The featured trail this week is the part of the Maitland Trail (#13 in the Huron County Hiking Guide) at the end near Auburn.-Map #7 in the Maitland Trail Guide. The trail ends at the County Road 25 bridge over the Maitland river. On March 6th six of us braved the cold and hiked the section from near the end at 49.3 km to 45.9 km. We parked at the side of County road 25 as it might not have been possible to drive back up Bridge road. The trail was not as icy as the other trails I have hiked on. A light covering of snow on the trees made for a very pretty hike. There were only two windfalls from the Sunday storm but were easy to get past, and Brian McCulloch is planning to, or has already, cleared them. Near the end of Pinery line in the past there have been problems with great piles of ice , or spring flooding covering the trail, on this hike there were only a couple of ice chunks on the trail. A tractor with a plough cleared Pinery Line on Feb 28th as there has been logging in the forest just west of Robertson Tract, so I assume that access was required for the logging operation. We saw lots of tracks but none from deer, although I have seen deer in the area on other occasions. I checked the outhouse near km 46, and noted the seat is the lowest I have seen at 15 “. Later this year I plan on featuring the Maitland trail outhouses. We made a bit of a loop by leaving the trail and walking up Pinery Line until cutting back to the Maitland Trail on the snowmobile route. The hike took 1 ½ hours.
I have seen fewer than normal number of deer tracks this winter so I was delighted on Saturday to see nine deer in a field near
Woodlands Golf Course and on Sunday saw 12 in a field just south of the Nature Conservancy.
In the Morris Tract at around 15km, the trail was covered with large blocks of ice for at least 50 m, which I expect will take a long time to melt. Nearby there was a very impressive bank of ice on the Maitland river.