The featured trail this week is the Goderich Millennium trail (#11 in the Huron County Hiking Guide). The trail starts at Highway 21 just south of the bridge over the Maitland River, and ends at Mill Road (the road just east of the railway crossing in Goderich on Highway 4). The trail can also be reached from the end of Nelson Street. On Wednesday March 27th the trail was mostly free of ice and snow. There are still large blocks of ice across the trail a little east of where the trail crosses the creek from the Sifto evaporator plant. However this obstruction can be easily by-passed by a side trail. There are several patches of the invasive phragmites grass by the trail, near the creek, where the hydro line crosses the trail and on the bank below the lookout with a bench.
There have been problems with a landslide on the trail but recently it appears to have stabilized. The trail passes close to the Optimist park where the grass is regularly cut, although I have rarely seen any use being made of this nice flat grassy area. Parts of the trail can be muddy and wet and there are quite a few ups and downs but no long hill climbs. Fairly close to the Mill road end there is a bench with a great view looking down on the Maitland river. In this area in late June there is a great display of lady slipper orchids.
On Monday March 25th I saw my first spring flowers on a trail,a skunk cabbage. The purple flower comes up before the leaves which appear later and resemble cabbage, Eastern skunk cabbage is notable for its ability to generate temperatures of up to 15–35 °C above air temperature by cyanide resistant cellular respiration in order to melt its way through frozen ground, placing it among a small group of thermogenic plants. It is abundant in some wet areas such as near boardwalk #6 in the Maitland Woods.
On March 28th icers were essential for safe hiking on the Lobb trail. Many parts were icy and ice covered the whole trail where it is shaded by cedars. I believe that ice will still be a problem on the Lobb trail for well over a week.
UPCOMING HIKES etc.
Sunday April 7th 9 am Bishops Rd about 2 hours. Hike a loop through the Nature Conservancy Moderately fast pace. Meet at 80965 Sharpes Creek Line and hike partly on the Maitland Trail and partly on other trails in the Nature Conservancy. Some ups and downs but no big hills. Leader Patrick 519-606-0016 or email@example.com
Saturday April 13th 10:30 am Port Albert Fishway and village hike level 1, leisurely pace 1.5 hrs There is excitement at the Fishway in Port Albert during this time of year when volunteers transport fish up the ladder to the portion of the river above the falls. If we are lucky with timing, we can watch the action then hike through the village, and possibly a portion of the beach. Join Anne, if you wish, for lunch at our awesome Port Albert General Store. Road Kill sandwich recommended! Park at the Fishway parking lot below the bridge to the right. Contact: Anne Storey (519) 529-3050 to register. Please check the website for any date changes during April, since the fish don’t always adhere to our schedule.
Saturday April 20th 2-4 p.m. Bayfield River Valley Trail Association is holding a photo hunt on the Mavis and Taylor trail in Varna.
Sunday April 21st 9 a.m. Hullett Sugar Bush trails 80602 Wildlife Line about 1 ½ hours moderately fast pace. Leader Patrick 519-606-0016 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com The Wednesday hikes start at 9 a.m. for 1 ½ to 2 hours at a moderately fast pace. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at firstname.lastname@example.org.