Trail Talk – June 6, 2018

Frogs, Toads, Turtles, and Snakes.  With the warmer weather there comes the chance to see some reptiles and amphibians. All Ontario turtles are at risk, the ones most likely to be seen are the small Midland painted turtle and the larger Snapping turtle. If they are on a road they should be helped across, the snapper is best moved by holding a long stick near its head , when it will grab it and then you can move it to safety without risk of it snapping at you !

The photo of the snapper was taken on the Lobb trail last June.

Up to now I have just seen American toads and a few frogs on several trails. On the Tuesday tromp at the back of the Maitland Cemetery we saw three American toads and two green frogs. So far this year I have only seen garter snakes in our garden. All snakes in our area are harmless. You can report your sightings of reptiles and amphibians to: and frog, toad and turtles sightings to The zoo has some lovely charts with pictures of frogs, toads, turtles, salamanders and newts. On Tuesday May 29th a group of hikers saw both a turtle and a garter snake.

A common fungi at this time of year is the Dryad’s saddle. These are part of the polypore family which are usually shelf like. A Dryad is a Greek mythological wood nymph.

An unfortunately all too common a sight is the invasive alien weed garlic mustard, that can take over large areas such as in Bannockburn, Clinton Conservation area and the John Goldie Reserve. Volunteers recently collected 18 garbage bags of garlic mustard from the Nature Conservancy property.

Note that the Bayfield Woodlands Trail is now open.

Upcoming Hikes

Sunday June 10th 1:30 PM 3 hours cycle the GART from Goderich to Auburn and back. Leader Cecile Prud’homme at

We will cycle to the end of the Goderich to Auburn Rail Trail (GART) and back, with a snack stop at the Auburn end. There is a slight incline going east, but the trail is level and easy. We have to cross two moderately busy roads, so some safety measures will have to be respected. You need a bicycle in good repair, appropriate garb and gear, water and a snack. Approximately 27 km

Although the GART is suitable for hybrid bicycles for other parts of the G2G I would suggest renting a fat wheeled bicycle if you have not got one from Bikes ‘N boards in Goderich . Cost such as $20/hr and $55/day).

Sunday June 17th 9:00 AM Taylor and Mavis Trails at Stanley complex Varna with option of driving to Bannockburn for the trail there. Moderate pace Total time about 2 hours. Leader Patrick Capper

Sunday, July 1st 6:00 AM Welcome to Canada Day Sunrise Walk Level 1, Leisurely Pace, 2+ hrs

Start the day by enjoying the beauty of the early dawn awakening the river valley and the cool, early morning air to remind us why we are so lucky to live here. We will start at the St Christopher’s Beach pavilion Cancelled if wet. Contact: Wendy 519.525.6976 or Anne 519.529.3050

Saturday July 7th 9:00 AM Jenkins to Morris Tract Line moderately fast pace Leader Patrick Capper

Sunday July 8th 2:00 PM Join the Bayfield Trail Association on the Lobb Trail Leaders Peter Jeffers, Jack Pal, and Adriaan Schreuder

Saturday September 29th to Sunday September 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 8:15 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