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Trail Talk 298 - February 7, 2024

On my Friday morning hike, I started out in some rain and finished it seeing sunshine and a rainbow.

The rain and mild weather has resulted in very high water levels on both the Bayfield and Maitland rivers. As of Jan 31st, the rivers are slowly getting lower.  Despite the murky water, I saw five mergansers on the upper Maitland River on Jan 30th.  The mild spell resulted in our chipmunk coming out from its winter quarters.

            On Thursday morning Jan 24th, when I went into Morris Tract from Londesboro Road, I was amazed to see that a cross country skier had herringboned up the steep hill. On Saturday, this would not have been possible as the hill was clear of snow. 

Two things I noticed in the Tract that had not caught my attention previously was a nurse boulder and a beech tree with beech scale. Although nurse logs are common, this boulder had split in two and a small tree was growing in the crevice.  I thought the beech had a white fungus, but it was beech scale from a felted scale insect, often followed by a neonectria fungus which eventually kills the tree.


On the Front Road trail, I could only see two small holly plants. I used to be able to spot four of them. This is the only trail where I have seen holly.

            The Coldest Night of the Year Walk is on February 24th. Join any team or donate. I know many Maitland Trail members are taking part; Shelley Worsell as part of the Manchester United team,  Brent Bowyer and Don Proctor as part of Wingham’s Willing Walkers, and Dianne Wood as part of Seaforth Community Circle.


            Reminder that the Lobb Trails are now closed to the public.

            Saturday February 10th 1p.m. Hike the Maitland Trail and Nature Conservancy trails. Meet at or near 80965 Sharpes Creek Line Hike/snowshoe on the Maitland and Nature Conservancy trails for about 1 ½ hours.

For more information and to confirm your attendance, please contact Patrick Capper at This is a Level 1, medium pace, 1 ½-2 hours.

            Monday February 19th 10 am Join the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association for a Family Day hike on the Taylor and Mavis Trails at Varna.  For more information contact Ralph Blasting at 519-525-3205 or   

            Saturday February 24th Coldest Night of the Year Walk fundraiser for the homeless. The main event starts at the Goderich Legion. Register at 4 pm start at 5 pm. Some groups set their own time and place. Details at

 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 Tuesdays to hike for about an hour. If you wish to be on this email list, send an email to

            Midweek 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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