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The freeriding has to STOP

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Monday morning we got an E mail from a landowner on top trail E west of Perth, he is pissed at the tracks all over his field, way way off the trail. As of next season he is shutting us off.

Its a tuff reroute, because his property has a road that the club built across a swamp that was built about 15 years ago. People don't realise the problems they are causing by leaving the trail.

I hate reroutes and it stresses me out way more then its worth, it has to stop

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Unbelievable.. what a shame.. 

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What a shame. I totally agree with what your saying.  But, unfortunately the majority will never know what they had,  until its too late. And then some will just not give 2 cents. Its a never ending story in this sport.  Trespassers,  no trail pass, loud cans. The list goes on and on...

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The first step is the supertrax boys and the people that promote them, to stop advertising it on mag pages and youtube . Last time i checked the ofsc is in bed with supertrax?????

Front page is a guy with a freeride, go pro, goggles, back pack and a 2 inch paddle? Are they too afraid of getting stuck. Most young lads of today dont have enough muscle to lift a sled so maybe thats it?

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It's all comes down to a lack of respect.  Plain and simple.  Yet unfortunate.

 

 

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5 hours ago, GTC said:

The first step is the supertrax boys and the people that promote them, to stop advertising it on mag pages and youtube . Last time i checked the ofsc is in bed with supertrax?????

Front page is a guy with a freeride, go pro, goggles, back pack and a 2 inch paddle? Are they too afraid of getting stuck. Most young lads of today dont have enough muscle to lift a sled so maybe thats it?

Yes, the first thing that came to mind. If you check the last magazine, Someone Lester wrote yet another fluff piece on how the trail people had to adapt to allow the off trailers to go off trail. BS they've been pushing for years as most of their advertising revenue comes from equipment related to this as well as sled modifications. I think they have another couple of years in the OFSC marketing contract so would not expect a different voice.

 

I did notice in that same magazine that Mr. Nicholson's star and that of his 'buddies' may be setting,  as he had to write a whole 'article' on how to drive your sled on asphalt - waste of ink could have been replaced by one word - rouskis (now kimpex) but perhaps he could not get a free pair to use.

 

 

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I think your title is a little misguided. freeriding does not have to stop, trespassing HAS TO STOP. people were riding without trails long before any organized snowmobile club, or the ofsc were around. and when everyone with half full glasses start talking about the failure of organized trail riding ending, there will still be people riding without organized, and groomed trails.

 

there are areas where offtrail riding is legally permitted. the problem is most buyers of these machines buy them based on what they see in print, video and what friends expose them to, and have no idea where they are allowed to ride legally. for us, back country exploring, and being where no one else goes, is a lot more exciting, refreshing, and recharging than trail riding was for us. 

 

 

the real problem lies with the lesters, supertrax, AND THOSE THAT THINK THEY ARE OWED SOMETHING BECAUSE THEY BOUGHT AN OFFTRAIL SLED,  thinking that organized trail riding, and the mfgrs owes the non trail riding group (the largest growing segment in mfgr sales by the way), a place to do this.

 

in my mind it is just like fishing or hunting. put in your time, find your own play areas, trim some goat trails to get to places no one knows, (or they forgot), they existed. DONT TELL PEOPLE WHERE YOU RIDE, DONT SHOW PEOPLE WHERE YOU RIDE, DONT PUBLISIZE WHERE YOU RIDE, OR YOU WILL LOSE IT, TO THOSE LOOKING FOR EASY ACCESS OFFTRAIL ADVENTURES. 

 

There are vast areas out there to explore, you just need to put your time in. the ones that get me all riled up are, the ones saying limit the length of track, and height of lug on the trail. just like tresspassers, IT ISNT THE SLED THAT CAUSED THE DAMAGE, OR TRESPASSES WHERE THEY SHOULDNT BE, IT IS THE PERSON BEHIND THE RIGHT HANDLE BAR FLIPPER. WE MUST ADDRESS THE PEOPLE, NOT THE MACHINES. 

