One of our favourite short hikes is to park behind Simcoe County Museum and hike the Ganaraska Trail west into Springwater Provincial Park to enjoy the trails in the park. This route goes across Anne Street and some railway tracks just before entering the east side of the park. There is currently, however, a wall of railway ties that greet you when you exit forest at Anne Street (see picture below). Luckily, there is a break in the railway ties to the right of the view in the picture where you can cross the tracks and then you have to walk back down to the large poplar tree at the start of the trail into the park. At this point you will see another pile of railway ties but the trail is navigable to the left of the pile (you will easily find it). And just in case this isn’t enough, the trail from the railway tracks into Springwater Provincial Park is thick with poison ivy, so be careful.
I was recently contacted by a hiker asking about the trail heading west from Springwater Provincial Park towards Fort Willow. This trail was changed last year due to a residential development project between Snow Valley Road and Seadon Road. Now, instead of going south from Snow Valley Road to Seadon Road the trail stays on Snow Valley Road and then turns north on Vespra Valley Road (at the Snow Valley Ski Resort) to meet the Simcoe County Rail Trail and then continue west to Fort Willow. The following diagram shows the ‘before and after’. If you are using the 2013 Ganaraska Map book this change affects maps #21 and #22.
We have received numerous questions about the meaning of the notation “as the crow flies” that appears when you click on an icon, or point-of-interest, on the Ondago map display of our trail. The distance that is labelled “as the crow flies” means the distance from where you are at the moment to the location of the point-of-interest, measured in a straight line. The number will change as you move around and is calculated using your current location gps coordinates and the gps coordinates of the point-of-interest. The purpose of this information is to let you know the distance to the point-of-interest from your current location. So, Ondago not only tells you where the trail is, and where you are on the trail, but also helps you figure out if you want to head out to the point-of-interest that caught your eye (go for it).
The Mad River trail section is now available on Ondago! With the release of this section the entire Ganaraska trail system is available on Ondago. Give it a try (it is free!). Download Ondago and then find the Ganaraska trails in the Hiking section or do a search for Ganaraska. It not only let’s you know where you are on the trail but also provides lots of information about points of interest along the trail.
The Mad River trail now has a new route heading east of Concession 8 in Glen Huron. The new reroute takes the trail from the middle of the cultivated field to the edge. The provides benefits for hikers (easier to find and navigate the trail) and the landowner (less risk of damage to crops). The reroute is described in the attached picture. The new route is blazed and ready for use.
On June 11 we announced that the Oro-Medonte trail has been moved off of Line 5N in Oro-Medonte between Peter Street and Vasey Road.
As of June 18 our Ondago mobile map app has been updated to reflect the ‘new and improved’ off road trail between these two points. If you have previously downloaded the Oro-Medonte trail you will see an update notice when you next open this trail in the app – simply click on the update icon and in a few seconds you be ready to go!
2019 turned out to be a very wet spring, and caused the northern part of the Oro Medonte section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail to be closed due to flooding, and the trail was moved to roadside walking between Peter Street and Vasey Road on Line 5N. This past spring has been a lot drier and has allowed us to re-open the off-road section between Peter Street and Vasey Road, and trail maintenance has been done so that that section is now open again.
Please note that currently that our Ondago mapping app still shows the detour along Oro-Medonte Line 5, but the app is currently being updated, and should show the corrected route shortly.
All property owners for the Barrie trail running south of Baldwick Lane to County Road 90 are now saying their property is once again open for use. Enjoy! (If only we could social distance from black flies and mosquitos).
May 15, 2020
There is still a section of the trail that remains closed even with the opening of some parks in Ontario. The section of trail immediately south of Baldwick Lane is still closed. It is now possible to hike north from County Road 90 until you get through the forest to the open meadow. The situation is being closely monitored – please watch for future updates,
Announcement on May 8, 2020
The west end of the Ganarasaka Barrie Hiking Club trail, from Baldwick Lane to County Road 90, goes through property owned by Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, Nature Conservancy of Canada, and private landowners. Regardless of ownership, all of this section of the trail is in the area designated as Minesing Wetlands. These organizations have all recently designated their properties as closed to the public due the pandemic restrictions.
Until these restrictions are lifted, the Ganaraska trail between Baldwick Land and County Road 90 is to be considered ‘off limits’ to comply with the wishes of the land owners that support our trail system. Thanks for your understanding, and stay safe.
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.”
For more information, please visit www.couchichingconserv.ca.