Trail Talk 145 November 18th 2020

Common cinquefoil

I was happy to be able to get back on the Maitland Trail on Monday Nov 9th after the closure for hunting.  I hiked the part at the Auburn end and was glad to find only one small windfall.  On that afternoon and on Saturday I hiked part of the G2G East to Walton.   I was looking to see how many wild flowers were in blossom in the unusually warm early November .   On Saturday these were dandelions, mustard, asters, cinquefoil, spotted knapweed, wild carrot (Queen Anne’s lace), heal- all, and sow thistle.

Spotted knapweed

On Monday as well as many asters there was one small tall golden rod, white sweet clover,  red clover, a common mullein with a few blossoms and an unidentified yellow flower. There was a lot of golden rod in seed so it was a surprise to see one in blossom.  There was some milkweed in seed and one yellow sulphur butterfly.   I even saw two violets in bloom. One hiker earlier was lucky enough to see an owl – probably a barred owl while hiking the G2G.

I saw a question from a hiker about fording the Maitland river. A few summers ago I checked crossing the Maitland, Grand and Conestoga rivers near the G2G. The Grand and Conestoga river were quite fordable, but getting to the river from the trail was a major challenge.  I tried crossing the Maitland river right at the old bridge abutments and was soon out of my depth, further away from the bridge I could get across with water well past my knees, then I found a place about 100m downstream where it was obvious some ATVs had crossed and the water was not up to my knees.  The depth of water needless to say depends a lot of how much rain  there has been, sometimes you would have to swim across the Maitland wherever you tried to cross.  A group of hikers a few years ago hiked the Maitland in June without problem, but by the following weekend, after very heavy rain there were many flooded sections, so that even the lower Lobb trail was flooded.  When hiking the Bannockburn trail this summer it is hard to imagine one spring when the river overflowed the bridge.

You may notice a few small blue flags at the side of the Maitland Trail.  They were installed to help the “Bad Thing” runners.  Afterwards they were removed, but usually a few of them are missed.  They are a big help to runners who look at where to put their feet on the trail and can miss the white blazes.  I noticed that with all the leaves down obscuring the trail, that there are some places where it is very easy to go off the trail when you don’t look for the blazes.

Notes:  Hikers are expected to be socially distant from others.

The Maitland Trail will be closed from Monday November 30th  to Sunday December 6th due to deer gun hunting season.

The Woodlands Nature trail is still probably closed past the bridge due to uncleared storm damage.

The Lobb trail may be closed for logging, timing uncertain.

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

Uneven day hikes postponed

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