This post shares an article from Orillia Matters, dated March 28, that would be of interest to many Ganaraska members.
“After much consideration we are sad to announce that The Couchiching Conservancy is temporarily closing its nature reserves to the public.
While we understand the vital importance of getting out for a walk in the woods to deal with the stress we are all facing, we also know that some of our reserves have become gathering places for significant crowds in recent days.
Nothing is more important than supporting our health care workers and front-line service providers during this emergency, and all levels of government as well as public health officials have made it clear that the best way to provide that support is to stay home.”
Ontario Parks has recently closed their parks to public access in response to guidance from public health officials to help battle the spread of COVID-19.
This affects the Ganaraska Trail as follows: – Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands in the Wilderness Club trail section. – Springwater Provincial Park in the Barrie Club section. – Wasaga Beach Provincial Park in the Wasaga Beach Club section.
The text from their website is copied here for reference.
In order to assist the province with its efforts to keep Ontarians safe during this time, all provincial parks will be closed to the public from March 19, 2020 until April 30, 2020.
day use opportunities
all public buildings
As #COVID19ON continues to quickly evolve, we want to ensure public safety and the well-being of our visitors and staff in Ontario’s provincial parks.
Please go the Ontario Parks website for the lastest information if you are considering hiking on Ontario Parks property in the foreseeable future. Enjoy the outdoors as much as you can, but let’s all also follow the rules we have been asked to comply with to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
John Sloan GHTA Director – Trails and Landowner Relations
Logging operations are active in Simcoe County Forest between Lines 5N and 6N in Oro-Medonte. The Barrie Club trail in the section is therefore closed until further notice. A temporary alternative would be to go through Sugarbush Estates (the same route as described in the 2013 Guidebook). When the logging operation is completed and the No Entry signs removed we will post an update.
In the ‘Trail Changes’ section of the website you will find details of a change in the Barrie trail at the east end (where it meets the Orillia trail). We have eliminated road walking as you head west from Line 6N in Oro-Medonte and replaced it with some very nice forest paths all the way to Line 5N. Details and maps are provided in the ‘Trail Changes’ section.
On January 15 the Barrie Club posted a caution about using our trail behind the Simcoe County Museum because of logging operations in the area. We have received notice that the logging operation is completed so the trail is open for our enjoyment once again. Please remember the trail here is now slightly different that the Guidebook map because of reforestation work. Instead of crossing Hwy #26 near the junction with Hwy #27 and going behind the museum, we now enter the museum property using their driveway before heading west towards Springwater Provincial Park. The new trail is well marked and blazed.
Logging operations in the Simcoe County Forest Museum Tract will begin mid-January 2019 with a target completion of early Spring 2019. The GHTA Barrie trail is affected between Hwy #26 and Anne Street (see GHTA Guidebook map #21) and this section should be considered temporarily closed. The attached file shows the specific areas for the logging operation outlined with blue lines.
We have just received confirmation that Simcoe County Forestry plans to conduct a controlled burn on Wednesday, September 19 behind the Simcoe County Museum. The Barrie trail is not affected but it runs right adjacent to the burn area so we should consider this to be a ‘no hiking zone’ for the next few days. There will be a second day of burning at a date to-be-determined. FINAL – Museum Controlled Burn Area Map
Ref: GHTA Guidebook Maps 21 and 22 – When exiting Springwater Provincial Park onto Wilson Road the trail now goes south on Wilson Drive to Seadon Road and then west on Seadon Road until picking the existing trail where it is already on Seadon Road.
This reroute is because of the housing and road development work going on between the end of George Parkway and Seadon Road. Almost all of the trail in this area as shown on the existing maps has disappeared.
The long term plan is to find an alternative that gets the trail off the roads as much as possible but we will likely need to wait until the development work is done before changing things again.
The Barrie Club trail from Line 5N into Copeland Forest is now open (map #19 in GHTA Guidebook). Earlier this year the trail became blocked as a result of logging operations in the area. Debris on the trail has now been removed and blazing refreshed. Thanks to all the club members that worked so hard to make this happen. This is a very enjoyable section of the Barrie trail – it is great to have it open again.
Thanks to recent hard work by a few of the Barrie Club members (Dale & Cheryl Hannah and Jeff Haglund) the trail between Old Second South and Gill Road now has refreshed blazes and some low lying muddy areas have been dealt with. With the cold weather and snow upon us this will be a great snow shoeing venue.