Snowmobilers in Lennox and Addington say all the snow we’ve received this winter has been a blessing.
Lennox and Addington Ridge Runners Snowmobile Club president Keith Dawson says this winter could be one of the better seasons in recent memory.
“Last year was really skinny, this year we’re starting out with a lot more snow than we had to work with probably in the last five years to start with,” Dawson said.
“We could use more snow, of course. However, the cold weather and the base that we have is looking real good.”
The club maintains about 350 km of trails that are part of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Club trails across Ontario.
“We go west of Napanee, east of Perth Road, north to Tichborne and south to Amherstview,” said Dawson.
A small army of volunteers has been busy all week since the snowfall, grooming the trails, and Dawson says the work is all but done.
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“We’ve been able to cover all of our trail network except from Enterprise North, so we’re in really good shape,” Dawson said.
It’s welcome news to snowmobiler Murray Skeggs, who has been using the trails for eight years.
“Miles and smiles, that’s what it’s all about,” said Skeggs, talking about the trail system. “You can go straight and fast if you want or you can duck into the woods and do some more technical riding.”
The success of the club’s trail system comes down to volunteers maintaining the trails and the roughly 800 members and private landowners that allow their properties to be used for the trail system.
Dawson says it’s important to respect the landowners and stay on the trails.
“What we have permission for is that prescribed trail and what we want to do is make sure that people stay on the trail or we lose the trail network,” said Dawson.
With the snowmobile season just getting underway, the club is also stressing the importance of being safe while out having fun snowmobiling.
Trail conditions can change because of weather and other factors like fallen trees.
Dawson encourages all users to be careful on ice and to check the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs Interactive Trail Guide before heading out.
“Green means full availability, yellow is limited and red is trail closed,” said Dawson.