serious financial pressure to maintain trail operations while trying to life cycle the aging provincial groomer fleet. To address these issues, and others, the OFSC has developed More on the Snow (MOTS) – a 5 year strategic initiative.

To summarize, the objectives of the MOTS plan are:

  • Increased Participation. By increasing overall participation (through attraction and retention of riders) by 6% to 100,000 permits.
  • Improved Organization Effectiveness. By developing a new organizational structure, reducing the number of organizational layers from three (OFSC, District, Club) to two (OFSC and District) with local clubs becoming chapters of the District.
  • Developing a groomer fleet asset management program and a groomer fleet operational management program.
  • Become Valued Stewards and Partners. By continuing to pursue long term government support programs.

Key points of the plan to highlight:

  • The current groomer fleet is too large to financially sustain.
  • 70% of the fleet is over 10 years old with more than 5000 hours.
  • Groomer Asset Management would allow the OFSC to take a provincial approach to life cycle management (vs the current approach of clubs managing this).
  • Grooming Operational Management would be shifted more so to the District to manage (vs the current approach of clubs managing this).
  • Reduce # of back-up groomers.
  • Remove artificial grooming boundaries between clubs.
  • OFSC bought 16 new groomers to kick start the program at a cost of $4M.
  • Estimate average cost of a purpose built groomer is now $300K.
  • High workload on a small group of volunteers is concerning.
  • Impending new not-for-profit legislation is concerning.
  • Local and provincial grants and other funding opportunities are not being utilized.
  • Reducing in administration costs thru Framework for change was not realized.
  • Standardize the size and operations between districts.
  • Current organizational structure causes barriers.
  • Need to reduce groomer fleet from 360 to 246 by purchasing 101 new groomers and removing 215. Need $4M to $6M annually to achieve plan.
  • Hiring of 6 regional positions to support clubs and Districts
  • Reduce the number of Districts from 16 to 12. This change will allow all districts to have on average 2700 Km’s of trail with 15+ clubs participating.
  • Districts manage all funds. Clubs only coordinate payment of minor expenses.
  • New District structure would see District 1 reorganized to Ottawa Region with 17 clubs (including WCSTAI) with a total of 3062 kms of trails (down from ~4000 kms)
  • Standardized District bylaws and operating procedures.
  • District 1 is targeted to go from 50 groomers to 29.

Our trails are now closed – Thank you!

Spring thaw - Trails Closed

Trails are now closed. Thanks to our landowners and permit buyers

Snowmobilers are being warned to stay off of area OFSC Prescribed snowmobile trails effective immediately as the snowmobile season has come to an end. These trails are now reported as “Unavailable” (Red) on the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide at www.ofsc.on.ca, because area clubs have stopped regular grooming operations, and signs and stakes are being removed and gates and fences closed. Snowmobilers are also advised that rapidly deteriorating snow and ice conditions due to spring thaw make snowmobiling extremely hazardous anywhere. Roads and road crossings are now generally bare and the ice on all waterways is melted, melting or unstable, and now the only safe and sensible course of action for snowmobilers is to put away their sleds until next winter. The risks of trying that ‘one last ride’ are simply too high now that spring thaw has commenced.

The public is also reminded that an OFSC snowmobile trail on private land reported as “Unavailable” means that access to that trail is also prohibited for any other users or persons for all other seasons, without the specific prior permission of the landowner. On behalf of our clubs and volunteers, we want to thank all of the landowners who have generously allowed the use of their property for an OFSC snowmobile trail this winter. We also appreciate the support of the many snowmobilers who bought trail permits to help pay their share of the cost of trail operations for the past season.

A very special thanks is also extended to all of the club volunteers who donated their services to assist local clubs in providing a successful season of snowmobiling. Although the winter is over, snowmobiling has become a year round business, so many volunteers will start immediately to plan and prepare for next winter.

We are actively looking to fill a number of roles within the West Carleton club, as well as looking for individuals, groups or families to ‘adopt’ sections of trail and help with signing and maintenance of them. If you are interested in helping out, please let us know.

Trail opening – please read

Trails are not open yet! Please note the last paragraph

Attached is the current state of our trails, the green are the trails that have been picketed and are signed and ready for inspection.

The major push are the trails is the area south of the 417, Thursday we hope to complete the W 10 and W 9, and Friday the W 12 either side of Pakenham (from W 10 to W 9 intersection)

The big effort required this Saturday is the new re-route for the W 12 from Blakeney towards the A Trail (coming into Almonte), a small group attacked it last weekend, but there is still aprox 1 km left of a trail that has not we used or brushed in aprox 10 years. Please show up this Saturday at 9 AM, park on the side of the road around 314 Ridge Road off the top of Panmure, and then follow the trail makers in to the work party. The work requires pruners, chain saws, work gloves, we will provide a brush saw and pole saw. Due to the distance involved best to bring your sled or ATV

We need to get all trails signed and inspected before we can start the grooming and using the trails (and of course we still need some more snow). The few of us that are doing the bulk of the work are exhausted from a 3 month effort, and we know it’s the busy Christmas season, but these are the simple facts of what is required to open trails. Please lend a hand.

trail status december 16 2014

Work party on Saturday!

Work party on Saturday!

We are going into help our Pakenham Crew on the A trail between Almonte and Pakenham this Saturday. We are meeting at 9 AM outside Almonte on the end of Ramsey Concession 11A (as you come into Almonte on the March road, turn right at the traffic circle). A small few have been working very hard for 2 weeks now, trying to open up the trails and we really need your help! Help us get our groomer operators off chainsaw duty so they have more time to spend in the seat of the groomers!

Please contact Ted Kelly Phone (613) 623-3665 or by email at volunteer@wcstai.com for more information.

Pisten Bully Groomer Fire

Pisten Bully Groomer Fire

As many of you will already know, we lost our Pisten Bully groomer to a mechanical fire on New Years Eve. What is left of the groomer has been shipped to Barrie and we are trying to settle an insurance claim and secure a replacement groomer as quickly as possible. We have a new replacement on standby, but of course this cannot be shipped to us until insurance is settled.

Many thanks to Greg, who has had to deal with this unfortunate incident, and all of our groomer operators, who will be working hard to try to keep trails maintained until we have this crucial piece of equipment replaced. We ask you to be patient if the trails are not up to the standard we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy recently. It is frustrating for all of us with the great snowfall we’ve been receiving!

For more information, and updates on the groomer and grooming, please visit Trail Talk in our forums.