Trail Talk 154 January 20th 2021

A snake on the Menesetung trail

On January 9th many of the local trails have become icy.  One hiker broke a leg on the Bannockburn trail causing an advisory of not going on that trail.  On Monday the Mavis trail had quite a few slippery spots so icers were  necessary in order to be safe.  The freezing drizzle on Tuesday made the trail conditions even worse.  It is so easy to slip, and fall, and if you are a senior your bones tend to be more fragile and easier to break.  I found that the Hullett Sugar Bush trails and the Maitland Trail at the Auburn end were less icy than many other trails.

A snowman on the Hullett white trail

When out on a trail you never know what you might see, from an unusual bird, animal or something dropped by a human.  On Tuesday I saw a red bellied woodpecker, which I have only previously seen in our garden. I have often heard and sometimes seen downy and hairy woodpeckers and occasionally a pileated woodpecker.  There was a wool snake on the Menesetung trail on Tuesday which I moved to the entrance.  I am surprised at some articles of clothing left on the trail, such as one sock. Does that mean the hiker took their socks off and then dropped one?  I can understand how small children’s clothing end on the trail, they are probably dropped when a parent is carrying them, but you would think an adult sweater would be missed. Two were left on the Lobb trail and remained unclaimed after a year.  There was an interesting snowman on the Hullett white trail, which on Jan 8th had a carrot nose and two apples for eyes.  I wondered how long it would take a deer to find a nice snack, so I checked on Jan 14th and found the snowman still had a carrot and one of the apples.

Hikers on the Maitland Trail near Auburn prior tot he lockdown

The Uneven hikers had a pleasant hike on January 13th, ( just prior to the lockdown) on the Maitland trail near Auburn, the small beech trees are still holding on to most of their leaves. The trail was very icy at the start on Bridge road, but after reaching the forest, the trail was much less slippery.  In the afternoon I hiked on the Woodland Nature trail up to the bridge – the rest of the trail not yet having been cleared.  There was an icy crust on top of the snow which was unpleasant for Chewy as his paws broke through the crust, so I had to stamp down a trail for him.

The Coldest night of the year walk is on Feb20th and is a fund raiser for support those who are homeless  http://cnoy.org/location/goderich s, precariously housed, etc. in Huron County.  Details will be in your local paper or go to the Website  http://cnoy.org/location/goderich . You can walk as an individual or as part of a virtual team. The idea is to walk 2km or 5 km and donate to the charity.

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

Saturdays 10 am. Hikes at Varna (Taylor and Mavis Trails) are suspended during lockdown

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 Tromper’s hikes are suspended.   Uneven day hikes are suspended.

However the trails are all open and it is always good to get out and enjoy nature.

If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at pcapper99@gmail.com.