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Trail Talk 304 - March 20, 2024

On March 7th the Midweek Hikers hiked in the Morris Tract and River Bend area of the Maitland Trail.

Fortunately, the beavers had not been active, so the trails were not flooded, but we had to climb over a few windfalls, which have now been cleared by the volunteer Maitland Trail Association maintenance crew. We stopped at the large flat rock, which I think would make a great place for a square dance; it’s the right size for one square set.  I understand it was the place where logs were gathered ready to float down the Maitland River when the water was high enough in the spring.


The past week has seen everything from a heat wave to snow and blowing snow.   On Monday March 11th, I hiked at Bannockburn Conservation Area and found some interesting patterns in the snow and could see some deer and canine tracks.  On Tuesday, I joined a small group of hikers along Butterball Pond in the Hullett Provincial Wildlife Area. A Bald eagle was surveying the life on the pond which included over 600 Tundra swans. The large flock included many juveniles which are quite grey compared to the white adults.  Two bald eagles can usually be seen just West of Forster’s Bridge; one usually sitting on its nest.


In the Maitland Woods, the skunk cabbage was starting to flower (the purple part) and the Daphne flowers were in bud. On March 13th, I saw the first daffodils in bloom in our neighbour’s garden. Many birds have now migrated back to our area, including red wing blackbirds, robins, grackles and killdeers.



            Saturday March 23rd 1pm World Water Day Guided Hike hosted by BRVTA. 1-3 pm. Their special guest presenter is Jennifer Pate, co-founder of ‘Love Your Greats’.  Meet at Deer Park Lodge Cottages 76803 Bluewater highway (just north of Bayfield).

            Saturday April 13th 10 am  Join Tanya MacIntyre for a hike on the Millennium trail. This is a meditative hike for approximately 1.5 hours – meet at the church on Mill Road in Goderich and carpool to Nelson Road. For more information and to confirm your attendance, please contact Tanya MacIntyre at redroofrecovery@gmail. com. This is a Level 2, leisurely pace walk.

            Saturday April 20th 9 am  Join Anne Melady for a hike on private property at 7277 Highway 8 just East of St Columban.  Walk through this delightful property of farm fields, across the railway tracks and back to the bush and a cabin. The walk takes you along the Bayfield River and up through the bush of old growth and recently planted bush. There will be a trip to the Dublin Restaurant after the hike. For more information and to confirm your attendance, please contact Anne Melady at This is a Level 1, leisure pace, 1.5 - 2 hours.

            Saturday April 20th 1 pm  Join the BRVTA hike on their Bayfield Woodland Trail

            Saturday April 20th  For those in top shape, join the World Wildlife Fund for a fundraiser climb of the 1776 steps up the CN Tower!

 All participants taking part in the Maitland Trail Association 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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