Trail Talk 120 May 27th 2020

Let’s hope we have seen the last of the frost this spring.  The cherry trees have been out in blossom, most of the ones I’ve seen have been the Pin cherry,  where the flowers are in small clusters and the older trees have horizontal plates.  The choke cherry and black cherry have flowers in terminal spikes.  Some false Solomon seals are now starting to bloom.

Twice in the past week I have seen two deer, the first was while working on the reroute near Pinery Line when two deer were in the wheat field before disappearing in Robertson Tract.  The other time was at Lobbs in among the corn stalks. On my Wednesday morning walk in Maitland Woods there was a Midland painted turtle on the pond near #8 boardwalk.  In the past it was common to see turtles there but now seeing them is much less likely.  This one was also unusual in that it did not quickly jump off the log into the water. I have seen a few butterflies along the trails mostly little blue ones and some small white ones and an almost black one that I think is a mourning cloak.

On Monday evening I hiked the Woodland Nature trail, when it was too wet for golfers to be out, After only 3 days golfing I found four golf balls indicating that some golfers must have lost their accuracy after such a long winter break.  On Thursday morning at Redmond Tract I saw a indigo bunting, my first sighting this year, there were also some yellow morels which were well past their prime for eating.

I have recently hiked the Bannockburn Tract, one of the Huron County Forest tracts that is located on the West side of Bannockburn Line 1.3 km South of Mill road.  There has recently been a lot of work creating a nice trail just over 2.1 km long that takes about 35 minutes to hike.    An old wooden culvert can be seen, where the new bridge crosses a creek.  On Saturday evening a lot of kayakers were leaving, after paddling and/or fishing on the small lake which has the advantage of being very calm.

I was surprised at seeing canoes on the Maitland River on the weekend when the water was very low before the recent rain. I expect they would have had to get out of the canoe in several places.

The reroute of the Maitland Trail round the cottage at 45.3 km has now been completed and blazed. The reroute is along the edge of a large field for about 2 km which increases the length of the Maitland Trail from 49.3 to 51.3 km.

When hiking please remember to maintain social distance of 2 m from other hikers.

Closures.

Check the websites to determine whether trails are open or closed. The Maitland trail is closed between 9.3 and 10.5 km

Hullett Wildlife Area is open

Point Farms Provincial Park and Morris Tract are now open

Falls Reserve Conservation Area is open for day use

Maitland Valley Conservation Areas are open

Lobb trail is open

Ausable Bayfield Conservation areas may be open, the board was scheduled to make a decision on May 21st.

Clinton Conservation Area is open

The Bayfield Woodland Trail is closed for Turkey hunting.until June 1st

The Nature Conservancy Properties are open

The Bruce Trail is being re-opened in phases starting May 15th

There are no scheduled Maitland Trail Association or Bayfield River Valley Association or LIFE hikes.

If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at pcapper99@gmail.com.