Trail Talk – August 8, 2018

On Friday July 27th we hiked from Lobb road to the Lobb’s parking lot. In the part where the 2011 tornado had broken the trees there were a lot of blackberries, some of which were ripe. One hiker called them thimbleberries, which led to my researching the various blackberries, thimbleberries, black and red raspberries. The difference between a raspberry and a blackberry is that a raspberry come clear of the plug (or rasp or carpel) when picked while a blackberry when picked includes this plug. Raspberry canes have more thorns than blackberries and they are more fuzzy and not heavy like rose thorns. The berries on the Lobb trail were blackberries rubus allegheniensis, which includes over 100 species and the berries vary from globular to cylindrical. The true thimbleberry rubus parviflorus has no prickles. There is no such plant as a bumbleberry, the pie with that name is made from a mixture of berries.

On the Front road trail in what is normally a wet spot there was boneset. This has leaves that unite basally around the stem, so some pioneers believed that wrapping a broken limb with the leaves would aid in mending the broken bones. There is no evidence this made any difference, however, there is some evidence that extracts help with fevers and colds and have possible anti- inflammatory effects.

On the trail between Sharpes Creek Line and River Line I had a first for me – I saw a skunk. I have seen skunks along the road and in the garden but until Monday I had never seen one while hiking. I saw it at 10 o’clock and fortunately, as it was right on the trail, I saw it in time to avoid startling it enough to spray me. Chewy was behind me and did not react to the skunk. I was careful not to get too close when taking pictures hence they were not very sharp. Further along the trail there was white lettuce also known as rattlesnake root which has very unusual leaves. The Iroquois applied a poultice of the roots to rattlesnake bites.

Upcoming Hikes

Saturday August 18th 1:00 PM Falls Reserve River Walk Total time about 3 hours.

Park at Falls Reserve entrance (Use your Maitland Trail Membership card for free admission). We will hike down to the falls and walk in the river for about an hour before hiking back to the entrance. Bring refreshments and suitable shoes to change into when walking in the river. (Will be cancelled if the water level is high).

Contact: Patrick Capper 519.606.0016

Sunday August 26th 8:00 PM join the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association on a night hike on the Woodland Trail

Monday September 3rd 10:00 AM – Level 1, leisurely pace, 1.5 hours, Sifto Loop and Tiger Dunlop’s Tomb

Saturday Sept 29th to Sunday Sept 30th 2 day MTA El Camino registration is now open Cost $25 adults $10 if under 18 detail

Midweek 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 8:10 AM at the Betty Cardno Centre in Clintonand 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