Trail Talk 138 September 30th 2020

European Barberry

The first photo is of a Fisherman at the Falls Reserve on September 20th, not the very low water level

Bear’s Head Tooth

On the September 19th and 20th I hiked the whole Maitland Trail. Conditions were excellent with cool, dry and sunny weather. The trail was in excellent shape, and parts that are often wet, were dry.  There was very little garbage along the trail except for parts that were on the roads. Despite the great weather I only met two hikers and two dog walkers on the whole trail, until the last 3 km on the GART where over 30 people were using the trail.  I hiked the old River Bend loop, as well as the new reroute round the 9.2-10.6 portion, a total distance of 52.3 km, taking a total of 12 hours and 10minutes.   Some of the interesting sights along the way were one European barberry, (an alien invasive), a Bear’s head tooth fungus, rose bushes covered with red rosehips and native barberries covered in red berries.  There were great views of the Maitland River which currently has very low water levels.  One surprising sight was while I walked at the side of Saltford road and was overtaken by a convoy of about 20 Porsches, their outing was at a little bit faster pace than mine. They were on a 300 km tour of Huron County with a lunch stop at the Cowbell in Blyth.  I saw very little wildlife apart from some birds (but no eagles), several black squirrels, one chipmunk and four frogs.

Rose Hips

I had not previously hiked for longer than two hours, so was fortunate not get any blisters and, by stretching after the hikes, I avoided getting cramps. After effects of the long hikes were some uncomfortable muscles and one ankle now prefers me wearing hiking shoes rather than hiking boot. I did not take Chewy with me, but I was still able to take him out for a 2 km walk after supper as I had only given him a very short walk before hiking on the Maitland Trail.

Congratulations to all the other hikers who completed the Maitland Trail, including the two I met who completed it in one day and Doug and Susan Ethelston who completed it in stages.  Our wishes for a speedy recovery for Janet Stryker who slipped and badly hurt her wrist on a hike on Tuesday while hiking with friends.

On Wednesday Sept 23rd the morning fog had coated many spiders webs , which made a beautiful sight at the start of our hike as the sun shone on them.

Ontario Parks are asking users not to paint rocks, as they are mainly worried about the toxicity of the paints being used.

The new outdoor gathering limits are now at 25, so with 16 hikers out at Naftel’s on Tuesday we were well below the limit. Only occasionally in the past have we had 25 or more hikers out, the last time was in August 2018 with 28 Trompers out on the Lobb trails.

Notes  Hikers are expected to be socially distant from others

The Woodland Arboretum Nature trail is closed across the bridge at the pond for an unknown time.

There is now a reroute on Maitland Trail between 9.6 and 10.2 km. This directs hikers from 12.6 km  onto the Black Hole road until rejoining the old trail at 8.8 km

Turkey Hunting season is Oct 1-31st  for bow hunting, Oct 13-25th for gun hunting, when the Bayfield Woodland trail will be closed.

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

Saturday October 18th at 9 a.m. Hike the Hullett Sugar Bush trails.  Meet at 80602 Wildlife Line for a hike of about 1 ½.  Bring your own pen to sign the waiver sheet.  Leader Patrick Capper.

Saturday  Oct 25th at 2 p.m.  Join the Bayfield Trail Association for a hike at Naftel’s

Tuesday Trompers meet at 9 a.m. every week at different trails for a one hour hike.

Uneven day hikers meet at 8:30a.m. for 1 ½ to 2 hour hike on Wednesday or Thursday whichever has an odd date, e.g Thursday October 1st.  Contact pcapper.

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