Trail Talk 153 January 13th 2021

Bannockburn trail on Jan 3rd

What a difference a day or a few hours can make.  On Saturday January 2nd on my morning walk on the Hullett Sugar Bush trail the trees were bedecked with snow and the scene was enchanting, but by 2 o’clock the snow had fallen from the trees.   On Sunday Bannockburn trail was also very scenic, but the trail unlike the Sugar Bush trail the previous day was much safer when hiked with icers fastened to one’s boots.

Hiking the Bannockburn trail brought back memories of getting my car stuck in the parking lot, and finally getting out with the help of passing snowmobilers.  I now always carry a shovel and some gravel in the car to reduce the chance of getting stuck.  On one occasion at Bannockburn Chewy fell off the bridge, fortunately onto the ground and not the river, so I had to climb down and lift him up the six feet back onto the bridge. I am always surprised at how he manages to fall down and, so far, has not had any obvious aftereffects.  Perhaps he has some cat genes!  I now keep him on a short leash and watch him very closely to avoid a repetition.

I heard that the New Year’s Day hike in the Falls Reserve went well with 13 hikers out so it was split up into two groups.

Barberries on the Hullett sugar Bush trail

On Wednesday January 6th I hiked the Lobb trail which was not as icy as I had expected, though the main hill was tricky if you did not have icers.  It was very nice to see the sun out after having had many cloudy days.

Clockwise vortexes at the Bayfield river at the Clinton Conservation area

I noticed when crossing over the Bayfield river culverts that the water had a clockwise vortex at all the culverts, which reminded me that generally speaking water going down a drain has a clockwise vortex in the northern hemisphere and anticlockwise in the southern hemisphere.  The explanation is best summed up as follow;  “The Coriolis force accounts for why cyclones are counterclockwise-rotating storms in the Northern Hemisphere, but rotate clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. The circulation directions result from interactions between moving masses of air and air masses moving with the rotating earth. The effects of the rotation of the earth are, of course, much more pronounced when the circulation covers a larger area than would occur inside your bathtub.”  You can find a lot of debate about this pointing out that bath and basin designs may counteract this effect. However in the case of the Bayfield river water the vortexes were all consistently clockwise.

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


There is a new form that is sufficient for all Maitland trail outings for the whole year.  Go the Maitland Trail web page and click on Scheduled Hikes & Waivers tab. You can then Complete the “Sign our online waiver for 2021 events”, or “Download and bring the annual waiver…”

The first option is recommended and is preferable as all hike leaders will be able to see that you have signed the waiver, and therefore you will then not need to bring a copy to every event that has a different hike leader.

As of Jan 14th all scheduled are postponed ( i.e. Saturday hikes at Varna, Tuesday Trompers and Uneven hikes)

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.

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