 

I invite anyone to come ride with us, and watch us be good stewards of the land, and the trail. if I see a fresh ribbon from the groomer, I don't get on it, I know it needs to set up for the good of the rest of the sledders. "I don't go get mine, cause I am owed it". we ride the rough ungroomed portion, or I will turn around and go a different direction. we don't roost and sweep out every corner, we don't roost across the roads. again, this is our choice, and we the people, are in charge of the sled and the flipper, and our actions. NOT THE SLED! 

 

be careful what you ask for though, think about this... if you don't want us on your trails, we all (remember largest growing segment for sledding right now), may take our ball and go home, leaving you and organized sledding none of our permit monies. YES, WE CAN DO THAT, these people can organize, can go to the govt and petition for exemption from permits. like snow bikes, you don't want them there, but, you would love their money and energy to help with organized trail riding. YOU CAN HAVE BOTH, WE ALL JUST NEED TO WORK TOGETHER, OR ONE GROUP WILL BE LEFT OUT. One group wants and needs groomed trails, one group doesn't NEED them, they utilize them to get to a play area, and if the trail wasn't groomed, they still would access the play areas and be riding.  

 

education and enforcement are a key here. Ski

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in the example from the original post, maybe offer the land owner to put up a corridor snow fence to limit access to the organized trail only. put up trail cams, set up an opp sting operation, ect… then you know, if someone cuts it, they ARE TRESPASSING, and can have some teeth to do something if the people are caught. I understand it may be cost prohibitive, I am not saying I have the be all end all solution. but, saying freeriding has to end is not the answer either. Ski

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skidooboy's comments are the best I've seen over the years. A solution should have been found by now by Clubs or the OFSC (?) 

Snowmobilers are in two categories ....  those that have trail passes and those that don't.

Those with Trail Passes are the ones who leave the trail surreptitiously and cause damage to farmers fields and mostly speed. Most Freeloaders will do the same using the excuse that ".... I just live over there and use 100 feet of Trail to get to my neighbour's field etc..." if they are caught. The list of excuses can go on and on.

 

Those without Trail Passes.... local snowmobilers in my area (and maybe other areas) ride lakes, use the fence line of local farmlands, roads, shoulder of roads etc..... miles of local unorganised trails and they are very respectful of what they have and don't trample local farmers fields. They support their local grocers and restaurants and have family outings often. First time I've seen so many families with their kids on their own 120 snowmobiles riding around on lakes and local trails.

 

This is just my 2 cents observation ppl.  It's been too many years of the same debate without resolution.

 

Cheers.

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1 hour ago, skidooboy said:

I think your title is a little misguided. freeriding does not have to stop, trespassing HAS TO STOP. people were riding without trails long before any organized snowmobile club, or the ofsc were around. and when everyone with half full glasses start talking about the failure of organized trail riding ending, there will still be people riding without organized, and groomed trails.

 

there are areas where offtrail riding is legally permitted. the problem is most buyers of these machines buy them based on what they see in print, video and what friends expose them to, and have no idea where they are allowed to ride legally. for us, back country exploring, and being where no one else goes, is a lot more exciting, refreshing, and recharging than trail riding was for us. 

 

 

the real problem lies with the lesters, supertrax, AND THOSE THAT THINK THEY ARE OWED SOMETHING BECAUSE THEY BOUGHT AN OFFTRAIL SLED,  thinking that organized trail riding, and the mfgrs owes the non trail riding group (the largest growing segment in mfgr sales by the way), a place to do this.

 

in my mind it is just like fishing or hunting. put in your time, find your own play areas, trim some goat trails to get to places no one knows, (or they forgot), they existed. DONT TELL PEOPLE WHERE YOU RIDE, DONT SHOW PEOPLE WHERE YOU RIDE, DONT PUBLISIZE WHERE YOU RIDE, OR YOU WILL LOSE IT, TO THOSE LOOKING FOR EASY ACCESS OFFTRAIL ADVENTURES. 

 

There are vast areas out there to explore, you just need to put your time in. the ones that get me all riled up are, the ones saying limit the length of track, and height of lug on the trail. just like tresspassers, IT ISNT THE SLED THAT CAUSED THE DAMAGE, OR TRESPASSES WHERE THEY SHOULDNT BE, IT IS THE PERSON BEHIND THE RIGHT HANDLE BAR FLIPPER. WE MUST ADDRESS THE PEOPLE, NOT THE MACHINES. 

