The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) showcase trails are the 15,167 km (9,479 mi.) border-to-border system called the OFSC Trans Ontario Provincial (TOP) Trails. The purpose of TOP Trails is to provide access corridors connecting the OFSC's numerous regional and local trail networks.
TOP Trails came into being from 1992-95 under a $21 million partnership between the Province of Ontario and the OFSC. Called SNO-TRAC (Snowmobile Trail Rehabilitation and Construction), the program provided $14 million in government funding for trail development which was matched by $8.3 million raised by local clubs. Since then, the OFSC and the Province of Ontario have invested millions of dollars more to improve and upgrade TOP Trails to make them the world's premier snowmobile trail system. In some cases, new TOP Trails had to be carved out of the bush. In others, substantial improvement was required as existing trapper's paths, abandoned rail lines and old forestry roads were brought on stream. Sometimes, existing club trails were upgraded to improve riding conditions. Throughout, the primary mandate was to create a trail system for touring snowmobilers that is mapped, marked and well-connected, with easy access to the necessary amenities and services. Each local snowmobile club is responsible for priority grooming of its own section(s) of TOP Trail.
Today, OFSC TOP Trails are showcased on the OFSC's annual TOP Trail Guide as a three-tier system. Trunk Trails are the main, border-to-border snow corridors, designated by one letter ("A") and shown on the Guide in red. Feeder Trails channel traffic onto Trunk Trails from communities and local trail systems. They are shown in purple and designated by one letter and a three-digit number ("A101"), the letter indicating what Trunk Trail it connects to. Finally, Connector Trails are designated by two letters and three digits ("A101D") and shown in green. These trails connect two Trunk Trails (in this example, "A" and "D"). All of the new TOP Trail signs are colour coordinated with the trails shown on the Guide.
The next time you ride a TOP Trail, remember that you're travelling a system that, can take you anywhere in Ontario and connect you to trails in neighbouring provinces and states too. No wonder they're called TOP Trails!
Information provided by the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC).