Trail Talk – April 25, 2018

The ice storm on April 14th and 15th surely set the spring plants back, however on April 12th I saw the first violet in bloom before it was covered in snow. On the Friday hike on the Varna Mavis trail a short tailed shrew scuttled away before I could photograph it, then when on the Bayfield Woodland Trail there was an identical one lying dead on the trail which I photographed, and on Saturday I saw another one scuttling away.

The hike at Port Albert on April 14th, like many events, was cancelled due to the weather. The windfalls on the Maitland Woods Trail and Sifto loop have been cleared by Brian and Roger, and two on the Front Road trail have also been cleared. There were three minor ones between Morris Tract and Benmiller which I cleared with the help of Faye Ribey. There was a windfall on the Lobb trail at the 2nd cut off and another on the Mavis trail which is easy to walk under. The snow drift near Sharpes Creek Line at 30.8 km was as big as ever and will, I believe, last well into May. There was a flock of 15 swallows (probably bank swallows), skimming just over the Maitland River on April 16th.

There have been many turkey tracks on the trails, but the first turkeys I spotted were on Wednesday April 18th when driving along Sharpes Creek line. Three male turkeys were displaying in front of four females. (Note: Turkey hunting starts on April 25th.) On Wednesday I saw a rabbit in the garden , not having seen any for a long time, and then saw another one in the woods near Sharpes Creek Line.

If you walk in the Maitland Woods see how many of the 40 species of trees and 9 species of shrubs you can spot. Most are visible from the main white trail except for the Manitoba Maple, Nine Bark, Mountain Ash and Black Locust which are next to the parking lot and one tree is on a blue cross trail. Some are easily missed as they are not very close to the trail and the Red Maple, being close to a boardwalk, is often missed.

Note that the Bayfield Woodlands Trail is closed April 25th to May 31st for Turkey Hunting.

Upcoming Hikes

Lobb’s Wildflower Hike

Saturday, April 28 – 1:30 PM Level 2, Leisurely Pace ~2+ hrs

Leader Faye Ribey 519.524.2070. Hopefully there will be spring flowers blooming by then. This walk is at a leisurely pace so that participants can stop and identify the wildflowers

Jane’s Walks in Goderich May 4 – 6. Details not yet available, check Facebook and MTA website

Saturday May 5th 1:00 PM Jenkins to Black Hole Road Leisurely pace about 3 hours.

Another chance to check out the wild flowers. Contact Beth Ross at 519.524.8144 by the night before if you want to join this hike

Compost and Plant Sale

Sunday May 6th 10:00 AM. to 3:00 PM at the Knights of Columbus Hall parking lot on Parsons Court in Goderich. Drop off your labeled plant donations between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM.

Sunday May 6th 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM Guided leisurely paced walk in the Maitland Woods. Fill in an “I Spy Nature” card for chance to win prizes

Thursday May 7th and 10th at 6:30 PM; Bird watching walk led by Roger Goddard. Meet at the Rock on N. Harbour Rd.

Saturday May 12th at 1:30 PM hike at Point Farms

Saturday May 12th Spring on the G2G Trail

Mid-Week Hikes

The Tuesday Trompers walk for about an hour at a moderate to slow pace starting at 9:00 AM. Contact Al Sanders at

The Wednesday hikes start at 9:00 AM for 1.5 to 2 hours at a moderately fast pace. Contact

The Friday L.I.F.E. hikers usually meet at 8:15 AM at the Betty Cardno Centre in Clinton and hike for 1.5 hours to 2 hours, one group at a moderate the other group at a moderately fast pace. Contact

If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at