The recent heavy snowfall in the North Bay region is good news for the snowmobile industry.
Shawn Flindall, the marketing and communications officer for the North Bay Snowmobile Club, says many clubs are still playing catch up.
“We are still a bit behind the eight-ball as it is really early in the season and things have happened a lot faster than they typically and a lot faster than we were anticipating so there is no question that all area clubs are a little bit behind the eight-ball but on the positive side and I am going to say in the entire region we are probably at about 70 percent of trails open with some of those trails just in really, really immaculate condition,” stated Flindall.
“Other trails are still not open just because we have not had a chance to get to them yet because it is still so early in the season.”
The early start to the season is good news for the snowmobile industry in the north.
“We are really happy to see many trails that have been open a full three weeks earlier than they were last year and that means a lot to so many businesses in the north whether it is dealers or gas stations or restaurants or hotels,” noted Flindall.
“There are so many businesses that really rely on snowmobiling in the winter that that early opening makes a huge economic difference to northern Ontario as a whole.”
While the snow levels are high, Flindall says lake conditions are still a concern.
“Lakes are generally staked but lakes are a real mess,” he said.
“There is a lot of slush on the lakes because of so much snow weight on top of the ice it’s pushing water up and making a lot of slush and as the cold weather comes that slush has been run through by snow machines and now it is freezing in real big, bad chunks. We need to be very cautious on lakes and certainly on every trail we still need to be cautious, there is a lot of snow for sure but the trails are far from perfect at this point so we really need to stress a lot of caution.”