Dec 07

Plan you ride using the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide

Invaluable tips for how to use the OFSC’s Interactive Trail Guide from your desktop or your phone. Access over 30,000 km of Ontario’s incredible snowmobile trails this winter and never get lost again!

The Interactive Trail Guide operated by the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is very popular with Ontario snowmobilers. That’s because it’s the best online map for ride planning, checking trail status for the latest updates before any ride, and finding your way around the province from the comfort of home. The OFSC Interactive Trail Guide is also a must-visit site for anyone thinking about coming to Ontario to go snowmobiling this winter.

The Interactive Trail Guide provides two primary functions that are very beneficial: “Trail Status Reports” and “Trail Network”. For best results, use Internet Explorer 9, Google Chrome or Firefox. Here are a few tips to make navigation easier when you visit the Interactive Trail Guide (Go to “Trip Planner” menu at top right of the OFSC home page and select “Trail Guide” from the drop down menu.).

About Trail Status
For your convenience and information, OFSC districts across Ontario file trail reports regularly online, usually at least twice a week (Monday and Thursday), but often as much as daily. Trail Status tell you at a glance what trails are available to ride. But obviously, any report is based on observations at the time of the report and things start to vary the second after due to changing conditions such as temperature, snow quality, type of terrain and usage. So the report posted may not necessarily reflect the actual trail status at the time of your ride or the actual local trail conditions you may encounter by the time you get there.

It’s your decision to choose whether to ride any specific available trail or not, based on many other factors, including current weather, time of day, present condition of rider and sled, etc.

To view Trail Status when you have the Interactive Trail Guide on screen, if it’s not already showing, click on “Trails Status” located in the top right.
Now the trails on your screen will show as Red (unavailable), Yellow (limited availability), Green (available) or Grey (no data reported). The explanation for these colour-coding’s appears at the bottom bar of the screen as a reminder.
Not every trail will show in the big picture view. To view more trails, zoom in closer.
A box near the top right of your screen indicates the number of kilometres of trails that are available at the time you are online.

About Trail Network
Trail Network shows all OFSC trails and their numbers. All OFSC trails are colour-coded both on the map and with on-trail signage (see bottom of screen in Trail Network view). It also allows you to plot a route, calculate trail distances and check for in-season re-routes and detours. The more you zoom in, the more trail detail you will see.

To view Trail Network when you have the Interactive Trail Guide on screen, click on “Trail Network” located in the top right of your screen.
To help find what you need on Trail Network, either
o Enter a specific place name in the search box at the top right or
o Select a district from the District drop down menu at the top left.

Interactive Trail Guide Tools
(top of screen from right to left)

Currently Viewing (top right) – Shows either Trails Status (default setting) or Trail Network. Click one or the other to view.
Print – Allows you to print what’s on screen.
My Route – Allows you to plan your ride trail by trail, including distances.
Snow Tours – Drop down menu with complete list of 33 Snow Tours. Click on one and it is automatically highlighted on the map face.
POIs – Drop down menu allows you to show or not show various service and attraction points of interest on the map face.
Districts – Drop down menu allows you to select and zoom into any OFSC district.
Base Map (top left) – Select a map background by clicking one of Roads, Terrain (default setting), Satellite or Hybrid.

Other Useful Tools
Zooming – There are four ways to zoom in or out…
o Use the + or – symbols located in the top left.
o Double click on any section you want to enlarge.
o Enter a specific place name in the search box at the top right and click the + icon on the zoom/pan tool in the top left corner.
o Select a district from the “Districts” drop down menu.
Panning – You can move the entire map face any direction by:
o Clicking and holding anywhere on the guide face to drag it in any direction.
As a public service, the OFSC provides snowmobilers with free access to the Interactive Trail Guide as part of its added value thanks for supporting organized snowmobiling in Ontario. So if you’re looking to go touring around the province, it’s your best mapping tool. And if you’re an avid snowmobiler who isn’t already Internet savvy, that makes the Interactive Trail Guide one more very good reason to get yourself up to speed, pronto!