Besides being an extremely useful tool in case of emergency, in the Midland Ganaraska Hiking Club, we also use the What 3 Words app to give hikers directions to a trailhead. What 3 Words is linked to Google/Apple Maps to get specific driving instructions. It really works well and our hikers love it. Example: If you want to come and hike at the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre in Midland, type compressed.lantern.rotate in the What 3 words app and click on Navigate. Super easy.
The app is also very useful to report trail maintenance issues, such as fallen trees, bridge out, etc.
The Ganaraska Forest Centre has announced that hiking will not be allowed on their cross country ski trails between January 1 and March 31. This announcement affects the Pine Ridge Club trail through the forest. The attached diagram shows an alternative road walking route to avoid the ski trails. The affected area can be found on the Ondaga app for the Pine Ridge Club between the 31.1 KM marker and 39.7 KM markers on the map. We ask that all users of the Ganaraska hiking trail watch for, and comply with, trail usage instructions as posted by the Ganaraska Forest organization.
In keeping with today’s provincial announcement, hike attendance will be limited to 10 persons including the hike leader, starting Jan. 5, 2022. We expect this restriction to last at least for 3 weeks, but an updated protocol will be issued as the situation changes. At this time, we should not carpool other than with members of our own household. Otherwise, all the other public health measures remain in place – observing social distance, wearing masks where distance cannot be maintained, and staying home if feeling ill.
The Midland Ganaraska Hiking Club reports that unfortunately the western blue-blazed side trail loop of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail is currently under water. There is no access to the lookout tower or the boardwalk until the water recedes. As an alternate trail, go east of the Visitor Centre, and complete the 6 km loop along the Carolina and Trotter Dykes, and enjoy the beautiful view along the way.
The Executive of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. is pleased to announce that they have awarded a special award to David Francis, in recognition and appreciation of his past contributions to the GHTA, at the club level, the association level, as well as at provincial and national levels. His leadership, commitment and overall enthusiasm for hiking has been recognized, as over the years, he contributed his time and skills as:
– founding member of the Alliston-Angus GHTA club, later more appropriately renamed Mad River club (he actually suggested the name!)
– first Mad River club president- dedicated and wonderful hike leader, especially as it relates to hiking with children and young adults
– GHTA Wilderness club president
– GHTA association president
– Hike Ontario president
– Director with Hike Canada
We also appreciate and currently hugely benefit from David’s past involvement and management of the Hike Ontario Certified Hike Leader program.
As the Executive realized that David is not a lifetime member, we agreed to offer him a lifetime membership. It seems that the recognition was well received by David, who wrote us back as follows:
Frieda, It was with great surprise that I received your letter on behalf of the GHTA Executive Committee bestowing on me a lifetime membership of the association. My relationship and service to the hiking community have brought me great joy and satisfaction as well as a great sense of achievement. It has been my privilege of meeting many wonderful and remarkable people who have worked together to build and maintain a remarkable network of trails. These have been put in place by some visionary founders. They have brought immense pleasure to millions of people over the years and it is with great delight when I use these trails to see how many other people are also using them. When I see a white blaze, I think of the many hundreds of volunteers who have painted these iconic trail markers, enabling many to hike from end to end, or just a short casual stroll in nature. It is heartening to see that so many new younger people are taking over and carrying on the noble tradition of trail management. Long live the Ganaraska Hiking Trail and our many other trail systems. David
We have just received confirmation from the Simcoe County Forestry organization that logging operations in SCF Crawford Tract are now complete and the trail is open and available for use. This is the section of the Barrie Club trail in Oro-Medonte between Lines 5 & 6 just south of Sugarbush Estates (south of Horseshoe Valley Road). There is a bit of trail clean-up and maintenance to be done but the trail is useable. Enjoy!
The following is an update to the GHTA Inc COVID-19 protocol, effective immediately.
– Participants in scheduled GHTA club hikes must be fully vaccinated.
– Carpooling can now be resumed with 4 people max (incl. the driver) per car, wearing a mask (because of the indoor space and lack of social distancing), windows left cracked open. It is entirely the choice of drivers to allow 4 persons, or fewer if they are not comfortable with 4.
– We count on the honesty of our members with respect to their vaccination status. However, drivers who offer to shuttle participants in their private cars may ask passengers for proof of their vaccination status.
– During the hikes, public health measures continue including maintaining social distance and wearing masks when unable to do so.
– Individuals who do not feel well are asked not to participate in group hikes.
In September the Executive debated what to do regarding requiring Covid-19 vaccination for hike participation, but in the end decided to leave that up to individual hike leaders. The following message went out to the clubs to explain the position, and is still in force.
“In response to a question from some hike leaders regarding whether hike attendance can be restricted to fully-vaccinated hikers, the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. does not have a policy on this issue. Individual hike leaders may choose to stipulate that only fully-vaccinated persons may attend their hikes, or they may choose not to so stipulate. For those hikes requiring attendees to be fully-vaccinated, it is important to make the stipulation clear in the hike description, for the information of all attendees. Wording such as: ATTENDANCE RESTRICTED TO FULLY (COVID-19) VACCINATED HIKERS should be inserted into the hike description. The digital sign-up apps and Google Calendar descriptions should be changed to reflect the restriction stipulation.”
Effective November 5, 2021, the bridge segments will be disconnected and heaved up onto the bank to keep them high & dry over the winter season. After the bridge is out, we can still cross safely on the fallen tree (aka the “Four Brothers”) that spans Montgomery Creek about 250 metres upstream from the private bridge. The bridge will be replaced in the spring.
West of North Smudge Lake near campsite 12, a number of beaver dams including one that is part of the Ganaraska Trail have blown out recently. Please follow the temporary reroute (not flagged) to a beaver dam that is still standing. The reroute is 1.2 km, adding .5 km to the total distance of the trail.