Trail Talk – October 3, 2018

On October 4th Chewy is celebrating his twelfth birthday. On September 15th he was quite happy to hike for four and a half hours from River Line to Cherrydale road without any obvious after effects. The picture of him was taken on September 8th with one of the largest puffballs I have seen while hiking on the local trails. A few years ago a hiker found an article suggesting that Shih Tzus should just be exercised for 20 minutes, luckily Chewy never read this and regularly goes for two hour hikes and only baulks when the temperature drops to about minus 10 degrees C.

Heinz Hoernig was very busy constructing an outhouse which is now installed on the Maitland Trail at the 29 km mark, just west of Sharpes Creek Line where the trail is parallel to Bishop’s Road. This outhouse fills a gap between the outhouses at 21.4 km and 37.5 km

On the Wednesday Sept 19th hike in Hullett along the blue, green and white trails we saw about 21 frogs. Some were green frogs and some were leopard frogs, but many leaped away so fast it wasn’t possible to determine what species they were.

Another mushroom I was able to identify was a yellow orange fly agaric. If eaten it causes swelling, deep sleep and disorientation. I would love to know how the results of eating various mushrooms are determined. Do they ask for volunteers, test them on animals or just feed them to someone they don’t like and then see what happens!

This year has seen a bumper crop of giant puffballs. Last year on the trail near us there were only two puffballs but this year there have been thirteen, although the first were spotted on August 15th new ones were seen on September 23rd. They are known to be as large as 20 inches diameter but the largest I have seen was about 13 inches diameter.

I have not seen any snakes this year while hiking the trails, but saw this young milk snake in the garden.  They are usually with brown or red patches when older. Thyra discovered some hatched milk snake eggs when emptying a compost pile so this snake probably came from one of those eggs.  In contrast the common female garter snake gives birth to live young.


Duck hunting season started on September 22nd

The section of the Maitland Trail from about 9.5 to 10.5 km will be closed for hunting from October 1st through to December 31st.

The main Maitland trail will be closed for gun deer hunting from November 5th to 11th. (Except for the parts on the GART and in the Falls Reserve which are no hunting areas)

Upcoming Events

Saturday October 13th Bayfield River Valley Trails Harvest Dinner. Talk on fly fishing, silent auction, music etc. a fund raiser Cost $40 Call Roger Lewington 565-2202 or Scott Robeson 565-2827 for tickets or details

Upcoming Hikes

Sunday October 14th Millennium Trail 1:30 PM Level 2, Intermediate

Meet Cecile at the very east end of Nelson St (plenty of parking). We will first walk south (towards Mill St) and back; for people with more energy, we will continue north (towards Hwy 21) and back. The trail follows the Maitland River. Wear appropriate shoes. Rain or shine.

Saturday October 20th Sharpes Creek Line to River Line Meet at 9″00 AM at River Line to car pool to Sharpes Creek Line  Moderately fast pace expect about 2 hours due to significant hills. Leader Patrick Capper 519.606.0016 or

Sunday October 28th 2:00 PM Join Bayfield River Trail Association for a hike on the Naftel’s Creek Conservation Area trails

Saturday November 3rd Owl Prowl at Morrison Dam Conservation area. Two sessions 6:00 PM and 7:30 PM see for details.

Midweek Hikes

The Tuesday Trompers walk for about an hour at a moderate to slow pace starting at 9:00 AM. Contact Al Sanders at

The Wednesday hikes start at 9:00 AM for 1.5 to 2 hours at a moderately fast pace. Contact

The Friday L.I.F.E. hikers usually meet at 8:10 AM at the Betty Cardno Centre in Clinton and hike for 1.5 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