Snowdusters look toward great season

MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin Snowdusters are anticipating a great snowmobiling season this winter, with the large amount of snow that has already hit the area and the large number of snowmobile trail permits having been sold by the club so far.

“We’ve had over 160 (Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs) trail permits purchased so far this year,” Sue Middaugh, secretary of the Manitoulin Snowdusters, said on Thursday. “We sold a total of 138 permits last year.”

“Prior to November 1, we had sold 122 regular trail permits on line at a rate of $180 (and $210 after), with 15 classic snowmobile permits being sold,” said Ms. Middaugh.

As for the trails on Manitoulin, Ms. Middaugh stressed the trails are not operational as of this Friday. “The groomers are out in some areas, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done before they are opened. “I can’t see the trails being ready before Christmas, but when we they are we will be letting OPP Constable Al Boyd know as well as the OFSC site,” she said. “It is all weather permitting.”

Ms. Middaugh said Manitoulin Snowdusters will be contacted by the Canadian Coast Guard 72 hours prior to ice crushers being in the area, and the local OPP will then relay this through press releases and it will be posted on the OFSC website as well. “We will also be partnering with the OPP to cut down on snowmobilers on trails with no permits. They (OPP) will be on the trails patrolling more this year than they have in the past.”

“The guys are doing work on the trails and as soon as conditions are good, they will be listed as open on the OFSC website and in local media,” added Ms. Middaugh.

Tom Sasvari