Trail Talk – March 28, 2018

The Friday LIFE hikers were in Exeter on the MacNaughton –Morrison and Morrison Dam trails. Part of the group had hiked there on the Tuesday when the trails were all in good shape, however on Friday, although the South trails were still good, the North trails had many snow drifts across the trail some of which were well over knee height. This illustrates how trail conditions can easily change in just a few days.

The Saturday Maitland Trail Sugar Bush hike had five people out enjoying the sunshine and good walking on the trails

On Sunday morning March 18th on the way to Morris Tract I saw a deer crossing the road, on this occasion it was on its own. There were quite a few windfalls on the trail which were easy to step over, but the worst problem was that the creek had changed course on to part of the trail just where a windfall was leaning across the trail.

I usually sight deer about a dozen times a year, rarely close enough for a good photo. I once bumped into one when driving back from Ailsa Craig with minimal damage to it or the car. Deer are the most deadly animals in Ontario, due to accidents with vehicles. The road near the Pinery near Grand Bend is especially bad. In the late 1960s the Pinery deer population was about 35, and had grown to 880 in 1992, following regular deer culls the population in 2013 was 122, and 99 in 2014.

On Sunday afternoon there were winter stoneflies on the snow. We first thought these were snow fleas (springtails) but on checking they were obviously stoneflies (about 1cm long). Snow fleas are wingless and are usually in groups whereas these stoneflies were on their own and had wings.

On Tuesday March 20th (The spring Equinox) I hiked from Jenkins (7.9 km) to 10.5 km then took the shorter blue trail to River Bend (12.7 km). There were lots of deer tracks but no sightings. I then walked up Black Hole road and found a long beaver dam that had flooded the bottom of the road near the gate. After some pruning, I managed to walk along the dam to the dry section. No vehicles had been down the hill as there is a large drift at the top.

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


Saturday April 14, 2018 at 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 at 519.529.3050 to register.

Saturday April 21, 2018 at 9:00AM; River Line to Sharpes Creek Line; 35.6km to 29.9km; Moderately Fast pace. Expect to take about 2 hours

Contact Patrick Capper at pcapper99@gmail.com

Saturday April 21st 11a.m. Goderich Shore Line Clean up details later.

Mid-Week Hikes

The Tuesday Trompers walk for about an hour at a moderate to slow pace starting at 9:00AM. Contact Al Sanders at allan.sanders@hurontel.on.ca

The Wednesday Hikes start at 9:00AM for 1.5 to 2 hours at a moderately fast pace. Contact pcapper99@gmail.com

The Friday L.I.F.E. hikers usually meet at 8:30AM at the Betty Cardno Centre in Clinton and hike for 1.5 hours to 2 hours. One group will hike at a moderate pace, the other group at a moderately fast pace. Contact cphillips@onecaresupport.ca

If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at pcapper99@gmail.com.