Trail Talk 106 February 19th 2020

One of the fish lanterns

On our Friday hike on Feb 7th at Exeter we were rewarded by having a fairly close view of a pair of bald eagles, one flying and one perched on a nearby tree until it flew off along with a great blue heron that was at the edge of the river, no white squirrels were spotted.

The candlelit walk that evening went well with 400 people attended the 26th annual event on a perfect night to kickoff to Winterfest weekend. A gentle snowfall backlit by the near full moon, set off the 180 lanterns on display that night. We are indebted to the 50 volunteers who made the walk possible and the many additional community members who fabricated, decorated and displayed their unique and beautiful art lanterns. 100% of proceeds of the event are being dedicated to ongoing repairs and maintenance to the trail system in the Maitland Woods, a natural environment and a source water zone of the Town. The hot chocolate in the Columbus Centre afterwards was served in compostable cardboard cups to help protect the environment from more plastic.

On Wednesday morning I hiked the Bayfield woodland trail which was fine but when I went to David Street I found

The Lighthouse lantern

the parking area and trail entrance was blocked by multiple truckloads of snow so if driving there it is better to park at Clan Gregor square.  In the evening I hiked the Clinton Conservation area trail, the river being low enough to cross over the river.  I spotted a beaver just after 6 p.m. which had not yet plugged the culverts enough to make the water overflow the causeway.

Our weekend hiking schedule is a little thin for several reasons, lack of willing hike leaders, and often a low turnout such as on February 22nd.       However for those able to come out in mid-week there are consistently good turnouts on Tuesdays and Fridays.  When I started hiking in the region in 2006 the Friday hikers could easily fit into two cars, while the Tuesday Trompers were often in the 10-20 range.  Now there are more hikers coming out on Friday than on Tuesday – perhaps many are enticed by the get together after the hike with snacks – often at the Betty Cardno Centre in Clinton


Note. The Bayfield Woodland trail parking area at David Street has been blocked with truckloads of snow so entry should be made from Sarnia Street and parking at Clan Gregor Square.

Saturday February 22nd  5 p.m. at Goderich Legion. United Way coldest night of the year 2,5, 10 km walks  to support the hungry and homeless in Goderich  See cnoy20 to register.

Saturday March 14th 9 a.m.  About 1 ½ hours Snowshoe or hike at Hullett Sugar Bush. Moderate pace. Meet at 80602 Wildlife Line . Leader Patrick Capper  or 519-606-0016

Sunday March 22nd 1:30 p.m. Point Farms hike

Mid Week Hikes
The Tuesday Trompers walk for about an hour at a moderate to slow pace starting at  9 a.m. Contact Al Sanders at

The Uneven Hikers meet on Wednesday or Thursday. Hikes start at 9 a.m. for 1 ½ to 2 hours at a moderately fast pace. We hike only on the odd dates. e.g Wednesday Feb 5th and Thursday Feb 13th .   Contact

The Friday L.I.F.E. hikers usually meet at 8:10 at the Betty Cardno Centre in Clinton  and hike for 1 ½ 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