Between July 9th and 14th I hiked the Maitland Trail section between River Line and Londesboro Road and also part of the trail between Cherrydale Road and Sharpes Creek Line. I saw many varieties of mushroom including some Redish Brown Bitter Boletes, and Yellow Waxy caps.
On July 12th I had a very interesting hike in the Maitland Woods. I saw a White Admiral butterfly,(See featured photo) which I had not seen before. I noticed that all the spice bushes appeared to be dying which were not looking healthy last year. In contrast the spice bushes seen on July 9th between Cherrydale and the Nature Conservancy property were very healthy and full of berries. One possibility for the spice bush die off is Laurel Wilt. This is a fungus carried by Redbay ambrosia beetles that were first detected in Florida when they caused problems on Sassafras trees, and then later found further north where they also killed spice bushes.
Near #7 boardwalk there was a small tree full of green and red berries which I thought was a Serviceberry, but I was puzzled, as serviceberry all have toothed leaves, and these leaves had no teeth. There was a similar small tree near the bottom of the Cherrydale steps with berries that were green to red to black. With the help of iNaturalist I finally solved the puzzle. They are Alder buckthorns, also called Glossy False Buckthorns (Frangula alnus) – they don’t have thorns and are native to Eurasia and are invasive.
At the pond near # 8 boardwalk, there were at least eight green frogs, two of which seemed to be mating, while a third frog watched them. There were also seven small Midland painted turtles on a log at the edge of the pond. Between 17 and 18 boardwalk, a lovely bench in memory of Sean Wolfe was being installed by three Goderich Parks employees.
I always hike with my hand pruners and recently have trimmed many small branches that have been broken by hikers. These had been hanging over the trail and so needed to be cut back, however by only partially breaking them, the result was an ugly dead branches hanging down.
The km trail markers from 20 onwards have now been relocated to better reflect the latest estimates of the trail distances, for a total distance of the Maitland Trail of 51.6 km
Notes: Hikers are expected to be socially distant from others.
Bayfield River Valley Trail Association Hike: Monday August 9th at 11 a.m. on the Sawmill Trail.
Maitland Trail reroute- There is a short reroute at River Line when heading upstream towards Boundary (B. Edgar) bridge. The trail entry point is now100m further North on River line. This added just over 200m to the length of the Maitland Trail.
Our Provincial Parks have free day use entry from Monday through Thursday until September 2nd.
Tuesday Trompers and Uneven Hikers have restarted with up to 25 hikers. On July 13th 15 Trompers hiked the Lobb trail and on July 7th eight “Uneven” hikers hiked the Maitland trail at the Auburn end. New hikers are welcome, and are required to sign the Maitland trail waiver. The easiest way is to sign the online waiver at www.maitlandtrail.ca under scheduled hikes and waivers. To be added to the Trompers notices contact all sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org. To be added to the hikes on Wednesdays or Thursdays contact Patrick Capper. Both groups meet at 9 a.m., the Trompers hike for about 1 hour, the Uneven hikers hike from 1 ½ to 2 hours.
The Woodlands Nature trail is still probably closed past the bridge due to uncleared storm damage.
If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at email@example.com.