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!

Nottawasaga Bluffs – Keyhole Side Trail Hike – 16 September – WB Club

Hike leader Dale Elley-Bristow took us down into a slot cave and out through the featured keyhole then through mature cedar, reforested pine, mature deciduous forest and an open meadow, by a wonderful rock face, a babbling brook and through a marsh and by a lake.

Barrie Trail – East Entrance into Springwater Provincial Park blocked (but passable)

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.

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be advised that most currently available maps for the Wilderness section of the Ganaraska Trail are at least partially out of date (including the 2013 GHTA trail map binder).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

Barrie Trail – New route from Springwater Provincial Park to Fort Willow

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.

Road Between Moores Falls and Devils Lake Washed Out

Very heavy rain on Monday, Aug 3 combined with an apparent beaver dam failure caused extensive damage resulting in a wash-out of a 400 metre section of Deep Bay Road (County Road 2) just south of the intersection with Devil’s Lake Road. A road closure is in effect which means that it is not possible to drive directly from Moore Falls along Deep Bay Road to get to Devil’s Lake. However, you can still access Devil’s Lake by driving to Minden on Hwy 35, then turning on to the northeast end of Deep Bay Road. Google Maps shows the road closure. Latest advice is that the road closure will remain in effect until Aug 10.

Rob Halupka <>

Ondago “as the crow flies”

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).

Mad River trail section now released on Ondago

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.

Mad River Reroute at Glen Huron – July 2020

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.