 

I invite anyone to come ride with us, and watch us be good stewards of the land, and the trail. if I see a fresh ribbon from the groomer, I don't get on it, I know it needs to set up for the good of the rest of the sledders. "I don't go get mine, cause I am owed it". we ride the rough ungroomed portion, or I will turn around and go a different direction. we don't roost and sweep out every corner, we don't roost across the roads. again, this is our choice, and we the people, are in charge of the sled and the flipper, and our actions. NOT THE SLED! 

 

be careful what you ask for though, think about this... if you don't want us on your trails, we all (remember largest growing segment for sledding right now), may take our ball and go home, leaving you and organized sledding none of our permit monies. YES, WE CAN DO THAT, these people can organize, can go to the govt and petition for exemption from permits. like snow bikes, you don't want them there, but, you would love their money and energy to help with organized trail riding. YOU CAN HAVE BOTH, WE ALL JUST NEED TO WORK TOGETHER, OR ONE GROUP WILL BE LEFT OUT. One group wants and needs groomed trails, one group doesn't NEED them, they utilize them to get to a play area, and if the trail wasn't groomed, they still would access the play areas and be riding.  

 

education and enforcement are a key here. Ski

The only legal freeriding around here is ditches and lakes, Or your own property, some people think Hydro and pipe lines are a free pass, NOT!

So back to my original post,It has to stop around here or all there will be Is ditches and lakes!

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Freeriding or off trail riding isn't an issue. Trespassing and property damage is. 

 

The self entitled will continue to trash people's land regardless of the efforts of clubs and land owners to keep them out. Summer or winter, it's always the same story, bunch of idiots go past barriers to trash people's land. 

 

Enforcement is the only solution, whether it's the Police or the land owners themselves doing it, using any means necessary. 

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1 hour ago, skidooboy said:

I think your title is a little misguided. freeriding does not have to stop, trespassing HAS TO STOP. people were riding without trails long before any organized snowmobile club, or the ofsc were around. and when everyone with half full glasses start talking about the failure of organized trail riding ending, there will still be people riding without organized, and groomed trails.

 

there are areas where offtrail riding is legally permitted. the problem is most buyers of these machines buy them based on what they see in print, video and what friends expose them to, and have no idea where they are allowed to ride legally. for us, back country exploring, and being where no one else goes, is a lot more exciting, refreshing, and recharging than trail riding was for us. 

 

 

the real problem lies with the lesters, supertrax, AND THOSE THAT THINK THEY ARE OWED SOMETHING BECAUSE THEY BOUGHT AN OFFTRAIL SLED,  thinking that organized trail riding, and the mfgrs owes the non trail riding group (the largest growing segment in mfgr sales by the way), a place to do this.

 

in my mind it is just like fishing or hunting. put in your time, find your own play areas, trim some goat trails to get to places no one knows, (or they forgot), they existed. DONT TELL PEOPLE WHERE YOU RIDE, DONT SHOW PEOPLE WHERE YOU RIDE, DONT PUBLISIZE WHERE YOU RIDE, OR YOU WILL LOSE IT, TO THOSE LOOKING FOR EASY ACCESS OFFTRAIL ADVENTURES. 

 

There are vast areas out there to explore, you just need to put your time in. the ones that get me all riled up are, the ones saying limit the length of track, and height of lug on the trail. just like tresspassers, IT ISNT THE SLED THAT CAUSED THE DAMAGE, OR TRESPASSES WHERE THEY SHOULDNT BE, IT IS THE PERSON BEHIND THE RIGHT HANDLE BAR FLIPPER. WE MUST ADDRESS THE PEOPLE, NOT THE MACHINES. 

 

I invite anyone to come ride with us, and watch us be good stewards of the land, and the trail. if I see a fresh ribbon from the groomer, I don't get on it, I know it needs to set up for the good of the rest of the sledders. "I don't go get mine, cause I am owed it". we ride the rough ungroomed portion, or I will turn around and go a different direction. we don't roost and sweep out every corner, we don't roost across the roads. again, this is our choice, and we the people, are in charge of the sled and the flipper, and our actions. NOT THE SLED! 

