Trail Talk 199 December 15th 2021

When I was looking for something else, I found I had a 1998 Spring Edition of “Seasons”, the Ontario’s Nature and Environment Magazine published by the Federation of Ontario Naturalists.   Under “Working for Wilderness” was advertised a work party for May 26th-May 29th 1998 at the G.G. Newton Nature Reserve: Quest for Diversity. The project was to “Diversify pine plantation by creating clearings and planting indigenous species.” Another project from March 26-29 1998 was at the Pinery Provincial Park, “Wildlife Management and Deer Count.”  Determining park deer populations allows you to assess grazing impacts on sensitive habitat.

I learnt from a Science course I took in Goderich about 10 years ago that the Pinery had so much over grazing by deer that the local indigenous community had a regulated deer cull to control the population to a sustainable number.

The magazine had articles that are just as relevant today as 22 years ago, concern about loss of Ontario’s Old Growth Forests, concern about widespread clear cutting and concern about how many people can be allowed into Killarney Provincial Park.

As for the George Newton Nature Reserve, I noticed that the map in the latest Hiking Guide shows a blue side trail. It does not show the blazed addition that allows you to continue and return to the main trail, instead of just retracing the blue trail.

As I no dog to walk,  I sometimes cycle to the Front Road trail and then hike it and bicycle back, thus reducing my carbon footprint, which is something I believe we should all consider if we are going to meet the 1.5 degree climate target.

Skunk at 3 a.m. on Nov 23
Opossum at 5.30 a.m. Nov 8

Many animals that use our trails do so mostly at night which makes you less likely to see them when hiking in daylight.  I set up a “game” camera on the trail at the back of the garden and often had photos of raccoons and skunks, and I also saw an opossum, a fox, a field mouse and a white squirrel.  We had only once seen a white squirrel on the property so it was quite a surprise, but next day with a camera set up below our feeder I found that a white squirrel was there from 10.20 to 11.20 a.m. when we weren’t watching, and it returned on December 8th

I have seen deer tracks but have yet to get a photo of the deer.  There was a very busy beaver here a few years ago but no sign of one this year

On Tuesday December 7th I joined the Tuesday Trompers at the Falls Reserve when we found out that most of the trails were closed except for the Maitland Trail’s blue and white trails. As always the hill on the blue trail demanded extreme caution.

Some of the Tuesday Trompers carefully descending the Blue Trail hill in the Falls Reserve


The Falls Reserve is closed until the end of May, except for the Maitland Trail’s main trail with white blazes and the blue blazed trail.  This is due to work on installing a new septic system.

The Hullett blue trail from the parking lot at 80602 Wildlife line has the broken boards from an unsafe bridge removed, so it is advisable to avoid this trail unless you wear waterproof footwear.

The Bayfield Trail is closed until January 1st

Duck hunting season ends on Jan 8th

Please stay off the trails during windstorms due to the hazard from windfalls.

The section of the Maitland trail from 7.9 km to 10.5 km is closed until the end of the year.

Tuesday Trompers hike for about an hour, contact Al Sanders at

Uneven Hikers hike for 1 ½ to 2 hours on Wednesdays or Thursdays, contact Patrick Capper. Both groups meet at 9 a.m.

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