Trail Talk 95 December 4th 2019

A cedar in the Maitland Woods

Have you been enjoying the winter reprieve?  On the Thursday (Nov 21st) hike at Lobbs there was only a little snow and we caught sight of a fox ,which I don’t remember seeing at Lobbs before. The Hullett Sugar bush trail on Saturday was also free of snow, as was the Maitland woods on my Monday walk.  The chickadees in the Maitland woods are very tame and one came down to take a sunflower seed out of my hand,

On Tuesday the last of the windfalls in the Woods were cleared, but Wednesday’s winds might have brought down some newer ones.  Although flowers are very scarce I did see a single periwinkle flower and some dandelions in town. Despite the lack of flowers there are always interesting sights along the trails from fungi to peculiar shapes of shrubs and trees and colourful berries .

Mushrooms near the Mavis Trail

On Tuesday Nov 26th I did not join the Tuesday Trompers, who were walking the Goderich boardwalk and then climbing the stairs to Lakeside Street and then back on the town streets.  I missed this hike because dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk, so Chewy and  I would have had to walk on Beach street.  Instead I joined the sub group of the LIFE hikers who hike on Tuesday morning and they usually check out the trail(s) planned for the Friday hike. Eleven of us hiked the Mavis and Taylor trails followed by the Bannockburn trail.  The Varna trails were fine but at Bannockburn some of the boardwalks had icy patches and the bridge was wet and slippery. There were a huge number of grey mushrooms among the pine trees on the Varna trails.

Have you heard about Shinrin-yoku or “Forest Bathing”?  It started in Japan in the early 1980s and seem to have recently become more well known in North America.  Spending relaxing time in the forest is claimed to have many beneficial effects.  On our Thursday hike in the Hullett Sugar Bush trail four of us experienced the other type of forest bathing, as it was raining quite steadily, but fortunately we missed the heavy downpours.


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

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

Saturday December 7th  9 a.m. Hike or snow shoe, depending on conditions,  the Varna trails

Expect to take about 1 hour. These trail are through mixed forest and are mostly flat. The Mavis trail crosses the very impressive Scot Robeson bridge and later on has a nice overlook to the Bayfield river. Contact Patrick Capper or 519-606-0016

Thursday December 26th (Boxing Day) at 9 a.m. at Lobbs  Hike or snow shoe outing to help work off that Christmas dinner.  Moderate pace 1 ½ hours.

The Tuesday Trompers walk for about an hour at a moderate to slow pace starting at  9 a.m. Contact Al Sanders at

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 Dec 5th  and Wednesday Dec 11th .   Contact