The section of the GHTA trail from the junction of the railway line and Brentwood Road (44.35386, -79.96300) to the junction Concession 3 and the railway tracks (44.35384, -7996378) follows an abandoned railway line. Railway ties and considerably overgrowth of shrubs tangled with vines makes numerous sections of this portion of trail very difficult to hike.
Maintenance of this section of trail is planned for the future, with the County of Simcoe considering transformation of the abandoned railway line into a multi-use trail (hopefully in the not-too distant future).
This trail section remains open for use, but the Mad River team wants hikers to be aware of the difficult hiking conditions.
Note that logging has started in the SW corner of the Brentwood Forest, through which the Ganaraska Hiking Trail runs near Glencairn. During logging, hikers are expected to comply with the No Entry signs. Thanks!
Mad River Ganaraska section mostly back into shape
Last fall, we had reports that the Mad River section of the Ganaraska Trail, between Utopia and the westerly cairn of the Ganaraska Trail in Glen Huron, was in dire need of some TLC. Since the Mad River club did not have the capacity of doing the maintenance on this 50 km section of Ganaraska Trail, adjacent clubs came to the rescue, and thanks to the excellent weather in the late fall, and with the help of many volunteers, we managed to bring the trail back into shape… for the most part.
In total, we organized 6 trail maintenance days between the end of October and mid November and reblazed 38 kms.
We had to deal with wind storm damage, a myriad of new trails in the Brentwood Forest after a controlled forest fire, new fencing at the Glencairn Conservation Area, hydro poles that had been replaced, and we cleaned up around the cairn, etc. Twenty five volunteers from the Midland, Wasaga Beach, Mad River and Barrie clubs, as well as Ganaraska President, Bob Bowles, contributed a total of 36 volunteer days to bring the trail from km 11.9 in New Lowell to the cairn in Glen Huron, where the Ganaraska meets the Bruce Trail, back into shape. Many thanks to all volunteers!
Unfortunately, we have not found a solution yet for the section from km 0 in Utopia (end of Barrie section) to New Lowell. This section currently follows the now fully abandoned and badly overgrown Barrie-Collingwood railway line. We may need to organize a re-route for this section. In the interim, this section of the Ganaraska Trail remains closed.