Trail Talk 207 February 9th 2022

The Bench in last week’s Trail Talk was obviously the one on the Lobb Trail next to the sign that points to “ Boredom 9985 km, Stress 8750 km, Worry 9850 km, Work 8850km”. It is a pity this is not quite accurate but many studies have confirmed that walking in nature does result in reduced stress.

George Cantin and Tim Allen admiring the view from the bench . But on what Trail?

The Lobb trail is one of the trails where it is usually hikeable without having snow shoes . This is due to the great work of grooming of the trail by Murray Lobb and Boris Decker.  However, in the spring it often has icy patches making icers advisable.   In some springs the Maitland river is high enough to flood part of the lower trail between and first and second cut-off.  It is a favourite trail for many people, especially dog walkers.

White Squirrel Trail Sign

Con Melady sent me information on the fairly new hiking trail at the White Squirrel  Golf Club.  This is located South of St Joseph on the East side of Highway 21. There is a large sign indicating that the Walking Trails are open. Peter and Joan Karstens  guided Con and Cindy Fisher on an one hour hike of the North Woods Trails. The trail passed the Turf Maintenance building down a fairway to enter an adolescent maple bush. Peter showed them the new drainage and tread work that has been done this year.  They walked the perimeter in an anticlockwise fashion, finding the natural drainage channel strangely enough running East and North, and later West as expected. New benches offered rest for the weary or contemplative. Red, yellow, orange and green trails presented themselves as they followed to the perimeter. Later a rundown bunkie reminded them of the pleasure a former owner enjoyed by the creek. Con stated that it is great to see a trail so well advertised.  I think it will be well worth a visit in spring when the restaurant is reopened, but suggest that a cold windy day is not the best time to investigate these trails.

On Sunday Jan 29th I snowshoed at Bannockburn Tract.  I was surprised to see that a group had made a small ice hockey rink on the pond there.  Rinks are quite common on ponds near Sault Ste Marie where the winter temperatures are much colder, but this is the first I have seen in this area. The “Winter Wise” booklet we recently received recommends ice at least 15cm thick for skaters and 20 cm thick for skating parties. I do not have an ice auger, but using a drill I found that the ice was over 15 cm thick –15 cm being the limit of my drill bit.

Ice Hockey rink at Bannockburn Tract

After the rain on Tuesday night some of the trails will have become icy in which case icers are recommended. There are now many good varieties available.

Notes:

Hike Saturday February  12th  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. On Feb 6th there has been a lot of logging on the purple trail. For details phone 519-482-7011

The Wawanosh Nature Centre trail may be closed due to  logging which started on Jan 4th  Also there is some 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  have restarted. The Feb 8th hike is on the Sifto Loop and the Feb 15th hike is in the Maitland Woods.

Uneven Hikers hike for 1 ½ to 2 hours on Wednesdays or Thursdays, contact Patrick Capper. Both groups meet at 9 a.m.  and are open to non-members provided they sign the MTA on-line waiver.

If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at pcapper99@gmail.com.