Trial Talk 124 June 24th 2020

Wild Sarsaparilla

Two sights while driving to or from a trail have been a fox crossing over highway 21 and a young groundhog crossing over Pinery Line.   This is the time of year that you are most likely to see turtles crossing the road. All turtles are species of special concern or endangered, therefore please stop and help them across the road if you see any.  Be careful if it is a snapping turtle, as they can bight.  Usually if a stick is held near its head it will bight onto it and then you can safely help it across the road.

Green Dragon

A plant species of special concern is a green dragon, I have found several near the Bayfield river, but in one place where last year there was some there are none this year, possibly because someone drove an ATV over the area where they were.  There is often a possibility of destroying a rare plant or perhaps a turtles nesting spot either through ignorance or carelessness.  The work on part of the GART was stopped when the MTA was alerted to the fact that this is turtle nesting time and turtles may build a nest on or near that section.  At Clinton Conservation area, last year, the path was widened that included a place where a green dragon grew, and this year there is no longer a sign of one in that area.

On the Front road trail a Little Wood Satyr butterfly was seen, I am still waiting to see the more spectacular butterflies, which are mostly seen later in the year.   By the time you read this you should be seeing some tulip tree blossoms, there is a large tulip tree at the junction of Benmiller Line and Londesboro road.  On Wednesday June 17th hiking on the Maitland Trail downstream  from River Line we found  some plants I did not recognize.  They turned out to be wild sarsaparilla. “The root is alterative, (alters nutrition) diaphoretic,(encourages sweating) , diuretic, pectoral and stimulant. The herb encourages sweating, is stimulating and detoxifying and so is used internally in the treatment of pulmonary diseases, asthma, rheumatism, stomach aches etc.”   – I don’t think I will try it!

Little Wood Satyr

The most common flowers at this time are dame’s rocket and ox-eye daisies, other  flowers seen include roses, Canada Anemones, nine bark  blossoms, Queen Anne’s lace,  Deadly nightshade and cranesbill.  On Thursday morning there were over 50 bees in the rose bushes at Lobbs.  Less common are Michigan lilies, which grows to over 6 feet tall in the Clinton Conservation area, and showy lady’s slipper orchids which grow in part of the Hullett Wildlife area.

In the hot weather take some suitable liquid and  insect repellent.


A bear has been sighted at Point Farms and on the GART near Westmount line.

Hikers are expected to be socially distant from others.

All area trails are expected to be open, except for the Maitland Trail between 9.6 and 10.2 km.

and the G2G  may have rotating closures for maintenance.

Lobbs may be closed sometime for logging.

Check the websites to be sure that the trails are still open

The reroute round the cottage at 45.3 km has been completed and has added about an extra 2km to the Maitland Trail.

There are no scheduled Maitland Trail Association or Bayfield River Valley Association or LIFE hikes.

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