The featured trail this week is the Goderich Waterfront Boardwalk trail (#6 in the Huron County Hiking Guide). The trail starts at the bottom of West Street and goes for about 1.5 km to Rotary Cove. This is very popular easy and level trail for walkers but no dogs or bicycles are permitted so it is not a trail I often use. On March 26th there was no snow or ice on it except for a short portion when a storm brought ice and stones onto the boardwalk.
We had a good view of the floating ice on Lake Huron, and for a longer hike we climbed the steps at Rotary Cove and circled back through the town. In some years when hiking this loop we have found the stairs to be still covered with a lot of snow.
The Maitland Trail AGM on March 29th included a financial report indicating the income exceeded expenses by over $6000 a majority of this was due to profits from the Maitland Camino events which had a record high turnout. There are plans to spend $20,000 this year to make improvements to the G.A.R.T. (Goderich to Auburn Rail Trail). Membership last year included 94 individual and 121 family memberships.
The talk by the Nature Conservancy of Canada mentioned how the lower Maitland River Valley was a critical area to protect 91 species at risk, including green dragon, queen snake heart leaved plantain and eastern phoebe. The Maitland trail would be very different today if the Nature Conservancy had not stepped in to purchase the River Bend and Goud properties. They are trying to rid their properties of alien invasive plants: phragmites, garlic mustard, European Buckthorn, Himalyan balsam, and Scots pine. (I see that Scots rather Scotch was used. My tree books either did not mention Scots or had it as an alternative spelling. My Scottish friends insist that Scotch should only refer to their favourite drink.) The Nature Conservancy requested help for tree planting May 4th 10am-1pm and picking garlic mustard May 11th 10am-1pm Detail
s at the NCC website or in a future trail talk. Anthony Hodsman showed highlights of his trip with Ethel May to the Southern part of South America showing many photos of the wildlife seen on their trip.
On March 31st what I expect to be the last snow of winter made for a very beautiful hike on the Front road trail,
the Bayfield river was very high due to that Saturday’s rain. On Wednesday April 3rd we hiked between River Line and Boundary bridge and saw some wild turkeys. On the drive down River Line I saw a Snowy Owl in the field. Now that spring is on its way turkey vultures and herons are becoming common. After the heat wave on April 6th and 7th most trails will be free of snow, however I expect patches of ice to be still present on the Lobb trail and a short part of the Maitland Wood trails, and a snow drift to be on the Maitland trail east of Sharpes Creek Line at the top of the hill at 30.8 km.
UPCOMING HIKES etc.
Saturday April 13, 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. Photo Hunt Taylor Mavis trails at Stanley Complex, Varna.
Bring a phone or camera. Ten pictures of sites/items found on the Mavis’ Trail will be on display. Take a photograph (or memorise) the pictures before setting off to search for and take your own photographs of the subject matter. Prizes will be awarded to the individual/s or team/s that finds and is the first to submit photographic proof of the most targets. Photographic proof should aim to recognizably duplicate the target photo and can be submitted to Peter (firstname.lastname@example.org).The hike leaders will be: Peter Jeffers, 519 933 4555 and George Ebers 519-482-7572. Details on Bayfield River Valley Trail Association website
Sunday April 21st 9 a.m. Hullett Sugar Bush trails moderate pace about 1 ½ hours
Meet at parking lot at 80602 Wildlife Line.. Fairly level trails without any big climbs through deciduous forest and open meadow. Leader Patrick Capper 519-606-0016 or email@example.com