Trail Talk 184 August 25th 2021

On Friday August 13th we hiked from Morris Tract to Benmiller.  On walking up Benmiller Line we saw a Great Blue Heron at the pond.  It did not fly off as was we crossed the bridge, which is very unusual for herons in our area. It was the first time in Huron County that I have seen a heron up close, the only other time was when I was in Florida where the herons seemed less disturbed by the presence of people. (My photo has been submitted to the Maitland Trail Bioblitz, most of my other Bioblitz photos have been of plants.)

Remains of the bridge on Hullett’s blue trail
A Ruby or Yellow Legged Maedowhawk

On Monday August 16th I hiked the Hullett Sugar Bush loop.  The bridge on the blue trail that used to have a notice that it was unsafe, had now been removed, leaving only two large hydro support beams, so the option was to walk the beams or walk in the mud, which fortunately was not too wet. I saw several green frogs at the pond on the white trail and about 10 mostly leopard frogs leaping out of the long grass of the trail in that area.  When returning on the blue trail I saw a Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly. There was a giant puffball about 8 inches diameter that was already dying and had turned brown.   The mosquitoes were quite often bothersome so I put on a mosquito net over my head. On returning to the car I realized I had lost a hearing aid, so retraced a good part of my route and this time was a Tiger Swallowtail and a red Meadowhawk dragonfly, either a Ruby or Yellow legged Meadowhawk dragonfly.  It is interesting how less than half an hour, can make a difference in what you see when hiking.

On August 17th ten Tuesday Trompers hiked at the Moreland Tract and Saratoga trails.  There is now a lovely blue blazed hiking trail in part of the tract which was especially welcome as by using it the large puddle  on the main trail on the East side was avoided.

Trompers on the New Moreland Tract blue trail

On August 19th hiking the Maitland Trail at the Auburn end I was just thinking that after nearly an hour’s hiking I had not seen a puffball when a minute later I saw a small one by the side of the trail.

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

August 23-29th G2G Trail grooming between Kissing Bridge and Blyth. Sections will be closed for the work which is expected to be finished on Aug 27th at Blyth.

Saturday September 11th 9 a.m. Hike the Maitland Trail from River Line to Cherrydale road about 16 km-,requires car pooling. Contact pcapper99@gmail.com

Sunday September 12th, 1:30 p.m. The first of four Sunday afternoon bicycle rides on all, or part of the GART. (the others are on Sept 26th , Oct 10th and 24th.)  On Sept 12th meet at the trail by River Ridge Crescent to ride 6.1 km to McGaw and return the same way. Register with Sally Brodie 226-378-1648.  Full details are in the Maitland Trail Association newsletter.

There is no Maitland El Camino event this year, but it is anticipated that there will be one in September 2022.

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.

Our Provincial Parks have free day use entry Monday through Thursday until September 2nd.

Tuesday Trompers and Uneven Hikers have restarted with up to 25 hikers.   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 Al Sanders at allan.sanders@hurontel.on.ca.  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 pcapper99@gmail.com.