Trail Talk 129 July 29th 2020

Windfall on Front Road trail

A wind storm on Sunday July 19th resulted in quite a few trees in our area being blown down.  There was quite a blockage on the front road trail where I have now managed to clear a path. On Monday at River Line, several trees had blown down and been already cleared except for a large maple that had brought down a power line, so my walk to the trail was a bit longer than usual. Fortunately there was no windfall across the part of the trail I checked, though I had to clear quite a few small branches.  This has been the only time that I have not been able to get to the Maitland Trail head due to a windfall.  Even in August 2011, just after the  tornedo, I managed to get to the Nelson street entrance to the Millennium trail and to the Maitland Woods, albeit with a slight deviation from a direct route.

On the Tuesday tromp at the John Goldie Reserve we had to pick our way through a maple windfall which fortunately had already been cut up.  Chewy ended the hike covered in seeds, so I had to spend a lot of time when I got home, picking out the seeds.

On Thursday we had to hike around a large windfall near 25 km.

Wild Parnsip

I see that the invasive spotted knapweed is now in bloom.  I am trying very hard to minimize it in our property as, if left alone, it tends to take over from native plants.  This has me thinking about alien and invasive plants. The definition of an invasive species is “An organism that causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native… invasive species are capable of causing extinctions of native plants and animals, reducing biodiversity, competing with native organisms for limited resources, and altering habitats.”  The “Field Guide to Wild Flowers” by Peterson and McKenny covers the area between the 49th and 37th parallel and East of the 95 longitude. Of the 1300 species about 10% are alien, such as the common dandelion, a few, such as Sand Spurrey and Marsh Thistle, are “part alien”; Sand Spurrey being native to only the coastal area. It surprised me that ragweed, which is now in bloom, is not alien.  The alien invasive Wild Parsnip was seen on our walk on the Millennium trail.  Although Wild parsnip roots are edible, the sap of the plant can cause severe burns. Collecting the plant from the wild should only be done with extreme care, it produces sap containing chemicals that can cause human skin to react to sunlight, resulting in intense burns, rashes or blisters.

Spotted Knapweed


Hikers are expected to be socially distant from others.

The Maitland Trail between 9.6 and 10.2 km is expected to be closed until the end of the year

The logging at Lobbs is now not expected until after the Soy bean crop has been harvested.

The reroute round the cottage at 45.3 km has been completed and has added about an extra 2km to the Maitland Trail. Part of the reroute is now just inside Robertson Tract instead of along the Eastern edge of the field

There are no scheduled Maitland Trail Association or Bayfield River Valley Association or LIFE hikes except for the Tuesday Trompers which restarted on June 23rd, and the Eneven day hikers which restarted on July 23rd, we go out at 8:30a.m. for 1 ½ to 2 hours on Wednesday or Thursday whichever has an odd date, e.g Wed July 29th.  contact pcapper.

There will be an occasional Maitland Trail hike starting in mid August-assuming no further Covid restrictions.

The Maitland El Camino scheduled for September will be a virtual one, details later.

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