Trail Maintenance Award

Today finally saw the GHTA Inc. Trail Maintenance Award go to its rightful holder for the year 2019. Barrie Club was the recipient of this prestigious award, which hasn’t been awarded in several years, for their excellent progress in moving trail off roads and into forest, as well as doing a stellar job of blazing, cleaning up etc. The picture shows club President, John Sloan, and club member Dale Hannah, accepting on behalf of the club. Well done, Barrie!

Wilderness Section Map and Route Alert

Note: this post replaces yesterday’s post (removed), correcting some misinformation. Apologies for the confusion.

Please be advised that most currently available maps for the Wilderness section of the Ganaraska Trail are at least partially out of date (including the 2013 GHTA trail map binder).

The most material change affects the western end of the Wilderness section of the Ganaraska Trail. The Wilderness Club’s trail used to end at the hamlet of Sadowa, but that changed when a landowner closed off access through his property. The Ondago app now shows the trail following the Black River Road and Chisholm Trail from Victoria Bridge to Sadowa. Please note that this road segment has not been blazed. Further, we recommend that hikers at the western end of the Wilderness section begin their hike if eastbound, or end their hike if  westbound, at Victoria Bridge rather than Sadowa. The seasonal Black River Road is rough and winding, but can be driven safely provided you take your time. Driving directions to Victoria Bridge are easily found in Google Maps.
There are two key changes at the eastern end of the Wilderness section of the Ganaraska Trail. The trailhead for the Blue trail that runs from Devil’s Lake to Sheldon Lake and Petticoat Junction has been relocated closer to Deep Bay Road on the Devil’s Lake side road. This new trailhead is well signposted and new parking space has been created for trail users. The old trailhead that was accessed from Hull Lane off Deep Bay Road has been closed. The other principal change is the creation of the new 10 km “Queen’s Corridor” trail that runs north from Moore Falls to the new trailhead at Devil’s Lake; this route option has not yet been included in most maps.
Please contact the Wilderness Club if you require additional information.
Rob Halupka – President, Wilderness Club of GHTA

Orillia Club 11th line to 10th Line Oro-Medonte reopens

In the fall of 2019, we were notified by the private landowner of property closure for foresting between Lines 11 and 10. We temporarily re-routed south on Line 11 to Old Barrie Road, and west along Old Barrie Road. We have been notified of completion of the forest maintenance work, and Bob Wilson has taken the re-route signs down and re-blazed along the trail from Line 11 to Line 10. So this part of the trail is again open. Bob has also blazed the reroute from Line 10, south to Old Barrie Road, west along Old Barrie Road, and north along Line 9, making that the official trail following the unfortunate loss of private land between Lines 10 and 9. Thanks, Bob.

Orillia Club Trail Reroute

The Orillia Club’s trail between the 11th and 9th lines of Oro-Medonte has been rerouted. There was already a reroute in place for between the 10th and 9th due to loss of access to private land, but now due to tree cutting over the next several weeks between the 11th and 10th, the trail is rerouted as follows: from where the trail exits onto the 11th line, the reroute proceeds south along Line 11 to Old Barrie Road, then west along Old Barrie Road to the 9th Line, then north along the 9th Line until it rejoins the existing trail before proceeding west. This reroute will be in place until further notice. Please do not use the blazed trail that crosses private lands between the 11th and 9th lines.


There has been a loss of permission to use a section of the Orillia Club’s trail, specifically the western half of the trail running between the 10thand 9thlines of Oro-Medonte.  We are working on a solution, but hikers are to proceed no further west along that section than the posted “No Trespassing”sign.  Likewise do not use the section from Line 9 N going east (it is also posted “No Trespassing”).   See the revised Map 18 with cross hatches on the closed section.

Hardy Toronto Hikers complete the Orillia Section End-to-end

A group of 4 hardy Toronto hikers came to Orillia on three separate dates to complete the end to end of the Orillia Section.  They braved an early winter, and even navigated the section from Hwy 169 to the 13th even though it was in its usual inundated condition!  Well done!  Here are a few of their pics.

Excited group sends report of completed Ganaraska End-to-end hike

During the past year a group of hikers completed the End-to-End of the Ganaraska trail, and they sent along a report of their journey as well as a spreadsheet showing their actual log.  This is an example of one way of presenting the log which some members may find interesting and useful.  Of note, the first page on the spreadsheet – labelled GT – is the actual GHTA log, while obviously they have used the same spreadsheet format, indeed the same spreadsheet just separate pages, to record their other journeys.  We congratulate them, and thank them for sharing their log format.

