Trail Talk – October 17, 2018

I went back into Morris Tract on Friday afternoon and was grateful to find my lost pruners lying on the trail. As I hiked on the trail a black squirrel ran across the trail and tried to leap onto a big log, however it misjudged the height and bounced off it, quickly recovered and successfully jumped up and ran away.

More and more maple trees are turning yellow, orange, and red. I have noticed more than the usual amount of dead pine needles and dead ends of cedars, probably due to the very dry summer.

Now is the time to see Canada Geese flocking and flying around in some sort of V formation, some of them are preparing to head South for the winter. Many of the hawks have already headed South, the peak migration of the larger hawks are in October, with a few stragglers of red tailed hawks and bald eagles heading South as late as early December.

One of the benefits of hiking at this time of year is not having to worry about mosquito bites or getting dehydrated from the hot sun, nor having to plough through snow or slip on ice.

I wrote this on Saturday, but on Thanksgiving Monday a mosquito buzzed in my ear and both Tuesday and Wednesday were unseasonably hot!

On October 9th on the Clinton Conservation area trail I saw three American toads, they are much easier to identify as they only take small hops while most frogs take much longer leaps and quickly disappear. I also recently saw one monarch butterfly and there are still many common sulphur butterflies, the one in the photo on a New England aster. The barberries are now full of red berries, which are a good winter source of food for grouse.

When I returned to the Bayfield Woodland trail to see if my pruners were there I went round anticlockwise , and then discovered the Zavitz loop was only blazed the other way, however, when I was slightly off the trail I discovered a group of small fringed gentians which I had not ever seen before. There are lots of mushrooms on the trails many are in clusters on old logs, often white and difficult for me to identify, I think the yellow ones are yellow fairy cups.

I found that the official count of Maitland Camino hikers on Saturday was 246 rather than 277 previously stated. In Trail Talk 35 (October 10) the labels on the photos for the maple tree and aster were switched.


Duck hunting season started on September 22nd Turkey hunting started on Oct 9th and lasts until Oct 21st (but bow hunting of turkeys all of October).

The Olde Menesetung trail is partially closed due to landslides. The new South entry point in about 300 m along the GART, North of the bridge, where it then descends towards the river.

The Lobb trail will be/or is closed for logging the dead ash trees, the operation is expected to last about a week. Before logging begins the Soy beans need to be harvested .

The section of the Maitland Trail from about 9.5 to 10.5 km is closed for hunting from October 1st through to December 31st.

The whole Maitland trail will be closed for gun deer hunting from November 5th to 11th.

Upcoming Hikes

Saturday October 20th Sharpes Creek Line to River Line Meet at 9:00 AM at River Line to car pool to Sharpes Creek Line Moderately fast pace expect about 2 hours due to significant hills, though part of the trail is flat and quite close to the Maitland River. Expect temperatures around 9 degC. Leader Patrick Capper 519.606.0016 or

Sunday October 28th 2:00 PM Join Bayfield River Trail Association for a hike on the Naftel’s Creek Conservation Area trails. Expect about 1.5 hours Leaders: Chris and Pam Bowers 519.525.8850, Gary Mayell 519.441.0141, Peter Jeffers 519.933.4555

Saturday November 3rd Owl Prowl at Morrison Dam Conservation area. Two sessions 6:00 PM and 7:30 PM see for details.

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 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