Awards Night!

At the Annual General Meeting on May 9, the Volunteer and Trail Maintenance Awards were announced for 2023.

Volunteer of the Year – IRENE BELL

This year we recognize Irene Bell for her contributions to the Ganaraska Hiking Trail
Association Inc.

Back in 2014, she and Shirl McArthur formed a 2 women’s team to take over the Club Presidency
of the Wasaga Beach Ganaraska Hiking Trail club, but in the last few years, Irene continued on
her own until 2022.

She not only made sure the Wasaga Beach section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail was in good
shape, but with her volunteers they created a new route along the Collingwood to Barrie
rail trail. She made sure there was a hiking schedule for members and organized many local
social activities for club members.

As the president of the local Wasaga Beach club, she attended the board meetings of the GHTA
Inc. for the last 9 years and contributed valued input to our discussions. She also acted as the
GHTA rep to Ontario Nature, and as such was GHTA’s sounding board on all things nature

Well done Irene! We herewith would like to show our appreciation by presenting you with the
Volunteer of the Year Award for 2023. Thank you for your past contributions. Irene, we all enjoyed working with you, you are an excellent ambassador for hiking, and we wish
you all the best for the future.

Trail Maintenance Club Award – PINE RIDGE

Following a Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc board decision in the fall of 2022
that the building of bridges is now allowed, the Pine Ridge Club of the Ganaraska Hiking
Trail Association Inc is among the first to implement the new policy and is therefore
being nominated for building new bridges over tributaries of the Ganaraska River:

On December 2, 2022, 5 Pine Ridge Hiking Club members (Jimmy Edwards, Stan
Muldoon, Jay Sherwin, John Ambler and bridge designer Ted Van Netten) installed a
new 20′ bridge between 4th and 5th lines of Hope Township, at km 12, on the property
of Gord and Judy Austin.

A further 2 bridges are currently being built at km 8. This project is being spearheaded
by property owners Bill and Penny Harris with several PRHC members contributing
numerous hours of volunteer labour. We are also appreciative of a $1730 donation from
an anonymous donor to fund the bridge.

Great work, Pine Ridge!

2023.04.28 – Notice of Non-Maintained Section on GHTA Mad River Trail

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.

Fallen Trees in Ganaraska Forest

In the Pine Ridge section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail, between km 31 and km 39 in the Ganaraska Forest, there still are a number of fallen trees due to storm damage. Ganaraska Regional Forest staff will be clearing this area in the near future. Until that happens, Ganaraska Hiking Trail volunteers are not allowed to do regular trail maintenance and refresh the blazes, which may cause some confusion with navigating the Ganaraska Hiking Trail in that part of the Ganaraska Forest.

2023.04.21 – Logging has resumed in Simcoe County Forest Strachan Tract.

Logging operations have started up once again in Simcoe County Forest Strachan Tract, completing work that could not be done during the winter. The notice from the county forestry organization states “We have a contractor starting up in the Strachan Tract (Oro-Medonte) today. This is a continuation of a cut to complete areas that were inaccessible in the winter. Following this, they will be crossing over Bass Lake Sideroad into the North section of Strachan to complete that cut”. Until further notice please avoid the area and obey all posted signage.

2023.03.31 – Simcoe County Forest Logging Operations Update (received today).

Ganaraska related:
·        21-09-024 – Rathburn Tract – Logging operations have been completed, wood is still on site.
·        21-11-028 – Strachan Tract – Logging operations have been completed, wood is still on site and there is a small portion of wood left needing to be cut once the snow has melted.
·        22-07-018 – Orrock Creek S – Logging operations have been completed.
·        21-07-013 – Train & Stephens Tracts – Logging operations have been completed, trucking of wood is ongoing.  
·        21-11-027 – Pilkie Tract – Logging operations have been completed. This was a very quick operation as majority of the cut was completed in the summer. 
·        22-03-003 – Hendrie Tract – Logging operations have been completed.
·        22-07-017 – Hendrie Tract – Logging operations have begun this week in the Southwest section of the Hendrie Tract. 
·        22-07-020 – Wright Tract – Logging operations have been completed. Another quick cut to complete an operation that started in the summer. 
·        22-11-030 – Orr Lake Tract – Logging operations have been completed, there is still wood in the parking lot that will be removed shortly.

Ganaraska Forest (Central)

The section of the GHTA trail from km 31.1 to 39.7 will not be open to hikers until April 1st. Until then hikers must use the bypass trail west along the 10th line of Hope Township from km 31.1 to the Cold Springs Camp Road and then north on the Cold Springs Camp Road to the point where it joins the GHTA trial at km 39.7.  The bypass is marked with blue blazes.  Only hikers on a GHTA club-sanctioned hike or GF members are permitted to use the GF trails without paying a day-use fee.  The only place to purchase a day pass is at the GF Centre.  It is planned to have day-use permits available online by April 1st.  

2023.03.15 – Logging Operation Affects Orillia Trail

Logging has started in the Simcoe County Forest Rathburn tract east of Orillia. As a result, a small section of the Orillia trail is temporarily unavailable for use. It is very important to obey, at all times, the county signs indicating areas that are off limits for hiking. The attached map shows the affected location. An update notice will be posted when we receive notification that logging has been completed and the signs removed.