Activity 115/150

Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling is the great Canadian winter activity of driving a motorized sled through the snow, either as transportation or for recreation.

Fairmont Le Château Montebello

History
Canadian winters have always proven to be a challenge for people trying to get around. In 1915 Ray Muscott received a Canadian patent for a ‘motor sleigh’ which incorporated a moving track in the back of the sleigh and steerable skis in the front. It was Joseph-Armand Bombardier who really popularized snowmobiling as we know it today. Originally called Snowflyers the machines evolved throughout the 1900s and are now high-powered snowmobiles that can reach speeds of over 150 mph.

Where
Snowmobiling requires an abundance of snow as driving on grass or pavement will hurt the vehicle. During the Canadian winter, most areas (outside of major cities) are great places to enjoy snowmobiling. In fact, there are over 30,000 km of interconnected snowmobile trails in Ontario alone. 

How to play
Snowmobiling can be enjoyed by the young and the old, solo or as a family sport. Snowmobiling is similar to driving a motorcycle or a jet ski. Snowmobiles are powerful vehicles that require a licence to operate. It is always recommended that a first-time driver take a safety class, have all of the necessary equipment including a helmet and a snow suit with bib pants. There are snowmobile clubs across Canada that offer classes for first-timers, machine rentals and even guided tours. For more information visit Trans Canada Trail or the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations.

Suggested equipment
- Snowmobile
- Helmet
- Thick gloves
- Snowmobile suit including bib pants for increased warmth
- Snow

Adaptations
Physical activity in Canada includes everyone, regardless of any ability or circumstance. Some sports and activities may, however, require a few adaptations to make them as accessible as possible. Below you’ll find recommendations and suggestions on how to accommodate individuals that may have limitations or different needs. With a positive attitude and a little ingenuity, any activity can be made enjoyable for all.

Sensory

Snowmobiling is a great winter sport. People with a visual impairment may choose to ride behind a sighted driver.
There are no modifications required for those who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

Learning/Cognitive Disabilities

Snowmobiling is a great winter sport. Choose the terrain that suits the participants. Ride in pairs. Adjust the speed of the snowmobile and the distance of the route as needed and have fun!

Mobility Limitation

Snowmobiling is a great winter sport. Since it is primarily driven with hand controls, many people with mobility limitations require no modification. Others however may wish to enjoy the activity as a passenger if they choose.

Benefits of Snowmobiling

The Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines outline the amount and type of physical activity you need at every age and stage of life. And, for the first time, the new 24-hour Movement Guidelines for Children & Youth also include sleep. Following the guidelines will help reduce the risk of chronic disease, lead to a more focused mind, a stronger, fitter body, and all in all, a more enjoyable life.

See Benefits and Guidelines

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Michelle Murray
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