Trail Talk 206 February 2nd 2022

Where is this bench?

The photos last week were of the hollow tree, looking up inside it. The tree is on the Woodland Nature trail and this was the first time I had noticed the entrance doorway which measures about 12 x 6 inches and the hollow base is about 2 feet circumference.  The John Hindmarsh bench in last week’s photo is at the top of the hill in the Morris Tract on a short blue side trail.  The plaque on the bench states, “He Loved Nature,  John Hindmarsh   1918-1995.”

There is an excellent write up on John Hindmarsh in “The Maitland Trail Guide,” on pages 34-35.  He came to Goderich in 1942 to train as a pilot and the area lured him back after World War 11, and he spent the rest of his life here farming, and at the same time, working tirelessly towards environmental protection. On his farm he reforested marginal areas, created ponds for fish and waterfowl and implemented soil and water conservation techniques.  He was instrumental in the restoration of Naftel’s Creek and Saratoga Swamp. He believed strongly in teaching others about the importance of our natural environment.  John had a vast store of knowledge about nature and communicated it well. Friends, family, children and grandchildren enjoyed endless outings and adventures with John. They always returned with renewed enthusiasm for the outdoors.   His legacy also includes many of the area log cabins – he moved or rebuilt 13 of them, and the southern section of the Maitland Woods trail is part of the Hindmarsh environmental trust property.

Thyra Knudsen and Jan McQuarrie on the Sheppardton Track Jan 21st

On a hike with Koda, a mixed Border collie- Australian shepherd, I saw her pounce at something under the snow, very much like you see in videos of a fox catching mice or voles.  She didn’t catch whatever it was, so I went over to see if there was a mouse track, and when I scooped up the snow , along with the snow was a small vole with a short trail. It quickly scuttled out of my handful of snow.  My mammal book indicates that it was either a Pine vole or a Southern Bog lemming.

On Friday I joined a group who hiked the Sheppardton Tract. Having completed the G2G and Maitland Trail they are now aiming to complete all the other of the 38 trails mentioned in the Huron County Hiking Guide.

On Saturday January 22nd I joined eight others on a hike lead by Ralph Blasting, which was the second in the series of Saturday hikes organized by the BRVTA.  The trail was in good shape and there was no need for snow shoes, just warm clothing.

Ralph Blasting leading a group of BRVTA hikers on the Taylor trail on Jan 22nd

Many of the trails are now better with snow shoes.  If you snow shoes  it is better to try them out on a short trip to make sure the binding are adjusted to your footwear.  Then you don’t have to spend much time in the cold adjusting straps at the start of a longer trek.

There is now a hiking trail at the White Squirrel Golf club, just South of St. Joseph on Highway 21, more detail in the next Trail Talk.


Hike Saturday February 5th and 12 at 11 a.m.  Bayfield River Valley Trail Association-(BRVTA) hikes on Varna Nature Trails lead by Ralph Blasting

Hike Saturday February 19th 9 a.m. on the Hullett Sugar Bush trails. Meet at 80602 Wildlife Line for a hike or

Snow shoe depending on conditions. Expect to take between 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Leader Patrick Capper

Hike Saturday February 19th 11 a.m. tracks in the snow at Windmill Lake and Eco Park A BRVTA outing

The Hullett blue trail from the parking lot at 80602 will have some logging activity between January 11th and March 31st. If there is a red flag flying there is no access to the trails from the parking lot at 80602 Wildlife Line. As of Jan 26th logging had not commenced. For details phone 519-482-7011. On Jan 31st there was logging on the green and purple trails

The Wawanosh Nature Centre trail may be closed due to  logging which started on Jan 4th  Also there is some I logging on the Maitland Trail between 32 and 32.8 km.

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.

Tuesday Tromper’s hikes restarted on February 1st with a hike in the Maitland Woods and Feb 8th will hike on the Sifto Loop

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