Trail Talk – April 4, 2018

There were 84 people at the Maitland Trail meeting on March 23rd when we heard about Erica Clark’s trip to Manchu Pichu. It was amazing to see how tightly the Incas formed large rocks to fit tightly together, and how the ancient rock steps on the trail were still in use.

Mike Bagnall talked about the Hog nosed snake, which is a threatened species and was first reported in the Goderich area in 2011 after the tornado. Many sighting have been reported in 2017 including on the Sifto loop. If you see one of these harmless snakes take a picture and call Rachel White at 519.440.2210

Brian McCullough talked about the maintenance of the 84 km of trail by 57 Trail Rangers who check each part at least twice a year, do minor maintenance and report problems to the Work Crew, who usually go out on Thursday mornings to do major repairs. There are several vacancies for Trail Rangers, so current and prospective Rangers are encouraged to go the Ranger meeting on either April 7th or 14th at the Goderich Library.

The financial report showed income and expenses were both close to $24,000, and this year there will be an extra cost of about $2000 due to the tool thefts from the break in at the Trailer.

There was also a request to report sightings of the invasive Phragmites along the trail so that steps can be made to remove it (see under programs/phragmites management.)

The Sunday’s G2G meeting mentioned the target of raising five million dollars in the next five years to build bridges over the Maitland, Conestoga and Grand rivers.

The deer seem to be on the move again, on March 22nd at 9:30 PM coming back from Ailsa Craig on Maguire Road, two deer crossed over in front of me; fortunately they were well up the road and thus in no danger to me or them.

On the way to a Friday hike four swans were spotted on the Maitland river at Forrester’s bridge, and on Saturday March 24that 6 o’clock near Clinton two flocks of about 15 and 20 swans flew over, and On Wednesday March 28th a flock of 20 swans were in the flooded part of a field just south of Varna.

The Maitland trail hike on Saturday March 24th brought six hikers out to enjoy the sunshine in the Morris Tract area. We admired Andy Ross’s tree plantation and solar panel installation.

On Monday March 26th in the Maitland Woods skunk cabbage was just showing up (near boardwalk #6 and #18) – this is much later than the skunk cabbage seen on March 1st on the Maitland Trail. Some unidentified brown mushrooms were spotted. Although the trail had only some snow patches, more snow is forecast for Thursday April 5th.

The drizzle on Tuesday March 27th did not discourage seven Trompers from hiking the Hullett Sugar Bush trail.

On March 28th hiking downstream from Boundary (B.Edgar) bridge, I stopped to admire some turkey tracks in the snow and then soon after saw the two turkeys which had made them.

Flood water has damaged the Olde Menesetung trail, part of which is now closed.

Note that the Eastern end of the Bayfield Woodlands Trail is closed including the eastern entrance from David Street.  A new loop has been created but the maps have not yet been changed to reflect these changes.

Upcoming Hikes and Meetings

Saturday April 7th and 14th 10:15 AM; Trail Ranger Meeting at Goderich Library

Saturday April 14th 10:00AM; Port Albert Village and Beach Walk Level 2; Leisurely Pace 1.5 hours.

There is excitement at the Fishway in Port Albert during this time of year when a crew of volunteers transport fish up the ladder to the portion of the river above the falls. If we are lucky with timing, we can meet and watch the action before heading out on a hike through the village. If the beach co-operates, we will go out for a portion of that, as well. Port Albert General Store is slated to be open again in April, so we’ll see if that would work out for lunch after the hike.

Park at the Fishway parking lot. The entrance is just below the bridge to the right.

Contact Anne Storey 519.529.3050 to register.

Saturday April 21st 9:00 AM: River Line to Sharpes Creek Line; 35.6 to 29.9 km; Moderately Fast pace. Expect to take about 2 hours

Contact Patrick Capper

Saturday April 21st 11:00 AM. Goderich Shore Line Clean up – details to come

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 8:30 AM at the Betty Cardno Centre in Clinton and hike for 1.5 hours to 2 hours one group at a moderate pace, 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