Trail Talk 202 January 5th 2022

A White Pine bough

This is the time to look back on 2021.  The main change I have noticed is the increase in maps being posted on the trails to show where you are, a very welcome aid to those who are not familiar with the trail.  There have also been at least three benches installed, two at Naftel’s Creek trails and one in the Maitland Woods.

The big project for the Maitland Trail work crew in 2021 was the relocation of the maintenance trailer from the Columbus Centre to Regent Street.  The crew were also kept busy clearing windfalls, the difference this year being that most resulted from summer windstorms rather than from winter problems. Boardwalks #17 and most of #18 in the Maitland Woods were replaced and 16A added.  The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association work crew too were kept busy clearing windfalls and replacing broken boards.

Icicles on the shore of Lake Huron

A new Huron County Hiking Guide was published ,which now includes 398 listing compared to the previous one with 29 listings.  The Maitland trail Association published a pocket edition of their Maitland Trail Guide.

Rick Poisson and Faye Ribey on an “Uneven” hike on Dec 29th on the trail near River Bend

The Tuesday Trompers  hiked each week for approximately 1 hour choosing trails throughout the county.  During 2021 due to Covid restriction in April and May there were only 37 organized hikes with attendance from 4 to 21 averaging 13 with 61 different hikers taking part.  The Uneven hikers averaged 6 hikers out in the 42 weeks they hiked with a maximum of 14 hikers out on one occasion, 34 hikers coming out at least once during the year.  The Maitland Camino event was not held in 2021 but “The Bad Thing”  run was held in October. All hikers are asked to sign the Maitland Trail Association online waiver before attending any organized hike in 2022.

I recently added two more bird species to the ones I have seen since May 18th – a Snowy Owl near Black’s Point road and a Common Goldeneye on the Maitland River near the Menesetung bridge.

I have leant to have much more respect for trees after reading three books: “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben, “Finding the Mother Tree”  by Suzanne Simard, and “The Arbornaut”  by Meg Lowman.  The first two books convinced me that trees do communicate with each other through mycorrhizal fungal networks transferring water and carbon etc. and also emit aerosols to warn of insect attacks etc. Meg Lowman pioneered the study of life in the tree canopy where there is a vast amount of life that is recently being slowly discovered.   All authors make an impassioned plea for trees, especially old growth trees  which are critical for slowing climate change.

Notes:

If you renew your MTA membership by December 31st you will be entered in a draw for the guide and a T shirt.

Remember to stay off the local trails when there are strong winds

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.

Duck hunting season ends on Jan 8th

Tuesday Trompers hike for about an hour, contact Al Sanders at allan.sanders@hurontel.on.ca.

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 pcapper99@gmail.com.