Snowmobile Related Articles

Osgoode snowmobilers named tops in North America

By Emma Jackson, Ottawa East News Sep 06, 2012

2012_hall_of_fame.jpgThe news just keeps getting better for the Osgoode-Carleton Snowmobile Trail Club, which has been named the International Club of the Year for 2012.

Last September, the group won a club of the year award and volunteer of the year award for Ontario, and was later awarded the 2012 club of the year award in Canada. It has since been recognized for its stellar volunteer base, and has even won new equipment for its efforts.

Now, thanks to a nomination by the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations, the group has been named the best club in North America by the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame in Wisconsin.

“It’s been winning, winning, winning, we can’t stop. It’s been just overwhelming,” said club president George Darouze.

Although it is technically an international award, Darouze said the hall of fame’s membership largely comes from North America, so the award is considered the best on the continent. Darouze said membership does include Russia and some Scandinavian countries too.

Darouze said they are the first Canadian club to win the award, and he attributes the honour to the club’s commitment to the community.

“We’re building a culture in the club. It’s our socializing, our volunteering, our involvement in the community,” said Darouze. He added that building a “beautiful clubhouse” off Manotick Station Road and winning the right to use the Osgoode multi-use pathway after a long battle with residents and the city also contributed to the group’s awards.

The group will formally receive the award at a convention in Wisconsin on the weekend of Sept. 15.

Osgoode Coun. Doug Thompson said he is “very pleased” for the club, which he said is a strong community supporter.

“They have done a lot of work on the (multi-use) pathway previous to when it was officially a pathway, they cleaned it up a lot and they continue to work in the winter time,” Thompson said, noting that the group also supports other non-profit groups in the region. They recently had a team at the Metcalfe golf tournament for the Live and Learn Resource Centre, and host an annual Ride for Debbie to raise funds for cancer research. The group also puts entertaining floats into the ward’s various Christmas and Canada Day parades, including a now infamous “KISS-mas” float where club members dressed up like members of the 1970s glam rock band several years ago.

“They’re very in tune with what’s happening in the community and they’re willing to support it,” Thompson said.

Darouze said his next objective for the club is to get youth more involved.

“The snowmobile club is get the youth out to enjoy the trails and the community we have,” he said. He said he is concerned by the level of inactivity among teenagers. “They sit and watch TV, they’re bombarded by Facebook and all this stuff. I’m approaching schools about the benefits and the health factors so we can help this bedroom thing and get them out.”


Snowmobilers get passage on Osgoode pathway


OTTAWA — The Osgoode Pathway multi-use pathway will be open to snowmobilers, including on a small section that goes through the backyards of as many as 70 village homes, city council decided Thursday morning.

The city has spent about $2 million, including funds from the infrastructure stimulus program, refurbishing the Osgoode Pathway, a 21-kilometre stretch running south from Leitrim Road in suburban Ottawa to Buckles Street in Osgoode.

The multi-use recreational pathway is suitable for pedestrians, cyclists, skiers, powered wheelchairs and horseback riders, city staff determined, as well as snowmobilers as long as they follow speed restrictions and a curfew of midnight to 6 a.m. The policy is to be reviewed in two years.

But during a four-hour joint meeting of council’s transportation and agriculture and rural affairs committee, many residents expressed concern about allowing snowmobiles on the same pathway as skiers, snowshoers and pedestrians, citing safety, noise and pollution.

Of particular worry to residents was a short piece of the pathway between Main and Buckles street — less than two kilometres long — that runs behind residents’ homes. Despite the fact that existing snowmobile pathways allow snowmobilers to easily bypass the homes, councillors voted against the motion 17-6.

The pathway is about 3.5 metres wide as constructed, but snowmobile groups groom it wider in the winter.

“I’m extremely disappointed, but not surprised.” said Karen Wallace-Graner, who led the fight against snowmobiles being allowed on the short piece of pathway that runs behind her home.

“There are about 70 homes in that particular section of town. You’re talking about a significant section of people being affected.”

When asked what she would do now, Wallace-Graner said, “I think we’re still deciding if we’re going to move, if we’re going to stay, if we’re going to sue, or just suck it up … and that would not be my preference.”

Earlier, a number of councillors had expressed surprised that the snowmobilers curfew began so late at night, but no one moved a motion Thursday suggesting the curfew be earlier.

Osgoode Snowmobilers should be proud of this feedback

In light of the Citizen article about the conflict between snowmobilers and skiers, I wanted to share with your readers, my own experience when I used such a trail a few weekends past.

It was a beautiful sunny Saturday morning, when a friend and I set out to enjoy a portion of the recreational trail that is used largely by snowmobilers in the Greely and Osgoode areas.

We aren't snowmobilers, nor skiers, nor snowshoers -- we are horseback riders. Though our horses are experienced trail horses, we take great care to ensure their safety as well as the safety of others' and ourselves when we are out on the trails or on the road.

That day, we had a wonderful ride. We kept an ear out for the snowmobilers. When they came in sight, we would move the horses in a single file on the side of the trail to let them go by. Our animals were treated with the utmost respect, with the snowmobilers slowing right down, moving over and waving to us.

As people can imagine, the loud roar and fast-moving nature of the snowmobile does make the horses nervous.

We found the snowmobilers to be intuitively understanding of that and give us enough space and slow down.

We never had anyone yell at us or get angry at us for riding our horses there. At the end of the day, we are all there for the same thing -- enjoy our beautiful country-side and have some fun.

Thank you to those snowmobilers for sharing the path and making that Saturday morning ride a wonderful one!

Melanie Clark,


OPP and OFSC say "Don't let snowmobile hauling spoil your day of fun on the trails

(ORILLIA, ON) – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) says it’s important to ensure your snowmobile trailer is in top notch shape and that you operate it safely so that your fun day on the trails doesn’t unexpectedly get cut short.

pdf-download.gif ...for more.


Purchasing a Sled?

If you are looking to purchase a used sled here is a must read from Mickey Roy a.k.a. Polarisman.


Freeloaders are Stealing Your Trails!

Permit revenues fund OFSC snowmobile trails. Every trail rider who does not buy a permit threatens your trail system. If enough freeloaders choose to ride without paying, here are five immediate consequences from lack of funding:

Clubs could not groom trails as often.

  • Your riding season could be shortened as groomers ran out of fuel.
  • You could have fewer loops and connecting trails to ride.
  • Your trail access to services could be reduced or terminated.
  • Many remote and wilderness trails could be closed.

Thanks to permit buyers for your continuing support in 20111-2012, but freeloaders are cheating you and stealing your smooth trails. Please say “NO!” to riding with anyone who does not have a 2012 permit!


Groomer Operator Training Guide

Here is the link to the guide that was recommended by one of our Directors Mickey Roy.  It is a must read for any groomer operators. It would also be of interest to all snowmobilers, so they understand the importance of how a groomer operators makes great trails....and to stay off freshly groomed trail so they can set up.


Landowners and Snowmobile Clubs

Ontario's landowners and snowmobile clubs have been partners and allies for more than 40 years. Landowners volunteer the winter use of small portions of their land for the placement of snowmobile trails, while club volunteers build and maintain them for snowmobile use only. The land upon which these trails are built remains totally under the ownership, control and authority of the landowner.

As a property owner, having a snowmobile trail on your land means that snowmobilers have a defined corridor to ride. Many landowners have found that allowing one dedicated, clearly marked route across their land ensures the legal and orderly passage of snowmobiles.

The unique, long term relationship between landowners and clubs strongly reflects the rural values and recreational heritage of small town Ontario. It's based on the long-standing tradition of people helping people, and people contributing to the overall well being of their home communities.

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