Trail Talk 200 December 22nd 2021

Map of the Blacker Property

On Thursday December 9th seven “uneven” hikers hiked the Lobb trail to the third cut off and then drove to the Nature Conservancy Blacker property at 35624 Huron road where we had to park at the side of the road.  (This trail is not included in the 2021 edition of the Huron County Hiking guide.) Although most of the trail was well marked with blue or white blazes, the section from the road through the young plantation was not well marked.  If attempting this trail it is much easier to find the trail when starting at the East edge of the property.  The trail which includes walking close to the Maitland river is a very pleasant 2.44 km.  Afterwards you then need to walk along the road to get back to your vehicle.

My “game camera” continues to have surprises. During the night of December 8th my feeder on a stump caught a rabbit in the feeder eating the corn. It had to hop onto an 18 inch high stump and then hop up another 26 inches to get into the feeder. I have read that some rabbits in Australia can climb trees but did not realize we had such athletic rabbits in Canada.

The rabbit in the bird feeder
The Ruffed Grouse

There was quite a wind storm on Saturday December 11th.  I hiked the Maitland trail section near Bishop’s road and by starting at 9 a.m. I was back to the car at 10.30 a.m., thus avoiding the time when the wind really picked up. Being extra cautious I finished the hike on Bishop’s Road where there was less chance of windfalls. On setting off I saw a rabbit hop away, and shortly after that, when moving some brush off the trail, saw a ruffed grouse cross the trail. I then watched it for over five minutes as it walked and pecked along about 20 feet from the trail and did not even fly up when I went within eight feet of it.

On Sunday and Monday I hiked between River Line and Sharpes Creek Line and as expected I had to stop several times to clear recent windfalls. I saw a blue jay and chickadees and heard a wood pecker. On skunk cabbage hill several skunk cabbages were poking up through the leaves, probably thinking it was already spring

The wind on Saturday afternoon and evening was a good reminder to stay off the local trails when there are strong winds.  As of the following Tuesday over 30 windfalls had been cleared and I am sure there are a lot more still to clear when the rest of the trails are checked by the hard working Maitland Trail chain saw crew.


Saturday January 15th 11 a.m. at Varna.  Join the Bayfield river Valley Trail Association on the Taylor and Mavis trail.  Those who are double vaccinated can enjoy a hot dog lunch in the pavilion.   This is also an opportunity to take or renew your membership.

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

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