Trail Talk 96 December 11th 2019

Icicles on Bayfield river at Clinton Conservation area
Creek near River Line

Our Friday hike (Nov 29th) at Varna and Bannockburn was blessed with ice free trails. Chewy when on the bridge at Bannockburn got too close to the edge and before I could pull him back more to the centre, fell off the edge and dropped about five feet to the grass below. The photo shows the scene of his accident.

Fortunately he was not hurt and his leash did not restrict his fall. To my surprise, after clambering down and putting him back onto the bridge, he happily continued on the trail.

Even though there are no longer flowers along the trail, there are still plenty of other interesting sights, such as squirrels and chipmunks scurrying around, a few birds such as chickadees, the unusual shape of some trees, the fungi, and patterns on some tree stumps.  The waterfalls are not like Niagara Falls but even one on a small creek such as the ones along the Lobb trail can be quite interesting especially if there are icicle formations.

A waterfall at the Lobb trail

On my Monday walk in the Maitland woods I met a bird photographer who said he had only seen some chickadees, nuthatches and a red bellied woodpecker.   When I first saw a red bellied woodpecker I thought it should have been called a red headed woodpecker, but after seeing the red headed woodpecker I understood why it was not called that.

Unfortunately after all the work clearing up the windfalls another occurred again in the Hindmarsh section.

You may notice some small blue flags along the Maitland trail – these were installed to guide “The Bad Thing” runners and if you see them you can collect them and leave them by the Maitland Trailer.

The landowner just west of the Robertson Tract is building a log cabin and will be using his cottage and cabin more often so hikers must not invade his privacy.  Please use the correct route northward around the cabin.  Some people have cut across close to the cabin – this is trespassing and risks losing permission for this part of the trail.  Follow the white TRAIL signs and other markers northward around the cabin.  As construction progresses through the winter and spring, signage and markers, which are being made more distinct, will be adjusted as necessary.   When there is a family gathering there will be a reroute that is basically heading North across the gravel road at 45.9 km along the edge of the field then  turning West and finally turning South to rejoin the existing trail near the 45 km marker. Check the Maitland Trail website ( for trail condition updates.

UPCOMING HIKES etc.   Oct 1 –Dec 31 the Maitland Trail section from 9.4 to 10.5 km is closed.

Thursday December 26th  9 a.m. Boxing Day hike or snow shoe depending on conditions, on    the Lobb trail. About 1 ½ hours moderate pace. This trail is usually groomed and is fairly flat except for one big hill    Contact Patrick Capper Phone 519-606-0016

Wednesday January 1st 2 p.m. Falls Reserve.   Level 1, Medium pace, 1-1½ hours

Start off the New Year right (actively), clear your head and wear off some of the holiday’s excess munching by joining us to snowshoe/hike at the Falls Reserve Conservation Area in Benmiller. Dress in layers, according to the weather’s demands. Meet and park at the Falls Reserve Gate. (Free if you put your MTA membership card on your car’s dashboard.) Please let us know you are coming: Wendy Hoernig, 519- 525-6976

The Tuesday Trompers walk for about an hour at a moderate to slow pace starting at  9 a.m. Contact Al Sanders at

The Uneven Hikers meet on Wednesday or Thursday. Hikes start at 9 a.m. for 1 ½ to 2 hours at a moderately fast pace. We hike only on the odd dates. e.g Wednesday Dec11th and Thursday Dec19th.   Contact

The Friday L.I.F.E. hikers usually meet at 8:10 at the Betty Cardno Centre in Clinton  and hike for 1 ½ hours to 2 hours, one group at a moderate the other group at a moderately fast pace. Contact

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