Mother Nature seems to have started to cooperate with snowmobile enthusiasts in the North Bay area.
Despite a late start to the season, officials with the North Bay Snowmobile are reporting that close to 75 per cent of the local trails are now open.
"They are all open under yellow caution conditions just because there are still some wonky spots, rocks, and some wet showing so they are not perfect by any means but they are in really good shape generally," said Shawn Flindall. director of marketing and communication with the North Bay Snowmobile Club.
"In the last 10 days, we have had three really good snowfalls and that has made the difference for sure."
"It has been a really good thing these last few snowfalls and for the most part, they were not even called for so when we get unexpected snow it is a real good thing for snowmobiling."
Flindall believes they still need more cold temperatures, as he warns that waterways are still not very safe.
"The lakes are still very inconsistent ice-wise and very, very slushy," warns Flindall.
"They are actually brutal so we do need these cold temperatures to straighten things up on the lakes for sure but these last few snowfalls have made a huge difference for everything from North Bay, North for sure, and even around Algonquin Park."
Flindall says the mild start to 2023 made for a different freeze-up.
"The freeze-up was very unusual this year," added Flindall.
"The lake froze up and then the snow came so the weight of the snow on the lakes is the problem. There is not two feet of ice out there yet, if there were it would not be such an issue but because there is still 6 to 14 inches of ice, the weight of that snow is pushing the ice down and forcing the water up so there is so much slush out there on the lakes.
"It is really just because of the way that the freeze-up came this year and the same is the case with swamps and other waterways on the trails. It is very inconsistent still and we really need people just to be cautious when they are out there. We need them to be cautious and careful at the best of times but early season riding is especially treacherous and dangerous at times."
Flindall adds there is some great riding out there but he says people just need to be smart.