Logging operation in Simcoe County Forest Museum Tract affects Barrie trail

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.

Tiny section closure at western end

Please be advised that the western end of the Tiny section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail is currently closed from just west of Crossland Road to Archer Road.

Archer Road is the northern most street on the Wasaga Beach section. A landowner is no longer allowing us permission to use his property, so we are currently looking (and may have found) a reroute that may open later this year.
In the mean time, going east from Archer Road on the Tiny section of the Ganaraska is impossible. So your best option is to pick up the trail again from about 1 km west of Crossland Road on the Tiny Townline. You will see that the road dead ends at a farm. A forest track continues, but that leads to the closed section. Park near the farm on the side of the road and hike east towards the Tiny Marsh along the Townline until further notice.

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 OrilliaMatters.com 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 www.ganaraska-hiking-trail.org

Wilderness Section: Devil’s Lake Side Trail now marked with blue blazes

Glynn Richardson
Wilderness Club

Wilderness Section: Devil’s Lake Side Trail now marked with blue blazes

On October 13, 2018, the Ganaraska Trail, Wilderness Club along with Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park staff changed the colour of the blazes on the Devil’s Lake Side Trail from the access point to Petticoat Junction from white to blue today. Also, the occasional blue reflective blazes were installed – great for those needing to make it out after the sun has set (head lamp or flashlight needed). Thanks to all the volunteers who gave a little back to help maintain the trail we all love.

Ganaraska 50th – President’s welcome

Today is the long-awaited 50th anniversary of the Ganaraska Trail, which was founded in 1968. I would like to welcome you all to celebrate this special day with us. I know some of you have come from far away, as far as Ottawa, Perth, London, Newcastle, Goderich and anything in between. I also welcome our Ganaraska members from our own 9 clubs: Pine Ridge, Kawartha, Wilderness, Orillia, Oro Medonte, Barrie, Mad River, Wasaga Beach, Tiny and Midland!

Our membership currently stands at 594 and our volunteers maintain close to 600 kms of trail, including through the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands (to the north east of Orillia), which is an extremely remote but very unique area, as it is entirely on the rugged Canadian shield.

To start our celebrations, I would like to acknowledge the privilege we have to be gathered here today on the traditional land of the Anishinaabeg, the Indigenous peoples of this region. We also acknowledge the history that many nations hold in this area and look forward to doing our part in forming respectful relations with First Nations, Metis, and Inuit.

In a few hours, we will conduct an indigenous Water Ceremony, with waters from Lake Ontario and from Georgian Bay, which were in the past few months carried by hikers along the entire Ganaraska Trail. These water bottles will arrive from the eastern and western parts of the Ganaraska Trail through Scout Valley and will arrive at Lakehead University later this morning. Please join us for the last part of this Water Relay hike.

This 50th anniversary celebration year has so far been a year of many achievements. The hiking season started with our own clubs having an official Season Opener on April 21. The weather, however, caught us off guard, with a serious snow dump just prior to the event, which caused our hike leaders to decide whether to snowshoe or hike. Luckily, the sun came out for the day, and blue skies made sure all had a wonderful time.

Shortly after, the water relay started. Bottles were dipped in Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay, and carried by hikers along the entire Ganaraska Trail. Since most of our clubs also have a cycling program, the water bottles were also transported by cyclists along some of the road sections. And as mentioned the water is arriving here today.

I would like to congratulate all those who in the past, and especially this year, hiked the entire trail. E2E records have been kept since 1992. Only 179 hikers have completed the GHT since then. Of interest, a few did it multiple times, such as Peter Verbeek hiked it 8 times by 2003, Rose Millett 3, Ron Wallace 2, Michelle Vibert 2, and Tom Hall 2.

Special recognition are due to hikers Margaret O’Dell, Wendy Manning and Tyler Gibson for completing the Ganaraska Trail from End to End within the 50th Anniversary year. Margaret and Wendy started their challenge on March 3 and finished on September 9, 2018 with a bottle of champagne at the Western Terminus cairn, in Glen Huron, where the Ganaraska Trail meets the Bruce Trail. Tyler started his walk on July 3rd in Port Hope, and completed the trail, as well as all side trails and loops, 56 days later on August 28, in Glen Huron. Well done everyone…

Another ex exceptional event that took place along the Ganaraska Trail this summer is the Fastest Known Time even. A Toronto relay team of 11 young women, called the Wild Bruce Chasers, picked July 1, probably the hottest day of the summer, to hike the entire Ganaraska Trail in an impressive 69 hours. What an achievement, especially since the Ganaraska Trail Standards are “minimal impact to the environment”, and as such the ladies faced brambles, poison ivy, persisted deer flies, etc., but if you can believe it, they actually enjoyed their gruelling challenge. Well done Wild Bruce Chasers!

If you wish to experience our Ganaraska Hiking Trail yourselves, I hope you will join us tomorrow in the beautiful Copeland Forest, where we have organized a number of hikes.

In closing, I would like to thank the staff of Lakehead University, for their assistance in organizing this event. They have been extremely generous and cooperative, and in particular, I wish to thank Dr. Linda Rothenburg, for her guidance throughout the entire planning process.