Trail Talk 103 January 29th 2020

L.I.F.E.Hikers at Hullett Jan 17th
A snowy hike at Naftel’s on Jan 18th

This was an interesting week with Sunday Jan 19th  being the time to dust off the snowshoes and join the snowmobilers.

The 13 LIFE hikers ventured out on Friday Jan 17th to hike the Sugar Bush trails before the Saturday night snow made snowshoes necessary.  Similarly the Saturday Jan 18th hike on the Naftel’s Creek trails had a fair bit of snow but not enough to need snowshoes, so four of us enjoyed the trails and got back home before the roads became too hazardous. The weather also effected the number of hikers out for the Bayfield Trail hike at Varna with only 35 out instead of well over 100 last year.

On Sunday morning, due to the groomer being out on Saturday, I managed to hike the Lobb trails without snowshoes. At the feeder near the third cut off there were more birds than I had seen so far this winter. 8 chickadees, 2 juncos, 2 downy woodpeckers and a blue jay.  Along the river 10 Canada geese were resting at the side of the river as small ice chunks floated downstream. On Monday I snowshoed the Maitland trail section near Bishop’s Road, there were a lot of deer tracks, as there were when we went in on Thursday. On the drive along Sharpes Creek Line, I stopped to admire the picturesque scene along the banks of the Maitland river at Forster’s bridge, where the trees were covered with frost, which, but by the afternoon, all had melted in the sunshine.

Canada Geese at Lobb’s trail on Sunday.

On my Wednesday hike Jan 22nd at Lobbs the groomed trail was in excellent shape, and several skiers had been using it. On the way there four turkeys were crossing Stone School road. At the bird feeder there were a similar number of birds to what I saw on Sunday.

I am hoping that the candlelit walk will have good conditions, some snow but not too much – this makes the woods quite enchanting in the glow of the candles and lanterns, and I hope it is not too cold as this makes the job of lighting the candles more difficult.  It is well worth the 20 to 30 minute walk to see the creative artwork of the lanterns.


Sunday Feb 2nd 1:30 p.m. Nordic Skiing at Hullett Sugar Bush 1 1/2 hours at Leisurely pace

Meet at 80602 Wildlife Line or for Car pooling  at Goderich Harveys 12:45pm. Contact: Doug Ellacott (519) 277-1768 (email to register & possible reschedule notification.

Friday Feb 7th 7:30-9:00 p.m. Candlelit Walk in the Maitland Woods . See details on the Maitland Trail website

Sunday Feb 9th 2-4 p.m.  Roger Goddard will give a talk “All about Birds” at the Goderich Library  Contact: Roger Goddard (519) 612-1236

Saturday Feb 15th 1:30  to ski at John Goldie Reserve  at a moderate pace for 1 ½ hours. If conditions are poor this will be  hiking instead of skiing.

Contact Con Melady (519) 524-8730 to pre-register and for details about location and carpooling.

Mid Week Hikes
The Tuesday Trompers walk for about an hour at a moderate to slow pace starting at  9 a.m. Contact Al Sanders at

The Uneven Hikers meet on Wednesday or Thursday. Hikes start at 9 a.m. for 1 ½ to 2 hours at a moderately fast pace. We hike only on the odd dates. e.g Thursday Nov 21st  and Wednesday Nov 27th  .   Contact

The Friday L.I.F.E. hikers usually meet at 8:10 at the Betty Cardno Centre in Clinton  and hike for 1 ½ hours to 2 hours, one group at a moderate the other group at a moderately fast pace. Contact

If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at