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Trail Talk 295 - January 17, 2024

I mentioned in the last Trail Talk about the absence of birds, however, on Jan 5th I saw a flock of 130 starlings near the garden waste site on Hydro Line Road. I have also seen a very large flock of gulls in a field. At our bird feeders, numbers and species are down except for a visit by 14 mourning doves, ones that so far have missed being killed by hunters

            Deer tracks have been rather sparse, only a couple seen in Hullett, none on the Front Road trail or Woodland Nature trail, several in the Morris Tract and a couple in the Clinton Conservation area  (unusual for that trail). The most common tracks are of squirrels, but I have also seen tracks of wild turkeys, rabbits, foxes and raccoons.

            There was a large turnout for the Sunday afternoon hike in the Hullett Sugar Bush with 18 out. Fortunately, we did not meet any hunters (rabbit hunting is still permitted there) but we met several dog walkers. There seem to be more weekend hikers who prefer afternoon rather than morning hikes.   A study by Dr. Capra at the University of California found that the more Neanderthal genes you have, the more likely you are to be a morning person.

            In the Maitland Woods there were a few windfalls that were being cleared on Monday.  At the #6 boardwalk there were many skunk cabbages coming up even through the snow.


            Reminder that the Lobb Trails are now closed to the public

            Saturday January 27th 1.30pm Hike or ski depending on conditions at the John Goldie Reserve Expect to take about 1 ½ hours at a moderate pace.  For more information and details about location and carpooling.

and pre-registration  contact  Con Melady at 519-524-8730   

            Sunday January 28th 1.30 pm Another chance to ski or hike the John Goldie Reserve with Con Melady see details above.

            Friday February 2nd 7.30-8.30pm The annual Candlelit walk in the Maitland Woods. Hike at your own pace, trail closes at 9pm. If you have any candle lanterns or wish to help put the candles out please contact Con Melady at 519-524-8730

            Sunday February 4th at 10 a.m.  Hike the Falls Reserve.  Contact sally.brodie@ This is a Level 2-3, moderate pace, 2 hours.

 All participants taking part in the Maitland Trail events should sign the waiver for 2024, preferably the online version.

            Tuesday Trompers meet at 9 a.m. on Tuesday to hike for about an hour. If you wish to be on this email list, send an email to

            Uneven Hikers hike for 1 ½ to 2 hours on Wednesdays or Thursdays, contact Patrick Capper.

Both groups meet at 9 a.m. and are open to non-members provided they sign the MTA On-line waiver.

If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at



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