 

be careful what you ask for though, think about this... if you don't want us on your trails, we all (remember largest growing segment for sledding right now), may take our ball and go home, leaving you and organized sledding none of our permit monies. YES, WE CAN DO THAT, these people can organize, can go to the govt and petition for exemption from permits. like snow bikes, you don't want them there, but, you would love their money and energy to help with organized trail riding. YOU CAN HAVE BOTH, WE ALL JUST NEED TO WORK TOGETHER, OR ONE GROUP WILL BE LEFT OUT. One group wants and needs groomed trails, one group doesn't NEED them, they utilize them to get to a play area, and if the trail wasn't groomed, they still would access the play areas and be riding.  

 

education and enforcement are a key here. Ski

I bet you ride hydro lines. Well guess what, you are trespassing when you do so. Even those that think they know where they can ride legally off trail in Ontario, often do not. Now, you may say that hydro lines in the middle of nowhere are a non issue. You would be wrong. OFSC trails use these lines with permission from Hydro. Hydro sees all sledders as the same people. All it would take is a lawsuit to be won and a lawyer at hydro could pull all access to the OFSC, even when the accident happened no where near an OFSC trail.

 

Further, you mention cutting a trail, well that too is illegal on crown land.

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we don't have to ride hydro lines here. we have endless crown roads ditches, lakes, rivers, creeks, logging cutovers, ect… again, you and several people have an idea of what offtrail riding is, and you REALLY have no idea what it is, or where it is done. hydro lines are easy pickings because the trail accesses them... my group avoids those types of high traffic areas like the plague. we are looking to do this without attention drawn to ourselves. 

 

you see the easy access peoples issues, you don't see the hardcore groups doing this. again, people, education, enforcement. Ski

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We have more fun riding mining rds,logging rds,crown property north of the north bay regions ,endless running and no trespassing as riding in the Muskokas is starting to be boring ,,we find hydro lines are dangerous with the big drop offs and big water crossings so we stay away from them ,I’m 55 so I’m not a off rd 2 inch paddle track stand up rider, just getting out for some fun,you would not want to be Sledder trespassing on my back 40 ,that’s all I can say 

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In my opinion, like a lot of things it comes down to the nut that connects the throttle to the seat.  I enjoy most forms of snowmobiling but off-trail riding is my favourite.  Despite many peoples wishes it isn't going away.  Blaming it on the manufacturers or advertisers is a cop out in my opinion.  The blame lies with those who trespass to participate this activity.  In my opinion it is no different than those who enjoy snowmobiling for the speed aspect of it.  There is a time and place for it and knowing that and exercising judgment is key.  I don't see people complaining that manufacturers are building sleds that go too fast.  Take the new Thundercat or SRX models that have specific "Go Fast" modifications done from the factory.  Used inappropriately they can cause extensive damage to trails, cause accidents and are in no way needed to legally participate in the sport anywhere other than on open lakes.  No different than the crossover/mountain sleds used in the right places they are wonderful tools/toys but they can be miss used.  

 

Painting all "free riders" with the same brush based on incidents involving trespassers on farmers fields (which to most true "free riders" would hold no interest) is no different than me saying all trail riders ride to fast/ can't stay on their side of the trail/drink and ride based on a few instances of close calls I have had up here or the copious amounts of empties that can be found in the warmup huts.  I know this isn't the case, same as not all of us with long track/paddle sleds are out specifically to trespass.  

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All the above comments are all very true, now the but part.

If the OFSC was to suggest or post areas that you are able to free ride you open up the liability problem.

If a sledder was to use an area posted by a club/OFSC and the sledder was hurt the liablity would be huge.

Part of the OFSC trail insurance is to do the best a club can do remove hazzards so the trail is safe, hence risk management.

We might as well shut the whole system down because when the lawsuits start rolling in we would be screwed.

