The Featured trail this week is the Goderich to Auburn Rail Trail (G.A.R.T.) (13A in the Huron County Hiking Guide.) The GART is there for the benefit of the whole community to enjoy hiking, running or cycling. The start of the GART is at the original site of the CPR station before it was moved to become the Beach Street Station Restaurant. The site is now a large parking area at the bottom of the West street hill where there are now several dumpsters. The usual starting point is where the trail crosses North Harbour road by a huge commemorative rock. After a moderately steep incline it has only gentle changes in gradient. The surface has packed stone dust and is in excellent shape as far as where it crosses highway 21.This portion is the responsibility of the Menesetung Bridge Association and is very popular with walkers and fisher folk who cross the bridge to fish in the Maitland river. After Highway 21 the surface is still generally excellent, however there are places with grass growing up between the two travelled portions. Hiking from Lucknow Line to where it abruptly end at the Maitland River near Auburn I was pleased to see that the surface past Sharpes Creek Line in much better than several years ago. Cyclists still have to be wary of pebble sized stones on top of the stone dust.
You may notice black ‘stones’ which are pieces of slag used in the original rail bed which I believe came from Sudbury.
The Maitland Trail Association will be spending a significant amount of money for upgrades to the ditches and the surface between Highway 21 and Lucknow Line this year.
Several Years ago the G2G (Goderich to Guelph-or vice versa) trail was formed which incorporates the GART and the Kissing Bridge Trail and includes the old rail bed in between.
The province of Ontario leases the right of way to the trail groups and, as part of the agreement, no motorized vehicles are permitted. The only exceptions being (a) township or MTA maintenance crews, and (b) snowmobiles which don`t do damage because they only use the trail when there is a good layer of snow to protect the surface.
ATVs, do damage to the surface by causing rutting and interfering with drainage of water, so If vehicles are seen on the GART, please take note of the time and place, and take a photo if possible, and send this info to MTA firstname.lastname@example.org
I am looking forward to some day in the future when the G2G have sufficient funds to restore bridges across the Maitland, Conastoga and Grand Rivers.
Monday April 22nd was a special day for me as I spotted the first yellow warblers of spring while hiking the George Newton tract which had many white violets out and soon will have many more violets on display. In our garden there were several Red Admiral butterflies and a lovely 2 ½ foot long female garter snake. Many species of wild flowers were up but only a few in bloom.
With the wonders of technology my photos of cyclists on the GART have disappeared and my recent cell phone GART photos won’t export, hence on older photo.
Bayfield Woodland Trail is closed from April 25th -May 31st
May 3-5th Jane’s walks [May 4th 10 a.m. Vanastra Rec Centre tour of former RCAF base leader Jan Hawley.
For other events see Jane’s walks poster at your library etc.]
Saturday May 4th 1:30 pm Lobbs Wildflower walk Level 2 leisurely pace
Discover the many beautiful spring flowers. This walk is slower than most hikes because of frequent pauses to view and identify blossoms. Lots of scenery, forest and riverfront also a couple of long inclines. Remember your water/juice, snack, hat and camera. Hike Leader Faye 519-524-2070
Saturday, May 4, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon Native trees and shrub sale
St. John’s by the Lake Anglican Church 70642 Ontario Street North, Grand Bend
May 4th 10a.m.-1p.m. Nature Conservancy tree planting near Hopkins Creek
At Ashton Potter property 80780 Maitland Line – sign up at conservationvolunteers.ca
Sunday May 5th 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Compost and Plant sale and walks in Maitland Woods at 1p.m. and 1:30 p.m. If you love your garden, you won’t want to miss the Plant and Compost Sale from 10 till 3 pm Sunday May 5th, rain or shine, at the Knights of Columbus Parking lot, 390 Parsons Court, in Goderich. Guided family friendly Jane’s hikes in the Maitland Woods, will be led at 1:00 and 1:30 pm. Proceeds go to the Maitland Conservation Foundation to provide funding for environmental projects.
Thursday May 9th 6:30 p.m. to dusk bird watching on the Maitland River with Roger Goddard 519-612-1235 or email@example.com
Saturday May 11th 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Good Riddance Garlic Mustard at 35616 Huron Rd Goderich. Another effort by the nature Conservancy sign up at conservationvolunteers.ca