Trail Talk 92 November 13th 2019

One of the Maitland Woods windfalls

The past week we had quite a wind, this resulted in nearly all the rest of the apples falling off the trees and many of the autumn leaves are now carpeting the trails.  I noticed that the Norway maples hold onto their leaves a lot longer than the native maples.  I was surprised to see a skunk cabbage poking up as though it was spring time.

On Saturday I hiked the Maitland Trail from Sharpes Creek Line to Bishops road and was kept busy clearing a dozen small windfalls with my bush saw. On my Monday hike on Nov 4th in the Maitland Woods I counted ten windfalls. Four of which, as I write, have been cleared and the remaining ones are fairly easy step overs.

Despite having over three inches of rain lately most of the trails were surprisingly dry. At Naftel’s on Tuesday there were hardly any puddles, the dry ground having soaked up the rain, but on Friday’s LIFE hike at Point Farms the Old Farms South trail had quite a few puddles.

With the high lake levels and high wind the water was so high that there was virtually no beach,  a lot different than when the place was so popular in the late 1800s.  When we came to the creek there was enough water coming out we could not cross over it and had to back track.

Similarly the Bayfield river had more flow, and, with the beavers having blocked up many culverts, water is now flowing over the causeway at the Clinton Conservation area.

On Wednesday afternoon the Front road trail had its first snow of the season which made some of the pine trees looking like a

Rick ducking under a branch

Christmas card scene. The snow on the trees was much greater by Thursday morning when we hiked the Mavis, Taylor and Bannockburn trails and had many occasions where we had to duck and dodge the tree and shrub branches that were bent over across the trails.

I hope everyone who suffered blisters from the Maitland Camino have now fully recovered. I am reading the account by my grandfather of his trip to Switzerland in 1895. He wrote “The walk on Wednesday played havoc with my feet producing sundry blisters and depriving me of some small patches of skin, attributable in some measure at least to the friction produced by darned stockings.”  I like his turn of phrase and, I suspect, that I am one of the few hikers who still darn my socks!

UPCOMING HIKES etc.

Oct 1 –Dec 31 the Maitland Trail section from 9.4 to 10.5 km will be closed.

December 2nd to 8th the Maitland Trail, Bayfield Woodland Trail and Lobb trails will be closed for deer gun hunting.

Sunday November 17th 1:30 p.m. Hike the Point Farms Provincial Park trails moderate pace about 1 ½ hours. Enjoy the enchantment of a walk through the old farm area at this park, which has a little bit of everything – level but curving trail, a long incline down to the beach, lakeside section, a slow climb, sheltered by trees, back up to the top of the bluff and more level trail.

Contact: Anne Storey 519-529-3050 or storeya61@gmail.com

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 allan.sanders@hurontel.on.ca

The Uneven Hikers meet on Wednesday or Thursday. Hikes start at 9 a.m. for 1 ½ to 2 hours at a moderately fast pace. We hike only on the odd dates. e.g Thursday Nov 21st  and Wednesday Nov 27th  .   Contact pcapper99@gmail.com

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 cphillips@onecaresupport.ca

If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at pcapper99@gmail.com.