Trails are now closed.

Trails are now closed.

West Carleton trails are now closed. Thanks to our Landowners, Volunteers and Permit Buyers.

Wow. What a fantastic season it has been!

Snowmobilers are being warned to stay off of West Carleton Snowmobile Club (WCSTA) 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, and WCSTA 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 on closed trails. In our area, roads and road crossings are now generally bare and the ice on all waterways is melted, melting or unstable.

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 club 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.

Planning for Next Year

WCSTA is actively looking to fill a number of roles within the West Carleton club. We are looking for people to work with the Board of Directors to assist with the delivery of our required programs and to develop Club initiatives. We are increasing our efforts to identify and coordinate our volunteers, one of our most valuable resources.

If you would like to volunteer to keep your Club strong, and our trails first rate please fill in the Volunteer Contact form on our Volunteering web page. We will put together groups of people to help repair and maintain trails this spring and summer, as well as prepare for the 2020-2021 season. In order to remain strong, your Club needs more involvement from its members. In return, we are also focusing on member engagement in a fun way and hope to have a number of activities and get togethers next season for everyone.

So, if you can help us, and this will help you, please let us know.

The Board of Directors thanks you for a fun and accident free season.  See you on the trails next winter. Remember to buy your permit in WCSTA.

Thank you to our landowners

Upper Canada Snowmobile Region – March 19, 2019

At this time of the year the 20 Local Community Snowmobile Clubs of UCSR and all of our permit buyers wish to give our Thank You to our Landowners.

Over 90% of UCSR snowmobile trails are on private property and snowmobile trails exist because someone has said “yes”. We have landowners that are Dairy , Cereal Crop farming to Maple Syrup producers , Christmas Tree plantations and private wood lot owners. We even have some landowners that provide warm up shelters.

Since Ontario landowners have a valued history of sharing access to their land with responsible recreationists, private land ownership is a very good thing for Ontario snowmobilers. When snowmobile club members seek permission to establish a snowmobile trail, they’re generally dealing with landowners who are their neighbors, employers, relatives. This means that Ontario snowmobilers have a great responsibility to the landowners. These folks are trusting all of us to treat their property with respect, so what can the ordinary snowmobiler do to help clubs keep trails in place?
• Stay on the trail
• Leave the Stakes Intact
• Leave Gates and Fences Alone
• Use Only For Snowmobiles
• Use Only in the Winter
• Respect the Landowner


Landowner Appreciation Evening

Mark Jan 19, 2019 off your calendars for our Annual Landowner Appreciation event to be held at our newest supporter and event trail destination, The Marshes Golf Club in Kanata.

This $40 value is free to our landowners who help make our sport possible. It includes a Roast Beef dinner with dessert and coffee, cash bar and a DJ provided by Quality Entertainment until 1AM… Door prizes and draws…

We encourage you all to Sled or Drive in on Jan 19 in support of our landowners.

Dinner party Tickets $40 to Land Owner Supporters
DJ Entertainment Tickets: $10 from 8:30 PM-1AM.

RSVP Before Jan 9 
Text or call: 613 867-4437

Landowners, if we haven’t contacted you yet please let us know…
See you all there.

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.

Landowner Appreciation Night and Season Kick-off Bash – Oct. 14

Saturday October 14 is a big night for WCSTA. We are combining 2 events – a dinner in appreciation of all the wonderful landowners who make our trails possible, followed by the season kick-off “Bash ‘n Brapp”, featuring Ottawa Valley’s own Rainwater Whiskey, rising stars on the music scene!

Land owner dinner

The evening starts at 5:00 pm with a roast beef dinner, catered by Valley Roots – complimentary to WCSTA land owners. Sledders are encouraged to join us, meet your land owners, and show them your appreciation. There will be a cash bar and complimentary non-alcoholic beverages.

RSVP for dinner – email, or call 613.263.7907 (please include number of tickets requested on RSVP)

Bash ‘n Brapp

Then, at 9:00pm, part two of the evening starts. “Bash ‘n Brapp” is going to be our most ambitious event yet, featuring entertainment by Rainwater Whiskey. Rainwater Whiskey is a hard hitting country band from the Ottawa Valley and have opened for Bill Durst, Brea Lawrenson, Jordan McIntosh, Rory Gardiner, the Roadhammers, Kira Isabella, Aaron Pritchett, The River Town Saints and Brett Kissel, as well as headlining the Metcalfe Fair!

This is going to be a can’t-miss party with over the top entertainment! There will be a cash bar, raffle, door prize and 50/50 draw.

As an additional thank you, tickets for our land owners are available for a deeply discounted price of $10!

It’s important that you RSVP right away though so plans for dinner can be finalized. If you are a landowner, or know a landowner who has not been contacted yet, please spread the word or contact us at


Land owner dinner

Land owners plus guest – free

Sledders – $25pp (per person)

Dinner plus Bash ‘n Brapp

Land owners and their guest – $10pp

Sledders – $40pp

Bash ‘n Brapp only (for sledders)

Early bird special – $15 (limited quantity)

Order online – $20pp

At the door – $30pp


Ordering tickets

Advance Bash ‘n Brapp tickets may be ordered online through Eventbrite (small service charge applies)

or by email money transfer (pick up ticket night of event). Please contact to arrange transfer



Mississippi Mills Council Meeting Tonight (April 18th)

Tonight a Mississippi Mills town council meeting is being held, and at it a motion to ban snowmobiles in the town of Almonte will most likely be tabled. Council is divided on this important decision. As before we need to see snowmobiler representation at the meeting to continue to show council that this is important and to make the right decisions.