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1 hour ago, matt17 said:

In my opinion, like a lot of things it comes down to the nut that connects the throttle to the seat.  I enjoy most forms of snowmobiling but off-trail riding is my favourite.  Despite many peoples wishes it isn't going away.  Blaming it on the manufacturers or advertisers is a cop out in my opinion.  The blame lies with those who trespass to participate this activity.  In my opinion it is no different than those who enjoy snowmobiling for the speed aspect of it.  There is a time and place for it and knowing that and exercising judgment is key.  I don't see people complaining that manufacturers are building sleds that go too fast.  Take the new Thundercat or SRX models that have specific "Go Fast" modifications done from the factory.  Used inappropriately they can cause extensive damage to trails, cause accidents and are in no way needed to legally participate in the sport anywhere other than on open lakes.  No different than the crossover/mountain sleds used in the right places they are wonderful tools/toys but they can be miss used.  

 

Painting all "free riders" with the same brush based on incidents involving trespassers on farmers fields (which to most true "free riders" would hold no interest) is no different than me saying all trail riders ride to fast/ can't stay on their side of the trail/drink and ride based on a few instances of close calls I have had up here or the copious amounts of empties that can be found in the warmup huts.  I know this isn't the case, same as not all of us with long track/paddle sleds are out specifically to trespass.  

The problem is mostly in the south. If a person owns a doo free ride for instance and rides in the south, there is no where to ever use the thing. This is the issue. They have it, do not trailer to where it can be used, then want to use it when they see an open field with three feet of powder on it, so they do. Hell even those with short track trail sleds do the same thing.It is NOT just long track sleds, as a matter of fact, I bet more often it is trail sleds doing this in areas such as Perth. Now being that long track sleds are selling better, we will of course see marketing swing in that direction. One must ask then, why are we even in bed with the Lesters. We know they are shills for whatever pays the bills, they have to be. Currently what pays their bills is cans, and promoting off trail adventures. I do not see the goals of the OFSC being congruent with those of the Lesters, and they should not be in partnership with these people as they do more harm than good to the OFSC.

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All it really comes down to is we are all sledders! Fighting amongst the different riding styles is a waste a time. I think no matter what is done, we're going to lose trails as there seems to be a small percentage of sledders that don't respect land owners wishes. Only way to even make a dent in it is enforcement, but that doesn't seem to really be a priority for the ofsc.

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13 hours ago, GTC said:

Monday morning we got an E mail from a landowner on top trail E west of Perth, he is pissed at the tracks all over his field, way way off the trail. As of next season he is shutting us off.

Its a tuff reroute, because his property has a road that the club built across a swamp that was built about 15 years ago. People don't realise the problems they are causing by leaving the trail.

I hate reroutes and it stresses me out way more then its worth, it has to stop

I feel your pain. I just watched Snowtrax on TV... as usual they are promoting the stuff that closes trails. They talk about the guys that like to go off trail and then one of the skidoo sleds to take them there. They show a sled carving corners through the untouched powder of a field. No wonder people think this is okay when they see their TV heroes do it. Not even a mention about being considerate of where you go off into the powder and respecting private property.

 

And of course they give plenty of front shots of the guys hitting the throttle on the trails, lifting the front of the sled in the air with the skis well of the snow.

13 hours ago, IQ TURBO said:

What a shame. I totally agree with what your saying.  But, unfortunately the majority will never know what they had,  until its too late. And then some will just not give 2 cents. Its a never ending story in this sport.  Trespassers,  no trail pass, loud cans. The list goes on and on...

And the most vocal complainers about the trail closed next season will be those who are responsible for it being closed. They will be upset not so much about the trail but the access to the off trail they liked to abuse. Some will not care and ride there anyhow.

 

6 hours ago, slomo said:

I did notice in that same magazine that Mr. Nicholson's star and that of his 'buddies' may be setting,  as he had to write a whole 'article' on how to drive your sled on asphalt - waste of ink could have been replaced by one word - rouskis (now kimpex) but perhaps he could not get a free pair to use.

 

Did you see his inspirational video on how to fill your gas tank.... mind blowing wisdom.... don't count on the auto shutoff for the pump and don't stay seated on your sled and maybe get a wet crotch full of gas.

 

1 hour ago, Denis007 said:

Freeriding or off trail riding isn't an issue. Trespassing and property damage is. 

 

The self entitled will continue to trash people's land regardless of the efforts of clubs and land owners to keep them out. Summer or winter, it's always the same story, bunch of idiots go past barriers to trash people's land. 

