Trail Talk 55 February 27 2019

LIFE hikers on Sugar Bush Trail
Chewy at edge of the meadow in October

The featured trail this week is the Hullett Sugar Bush trail which is one of the many trails in Hullett Provincial Wildlife Area ( #17 in the Huron County Hiking Guide). The Sugar Bush trail has blue blazes starting at the parking area at 80602 Wildlife Line. There is a toilet there and the in winter the parking lot is usually ploughed.  I enjoy this part of the Hullett Wildlife area best as the trails are usually in the maple forest so there is some protection from cold winter winds and unlike the trails along the dykes there are fewer insects to bother you. Shortly after leaving the parking area you will see a Sugar Shack, However it has not been put into use for many years.  You may also see some black tire parts hung up in the trees, these were designed to be squirrel homes but proved not to be very popular with them.  Off to the side of the white trail near Conservation road there are a lot of beautiful showy lady slipper orchids which may be seen in late June.

Showy Lady Slipper orchids in June

The Hullett Provincial Wildlife area publishes an annual user guide which can be picked up at the office at 41378 Hydro Line road or there are usually copies at the Wildlife Line parking area.  This is an excellent publication, however, although it gives details of duck hunting stakes etc. I am always disappointed that it does not include even approximate dates when hunting in allowed. As a hiker I wish to avoid those periods.  The friends of Hullett have done an excellent job of blazing the various trails.  On Sunday Feb 17th  the trails were easy to hike on without snowshoes but icers were helpful. This is, as of Feb 20th , generally the case with our local trails.  We saw many deer tracks crossing the Hullett trails,  but I only glimpsed  one deer, and we saw a rabbit  hopping around.  I have noticed much fewer deer tracks on the Lobb and several other trails this year than in the past.