Utilizing the rail trail in Almonte will cost taxpayers ZERO dollars, while helping the local economy and creating a tourism trail for the businesses from Snowmobilers in the winter months. We will fill the restaurants down town with business, groom a second trail for free in Almonte for non sledders. Put up signs, help pay decking of the bridges. Make slow zones in the town, this is who we are 🙂

Some of our club’s key campaigners unable to make it tonight. It would be great to have strong support from the sledding community once again. Who can make it to show sledder support? 

The A trail throught Almonte, Pakenham and Armprior is in jeopardy of being lost without this link. Urban sprawl is affecting our trails.

Your board of directors

When: Tuesday, April 18 at 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Where: 3131 Old Perth Rd, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0, Canada


OVRT and “A” Trail Closure

Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail for ALL

There have been many posts and messages about the possibility that Mississippi Mills and Carleton Place councils might not approve motorized use of the abandoned CP Rail line, known now as the OVRT (Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail) through Almonte and Carleton Place. There is always a danger that people get tired of hearing about it and start to shut it out, but we really need every individual sledder and their family and friends to spend just a few minutes to help sway council decisions. Right now.

Why? The A Trail, our main corridor through the region is rapidly losing sections to urban sprawl and developments, and there are more sections that will be closed in the near future due to development. The A Trail will depend on the OVRT and will ultimately be cut off if you, the sledders, do not act now to ensure we get access this public corridor.  The only way that clubs can ensure that the A trail and similar trails remain viable is to share public corridors such as the OVRT. True multi-use trails (for all activities) work well in the other areas where they have been established, and with cooperation will work well here. More importantly if one municipality is allowed to exclude some users, others will follow.

What do I need to do? Despite the great business and social/economic case presented by BEAST and WCSTA representatives, it has become a numbers game. It seems to be coming down to who can send the most letters to the individual councils in support of their special interest. Non-motorized groups have been planning their attack long in advance, and they are way ahead of us in this regard. And, don’t be fooled, the number of letters received does sway councils. The case of the squeaky wheel gets the grease definitely holds true here.

We need you, your spouse, children and friends, sledders from across the District and the province to send letters today. Councils will hear us if we organize and speak out, as the other parties are doing. Many of you have already written letters, but we have several new places that need to receive them (see below).

If composing a letter isn’t your thing, please just copy/paste (and edit if you wish) the letter at the end of this post. Address it to the 2 emails below, and individual councillors if you like. Just add your name and hit “Send”. That’s it. Share this to every person you can think of, and follow up to make sure that they too have written. If we miss this opportunity, it will not come again.

What else? We need to show up in numbers (as the opponents will) Tuesday evening (April 4) as we present to Mississippi Mills Council. Once again, numbers count, and the recent Carleton Place meeting had many non-motorized supporters show up – that made quite an impact – with just a handful from the sledding corner. Wear your club shirt, jacket hat, or your sled colors. Make sure our club representatives (Scott Hamilton and Darin McRae) know you are behind them, and council knows how many sledders are watching the decisions they make.

Snowmobile clubs’ rail line proposal to Mississippi Mills – Tues. April 4th

Thank you.

The Letter:

Step 1: Please send at least 2 emails – 1 to each town at these addresses:

…and one directly to your councillor if you like

Step 2: Subject heading: “Motorized OVRT” or “Snowmobiles on OVRT”

Step 3: Add your name at the bottom of letter.


Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing this email in support for the Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail
(OVRT) to be established as a multi-use trail, including snowmobiles in the
winter time.

I understand that the acquisition of this corridor by the County of Lanark
was originally done under the premise of a multi-use trail (including
motorized vehicles) and feel it should continue along those lines.  Our tax
dollars are paying for it, so all taxpayers should be able to use this trail
for their own personal recreation.

I have been a snowmobiler for many years and can say with full confidence
that all users benefit from a groomed snowmobile trail. Snowmobile clubs
also have a great track record on multi-use trails in many areas of Ontario.

On trail snowmobiling is managed by the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile
Clubs (OFSC) which means that the sport is regulated with trail permits,
operator licenses, insurance requirements, and pre-established speed limits.
The entire system is patrolled by volunteer trail patrol members and local
police agencies making it safe for all users.

I have recently read that both Montague and Beckwith Townships have already
endorsed the OVRT to include motorized users.  I would hope this would
continue along the entire corridor.

I trust that in your capacity as clerk you will share this email with your


[your name]

Snowmobile clubs’ rail line proposal to Mississippi Mills – Tues. April 4th

Your West Carleton Snowmobile Club and the B.E.A.S.T. Snowmobile club are doing a joint presentation to town council for use on the old rail line.

We need all your support. We have a great presentation to show that this will cost taxpayers ZERO dollars, while helping the local economy and creating a tourism trail for the businesses from Snowmobilers in the winter months. We will fill the restaurants down town with business, groom a second trail for free in Almonte for non sledders. Put up signs, help pay decking of the bridges. Make slow zones in the town, this is who we are 🙂

The hall holds 90 people in chambers and just outside in a seperate room with speakers.

We need to fill the parking lot with sledder on top of that. This is a chance to show our posotive support for sharing the trail. Snowmobilers are amazing stewarts of the trails for many many years.

The A trail throught Almonte, Pakenham and Armprior is in jepordy of being lost without this link. Urban sprawl is affecting our trails.

Who can make it out? Bring your family and friends!

Your board of directors


When: Tuesday, April 4 at 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Where: 3131 Old Perth Rd, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0, Canada


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).