 

Enforcement is the only solution, whether it's the Police or the land owners themselves doing it, using any means necessary. 

We have snow fence up to stop people riding off the trail in a provincial park. The snow got deep enough that most of the snow fence was buried with just under 2 ft. exposed. Idiots saw the snow on the other side and rode over the snow fence to play. You know why the fence is there but choose to ignore it.

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1 hour ago, skidooboy said:

we don't have to ride hydro lines here. we have endless crown roads ditches, lakes, rivers, creeks, logging cutovers, ect… again, you and several people have an idea of what offtrail riding is, and you REALLY have no idea what it is, or where it is done. hydro lines are easy pickings because the trail accesses them... my group avoids those types of high traffic areas like the plague. we are looking to do this without attention drawn to ourselves. 

 

you see the easy access peoples issues, you don't see the hardcore groups doing this. again, people, education, enforcement. Ski

Just so you know all of your crew needs to have a valid OFSC trail permit to be on crown land doing all of your freeriding which I'm sure you do.  

 

The only people that are allowed on crown land and OFSC trails are anglers and hunters who are hunting within the said season or fishing in season.  They have to have the said gear with them as well to be totally legal.  They are only allowed to use the trail without a permit if it is the safest route.

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41 minutes ago, Poo Man said:

All it really comes down to is we are all sledders! Fighting amongst the different riding styles is a waste a time. I think no matter what is done, we're going to lose trails as there seems to be a small percentage of sledders that don't respect land owners wishes. Only way to even make a dent in it is enforcement, but that doesn't seem to really be a priority for the ofsc.

It becomes an impossible task to enforce trespassing laws. The simple fact is, the system is far too vast to stop it through enforcement. The threat of enforcement through massive fines however may help. If people knew that you would get a minimum of a $1k fine for riding a farmers field, plus a criminal mischief charge and have to make restitution for damages caused, then we may see a major reduction once a few did get caught.  If we had the will to put down strong laws in this regard, word would spread fast, and many would become conscious of the consequences of their actions. Clearly telling people trails will be lost matters not. The main reason is, even without a trail across a families field next year, the same a-hos that got it closed will just run it next year while we that respect the landowner will ride the road.

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34 minutes ago, gobills said:

Just so you know all of your crew needs to have a valid OFSC trail permit to be on crown land doing all of your freeriding which I'm sure you do.  

 

The only people that are allowed on crown land and OFSC trails are anglers and hunters who are hunting within the said season or fishing in season.  They have to have the said gear with them as well to be totally legal.  They are only allowed to use the trail without a permit if it is the safest route.

That is not true at all. As a matter of fact the exact opposite is true. You do NOT need an OFSC trail pass to ride on any general use crown land whether the OFSC has a trail on it or not. Further, no, a person does not need fihing gear on them to be legal, all they need is a fishing licence. People do have ice shacks.

Edited by zoso
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2 hours ago, GTC said:

The only legal freeriding around here is ditches and lakes, Or your own property, some people think Hydro and pipe lines are a free pass, NOT!

So back to my original post,It has to stop around here or all there will be Is ditches and lakes!

100% agree...in Southern and Eastern Ont lake running is the only realistic option for these sleds...its that simple...

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31 minutes ago, zoso said:

That is not true at all. As a matter of fact the exact opposite is true. You do NOT need an OFSC trail pass to ride on any general use crown land whether the OFSC has a trail on it or not.

Crown land i guess I'm reading it wrong then. 

 

https://www.ontario.ca/faq/can-i-use-my-snowmobile-crown-land

 

Here are exemptions only for Anglers and hunters

 

https://www.ofah.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Snowmobile-exemptions-for-hunters-anglers-and-trappers.pdf

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32 minutes ago, gobills said:

The Ministry is no longer giving exclusive rights to the OFSC on general use crown land. therefor, without an exclusive use agreement in place, the trail permit can not be enforced, just like it cannot be enforced on a lake. it used to be, but sadly no longer is. So, that fishing exemption really does not matter any longer unless you are going through a restricted crown land area trail such as a Provincial Park, or Reserve etc.  In those cases the permit is in play, but you do NOT need gear, only a licence. 

 

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