Ganaraska 50th Anniversary details


The GHTA 50th anniversary year winds up with a weekend of hikes, workshops, courses, and celebrations in September. These events are being held in conjunction with the Hike Ontario Summit, an annual gathering of representatives from Hiking Clubs around the province. The planning committee is excited to offer this opportunity for GHTA Members to meet other hikers, learn some new skills and celebrate our 50th anniversary together.

An outline of the program is provided below. Pre-registration will help us with the planning. (See bottom for registration links) Come for all or part of the weekend. For more information, contact your Club President or any of the GHTA Executive or Board Members.

Friday Night Pub Night – September 28, 2018
Location: Sam Browne room at Kelsey’s, 405 Memorial Avenue, Orillia. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Order from the a la carte menu; everyone responsible for their own food and drinks.

Saturday: September 29 – Hike Ontario Summit & AGM / Ganaraska Anniversary Celebration

LOCATION: Lakehead University – Orillia Campus
500 University Avenue, Orillia, ON L3V 0B9
The price of admission is $25 and includes access to the Hike Ontario AGM, Summit and GHTA Celebrations, Workshops & Presentations, morning and afternoon refreshments and a catered lunch.


8:00 – 8:30: Registration
8:30 – 9:30: Hike Ontario AGM
9:30 – 10:00: Welcome
10:00 – 10:30: Early History of the GHTA
10:30 – 11:30: Keynote Address – Wilderness Survival by Kevin Callan
11:30 – 12:30: Ceremonial Water Relay Hike
12:30 – 1:00: Recognition of Indigenous Lands and Water Ceremony
1:00 – 2:00: Lunch

Workshop Session
(2:15 – 3:00 pm)
Choose one of:
1) Trail Association Strengths and Challenges
An opportunity for Trail Associations to share their strengths, successes, challenges and questions. A bring and take away session for board members and trail activists. Moderated by Bill Mungall.
2) Risk Management Controls for Hike Leaders
Methods to proactively manage risks for Hike Leaders through training, backpack preparation, hike route selection, advertising the hike, vetting the hikers, choosing routes, etc. Moderated by Tom Friesen.
3) Lyme Disease
Latest research on Lyme Disease, causes and prevention, detection and treatment.

Workshop Session
(3:15 – 4:00 pm)
Choose one of:
4) “Fascinating Fungi: The Fundamentals”
Presented by local naturalist David Hawke, this indoor session will explore the roles that mushrooms, toadstools, slime moulds and other icky things perform within our ecosystem. Please note that this is not a “Can I eat it?” presentation (although poisonous mushrooms will be mentioned).

5) Stretching in Bed for Health and Wellness
This active workshop highlights a series of easy stretches that hikers and others can use to ease muscle soreness and restore flexibility. And, the best news is, they can be done in the comfort of your own bed. Bring along a mat and pillow if possible. Presenter: Stan Muldoon

6) Introduction to the use of a Map, Compass and GPS
A brief summary of map reading, compass and GPS use for Hike Leaders. Note: this session will go until 4:15 pm.

6:00: Dinner at a pre-arranged location. (Participants order a la carte and pay for their own dinner). (See registration form for Summit)

Sunday September 30, 2018
Various hikes at the Copeland Forest, hosted by the Barrie and Oro Medonte Hiking Clubs.


For GHTA Members only, choice of

• Safe Hiker Course

• Certified Hike Leader Course

Comfort Inn (Orillia) offers nightly room for $145, including a hot buffet breakfast. The Comfort Inn is within easy walking distance of the Sam Browne room and, on the corner of Hwy. 12, easy access to Lakehead University, Orillia.
Comfort Inn
75 Progress Drive, Orillia ON L3V 6H1
There are also several provincial parks nearby (Mara, McRae, Bass Lake), as well as B&B’s, AirBnB, and other hotels and campgrounds

To register for the Summit, or either of the 2 Sunday courses, paste the links below into your browser:


Note: For Ganaraska members, the courses are subsidized. Members pay $25 in the end – but pay $60 up front at the time of registration. They will receive a partial refund cheque in the amount of $35 on the day of the course. For the Certified Hike Leader course, qualifying participants will also be re-imbursed the $25 upon leading 3 hikes for a Ganarska club.

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.


Ganaraska Trail maintenance

At this time of the year, weeds may grow tall on the Ganaraska Hiking Trail. It is difficult to keep up with the maintenance, but today, we gave it our best, and cut weeds on a section of the Midland Ganaraska Hiking Trail. We attacked the weeds with whipper snippers, but really love working with scythes. This old-fashioned “jack the ripper” tool is light, and ergonomically designed. As such, volunteers can work with it for hours, without tiring. We also trimmed branches that were obscuring the blazes.

Trail users should be reminded that the maintenance standards of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail are considered “minimal impact” to the environment, which means that we just clear enough to make the path and the blazes visible. And that is even a daunting task, but here are some pics of today’s effort, that show one of the teams at work and at rest.

Attacking a jungle of tall weedsA
Taking a short break for a snack
A whipper snipper does a great job How much further? Team at rest

50th Anniversary Water relay well on its way

A few days ago, members of the Midland Hiking Club of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail carried the ceremonial water bottle, with water from Georgian Bay, over part of the Tiny section of the Ganaraska Trail. They rode their bike along the Tiny Trail, and through the Tiny Marsh. Other than a flat tire… it was a great ride.  On August 2, 5 and 11,  the water relay continues along the Midland section of the Ganaraska Trail, before it is handed over to the Oro-Medonte club. The water bottle, as well as one coming from Port Hope, with water from Lake Ontario, is expected to arrive in Orillia, at the Lakehead University Campus for the Ganaraska’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations. Adi the water carrier Jaz the water carrier (and flat tire repairer) Water carrier Linda (who also helped source the sashes for the water bottles) Water carriers from the Midland Hiking Club Association president Frieda, also a water carrier.

Midland Ganaraska Members join in Canada Day Parade

July 1, 2018 was so far probably the hottest day of 2018. Regardless, 20 dedicated hikers from the Midland Club of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail took part in the Canada Parade in Midland, Ontario. What a bright and colourful group! Thanks to all the hikers who came out to promote the hiking club.

Meanwhile, the Ganaraska Hiking Trail display was set up at Little Lake in Midland to try and attract new members.

(Canada Day Parade in Midland)

Frieda Baldwin

Ganaraska 50th Anniversary Water Relay – Tiny section

The Ganaraska 50th Anniversary Water Relay is well underway, with 21 bike riders carrying the water from Georgian Bay along part of the Tiny Section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail. The water has already traveled along the Wasaga Beach and part of the Barrie section on its way to Orillia, where it is due to arrive by September 29, 2018, and will be ceremoniously joined with water from Lake Ontario that has been carried along the Pine Ridge, Kawartha, Wilderness and Orillia Sections. Starting August 1, the Georgian Bay water will continue on its way to Orillia via the Midland, Oro Medonte and Orillia sections of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail.

Photo: Trip leader Gord Carson with GHTA president Frieda Baldwin.