In order to view the attached files, click on them to download them to your download folder/desktop, then open the file from that.

Apply End to End Ganaraska Trail Badges Ganaraska Trail Hiking Log R (1)

GHTA Inc. 50th Anniversary Celebrations – news release

The following article appeared in shortly after the 50th Anniversary event.

“The Ganaraska Hiking Club celebrates 50 years in 2018, and the celebrations culminated in the Sept. 28-30 weekend event held in Orillia.  The Club began as the brainchild of Pat Lawson and Jack Goering, members of a nature appreciation club in the Port Hope area, in the mid-1960’s.  With help from Bruce Trail organizational veterans, Pat, Jack and many others created a partial trail in the Port Hope area, but this quickly grew to form a 500 km trail that spans Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay and the Collingwood area where it joins the Bruce Trail.  Today there are 9 member Clubs, each with their own section to steward and enjoy.  The trail proceeds across lands held by private landowners, county forests and municipalities whose generosity has allowed the formation of a continuous trail, with only a few gaps.
Orillia, sitting in the middle of the trail, was a natural choice for location of the 50th anniversary celebrations, and Lakehead University, Orillia campus, provided an ideal venue.
The event kicked off with a welcome pub night at Kelsey’s, with local and out-of-town members of the club and Hike Ontario Board members mingling and renewing old acquaintances.
Marion Brophy (past Orillia Club President), Irene Bell (Wasaga Beach President) and Fern Splichal (Board Member) enjoy a cup of cheer while greeting visitors from all over the province.
The following morning, the program got underway at Lakehead Orillia’s beautiful campus.  While Hike Ontario held their Annual General Meeting and Summit, members of the Ganaraska Club from all over Ontario registered for the day’s events.
Frieda Baldwin, the current Ganaraska President, welcomed the crowd.
Followinga presentation on the history of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail, several of the Past Presidents of the club were given a special anniversary cap and thanked for their outstanding service to the Club.  Pictured from left to right are: Paul McCreath, David Francis, Mike Pidwerbecki, and Bob Bowles.
Kevin Callan provided the keynote address – “Wilderness Surthrival” – in which he entertained the group with his description of his work leading 7 day wilderness trips for college students. 
After this, the water ceremony began.  The background for this is that during this hiking year, bottles of water from Lake Ontario and from Georgian Bay (being either end of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail) had been relayed by each of the member clubs in turn, until the waters arrived in Orillia to be delivered to the Orillia Club.
 Pictured holding the specially designed water tote bags are:  Barb Lewis, Paul McCreath, and Fern Splichal.  Joining them on the journey out of Scout Valley are Wendy Kirk, Isabelle Lloyd, Isobel Thorup, and Carol Strickland (taking the picture).
They were joined by the 80+ attendees as they proceeded up University Avenue and across Lakehead’s campus to the Indigenous Gardens.  There the waters were used in a moving traditional ceremony honouring water and asking for a blessing.
Trish Monague (Cedar Woman) leads the water ceremony in the Wiigwasitig Gitigaan (Birch Tree Garden) area at Lakehead University.
The waters were then poured out onto the gardens area.
Following this, a barbecue lunch was held in the Lakehead cafeteria, where an anniversary cake created by a Midland Club member was enjoyed by all.
The afternoon provided members with choices of workshops to attend, from “Stretching for hiking” to “Risk Management for Trail Associations, to “Fascinating Fungi”.
On Sunday, Hike Ontario offered a full day course  – Certified Hike Leader – using Lakehead’s classrooms and adjacent fields.
Everyone in attendance agreed that the weekend was much enjoyed and very worthwhile.  The Ganaraska Hiking Club and Hike Ontario were delighted to hold their event at Lakehead University, whose campus was an ideal setting for this Summit and whose philosophy of partnering with the community and fostering lifelong learning matched perfectly with the theme of the whole celebration.  Many thanks to Kristen Lampman of Lakehead’s Conference Service, and to Dr. Linda Rodenburg, Co-ordinator of Lakehead’s Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning and to Allysha Wassegijig, Lakehead’s Aboriginal Initiatives Co-ordinator for their very generous and helpful support.
The Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association strives to provide and protect a trail for public enjoyment, and to provide hiking as an activity to any who wish to do it.  Check us out at