The Ontario Federation of Trail Riders is an organization that advocates for and supports off-road motorcycling across Ontario. It sources, creates, and maintains approximately 5000 kilometres of trails spanning from the Niagara region to east of Ottawa. The OFTR also promotes the responsible use of these trails and the natural environment, ensuring that they remain accessible for recreational trail riding.
From its humble beginnings in 1992, the OFTR has grown to a membership of over 4000 adult members and 1000 children. Much of this growth is due to the hard work of its members, who volunteer their time to promote the sport that they love. Now it is launching two exciting applications that will help grow its membership and extend the use of these trails.
RideOFTR's online site, available for members only, provides an up-to-date map of the trails showing trail status and local services.
Clicking on the Trail Status checkbox shows which trails are currently open and which are closed. Deselecting the Trail Status box will bring back the colour coding of the trails to help you plan your ride. Selecting the checkboxes under Services will show where these services are located. This information will become more comprehensive as the OFTR continues to work with its local partners.
You can zoom in on a particular network for more information. One nice feature of the OFTR trails is that they are colour coded by degree of difficulty.
If you aren’t sure what the different levels pertain to, a more detailed trail description is also available.
As you can see, triple-digit trail numbers pertain to single track, and double-digit to wider trails. Every trail is numbered, so you can’t get lost. Although the Web Application does not provide real-time tracking, you can get a pretty good idea of where you are by turning on location services on your phone and pressing the target icon. Zooming in and pressing it again will give you a more accurate location.
RideOFTR Mobile App is more robust than the web version. The key benefit is that it allows for real-time navigation as you ride. So when you bring up the map of the trail systems, your current location will be shown by a blue dot near the centre of your screen. Anyone who has used a phone GPS app will be familiar with real-time tracking.
Another nice feature of the mobile app is Location Sharing. This is especially helpful if you are with a large group of riders and want to keep track of where everyone is on the trail network. You can also share your location with someone at home or a rider who is joining a group late.If you're wondering whether the mobile app or desktop site is right for you, check out what's on offer with each option.
Plan Your Next Ride Today
Multiple studies have shown the physical and mental health benefits of off-road riding. With sales of off-road bikes up significantly, it seems that many people are looking forward to enjoying the outdoors again once it’s safe to do so.
An annual OFTR membership is around $100 (that includes the base membership fee plus the cost of joining a club of your choosing). That’s a pretty good deal, considering that a comparable trail membership in Quebec, the FQMHR pass, is $145. Now, in addition to trail access, you get the RideOFTR apps that will help you get the most out of your membership. With RideOFTR, families and friends can now plan, enjoy, and share their rides with the peace of mind in knowing that all rides are completely legal. The OFTR members behind these products should be applauded for their initiative and effort.