Trail Talk 160 March 3rd 2021

Where might you see this tree?

How well do you know the Huron County Trails? Which trail is this tree on?

The featured photo is of the Tuesday Trompers on the Sifto Loop on Feb 23rd

Last week’s photo was of a bird house (probably not used) on the Front Road trail.  It was put up about 2 years ago so, if you had not been on the trail lately, you would not have recognized it. You might however have recognized the maple tree with the interesting curve to it.  The Front Road trail is on the West side of Front road  east of Clinton  between the Bayfield River and the Railroad tracks.  It is one of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Area properties. The trail is not in the Huron County Hiking Guide. I learned about it several years ago from Roger Goddard,  who told me that Bill Wisser created the trail.  He was a long time member of the Maitland Trail who painted many of the white blazes on the Maitland trail  ( he died a few years ago). The trail at first was not very well defined and had a couple of parts that were very wet at times, so over the years I have added some boardwalks and blazes.  The trail takes 30 to 40 minutes to hike and has some pleasant views of the Bayfield river.  I have occasionally seen deer, wild turkey and rabbits and once a beaver and an owl.   In summer time there is a parking area on the East side of the road. It is open years round as no hunting is permitted.  Recently the trail is well enough packed to not require snowshoes.

I rely on the Huron County Hiking Guide publication which I obtained from the Tourist Information Office.  When I looked for the on line edition it was not as easy  to find as I thought it would be.  It is at https://www.ontarioswestcoast.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/201516-Hiking-Guide.pdf. There are a few other trails, such as some Huron County Forest trails, that are also not in this guide.

We are getting into the time of year when, with milder temperatures, sometimes you break through the top crust and leave a hole in the trail.  This is not a big problem when the hole is visible but after blowing snow  you can suddenly step in the hole un-expectantly.  I try to fill holes or stamp around them to make a larger depression that is more obvious.  If you are breaking through the crust at every step, please wear snow shoes or avoid the trail.

On Sunday Feb 21st  I found a bed bug,-  a ladybug was wandering around on my pillow. This is an European invader that tends to out compete native ones.

If you have been following the “What Trail questions” you may not have realized that they were all fairly near where I live just South of Clinton.   As I usually walk on my own with Chewy I leave a note about which trail I am on, in case I have trouble and my phone doesn’t work.  To save endless notes I created a dial with the trails I normally hike.  On this dial I include the distance to the trail head, which serves as a good reminder to me to   concentrate on the trails closer to home to reduce my carbon footprint..

BRenda Rutledge, Brenda Empey, Beth Blowes, Juanita Hamp and Shelley Worsell on their coldest night of the year walk. Shelley has been a regular Tuesday Trompers for many years

The coldest night of the year walk, when I last checked, had 227 walkers and well exceeded their financial goal. The photo is some of Team Auburn who hiked on the Wawanosh Valley Conservation Area Trail. On Canada’s weather channel the coldest night for Goderich was on Feb 14th at -24.0 0C, however from our Clinton thermometer I think our coldest night was on Feb 20th at -16 oC. (the Weather network showed -21o C at 8 a.m on Feb 21st for Clinton).

Be careful where you park. Someone parked on Cherrydale road near the Maitland trail access point. The problem was that the snow plough could not get past and so Cherrydale road was not plowed. A similar incident happened on Pinery Line. Please make sure that there is room for a snow plow to get past.

On Feb 20th the parking area for the Clinton Conservation area was plowed for the first time this winter. However the Bayfield river recently flooded the causeway area.

Parking lots that I know about that are regularly plowed include 80602 Wildlife Line, the Stanley Recreational Complex area, Exeter trail accesses, Naftel’s Creek, Falls Reserve and the Columbus Centre.  The parking area for Bannockburn on Feb 20th was in very poor condition.

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

The Tuesday Trompers and Uneven hikers are back to a normal schedule.  Please be sure to sign on the online waiver which is good for the whole year. Go the Maitland Trail website and click on Scheduled Hikes and Waivers and fill out the on line waiver form.

The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association hikes on the Taylor and Mavis trails on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m.

Sunday March7th 2 p.m. Bayfield Woodland Trail meet at the David street entrance,  led by Bayfield River Valley Trail Association for International Women’s day.