What is a subscription with MTA?

A subscription is a convenient way for you to pay your membership fees or to make donations automatically using PayPal.  Membership subscriptions are for 5 years only; we will send you a membership card each year, and let you know when your membership fees are due next.  Donation subscriptions are for $5/month and have no expiry; we will send you a tax receipt each January.  Either type of subscription can be cancelled by you at any time through PayPal.

Why does MTA use PayPal?

PayPal is convenient and an increasing number of people prefer to pay online, rather than using snail mail.  We try to be accommodating where possible.  Note: to use PayPal, you don’t have to have an account with them; you can use a credit card through PayPal.    Also, PayPal saves our volunteers time and money.  We love our volunteers and want to keep them happy.

Where is the Maitland Trail?

The Maitland Trail is a 50km trail between Goderich and Auburn, Ontario.  The Maitland Trail Association maintains over 80km of trails including The Maitland Trail (our main trail), and numerous side trails and other trails in the Goderich-Auburn area.   Feel free to buy our Trail Guide to see all the details.

Do I have to be a member to join the hikes?

Non-members are always welcome to join our organized hikes. See the benefits of becoming a member, which includes discounts at some local stores.

Do I have to wear hiking shoes or boots?

We recommend that you wear sturdy footwear appropriate for the weather and terrain. Some of our trails are wide and flat and are well suited to hiking sandals. However, some of our trails are quite rugged and natural, and home to sharp sticks, spiders and other prickly, stingy things.  Protect your feet and ankles, and have an enjoyable hike.

Please note that a hike leader has the right to refuse a participant that they deem to be unfit or unprepared for a hike.

Do I have to pre-register for hikes?

Yes.  As a courtesy to our volunteers, please contact us by the day before the hike so that the Hike Leader can plan accordingly.  Some hikes require transportation or last minute details to be communicated; some winter outings are weather dependent; some large events have a cap on the number of participants. Just send us a quick note that you’d like to join us. It’s that easy!

How do I join a hike?

First, send us a quick note that you’d like to join a particular hike. Then, be at the designated meeting spot a few minutes earlier than the start time so that the required instructions and paperwork can be done.  Be sure to check the hike description carefully so that you are properly informed on what is required and the difficulty and length of the hike.

Can I bring my dog and/or child on a hike?

Dogs on a leash and children are usually welcome on hikes, although not all hikes are suitable in length or difficulty for those with very short legs.  It’s best to call the hike leader or contact us to ensure your dog and/or child will enjoy the hike.  Please also be sure to clean up after your pets.

Is it OK to ski/cycle/snow-mobile/horseback-ride on MTA trails?

Permission of the landowners is granted for use of the trail as a footpath only, i.e. no motorized vehicles.  In addition, there are many sections where even cycling and horseback riding are not appropriate.  We hope to publish more specific details in the future.

Note:  Most of the GART is suitable for snowmobiling and horseback riding, excluding the section west of Highway 21, and the Menesetung Bridge.

How do I earn an End-to-End badge?

You can order an End-to-End badge here. You can earn the badge if you hike the whole trail on your own, or on one of our annual guided tours.  Have you heard of the Camino?

Are the trails safe?

MTA volunteers work very hard to ensure our trails are as safe as reasonably possible.  Please be responsible on the trails and follow our safety guidelines while enjoying your hike.  Always be aware of your surroundings including possible wind damage that could shake branches loose from above.  Please report any unsafe conditions you encounter.

How can I volunteer with MTA?

We have numerous volunteer opportunities.  Trail Rangers adopt a portion of the trail and deal with smaller maintenance issues. Our Thursday Trail Crew fixes larger problems, and is continually improving structures and access. Hike Leaders are trained to lead hikes throughout the year.  Occasionally we also need people to help out at special events or with administration.  See a full list of opportunities.

Is my membership fee a tax-deductible donation?

Sadly, no.  MTA is registered with Canada Revenue Agency as a non-profit organization. We can only issue a receipt if there is no return value for the donor.  A membership has value and therefore does not qualify.  However, we are always happy to issue receipts for donations 🙂

What does MTA do with donations?

Good question. Donations are an important source of revenue to us.  Revenue raised through memberships, donations, etc. goes primarily towards trail maintenance, event funding, insurance and administration.  We hope to post a summary of our income and expenditures at a later date.  Rest assured, there are no helicopter trips or gazebos funded by MTA.