Earlier this summer high winds in the Midhurst area brought down a lot of trees in Simcoe County Forest Midhurst Tract. Of those that affected the Barrie Ganaraska hiking trail through this area, almost all have been cleared or removed from the trail. There remains, however, a spot on the Heather Dalton side trail that is completely blocked. It is possible, but not particularly easy, to go around the blockage through the forest. This situation will not be resolved in the foreseeable future so this notice is to make trail users aware of the situation.
2023.03.23 Update – Logging has been completed so this section is now open for use. Trail maintenance to clear the trails of any debris from the logging operation is yet to be done, so be careful if hiking through this section in the near future.
2023.02.10 Original Post: There is currently an active logging operation in Simcoe County Forest that affects the Barrie trail east of Gill Road (the Orrock Creek South tract). Please avoid this section of the trail and stay out of the areas indicated by the county signage in the forest. An update to this notice will be posted when logging is completed.
A section of the Barrie main trail near the Minesing Wetlands runs across property owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). We have just finished working with NCC representatives to reroute our trail on their property to avoid foot traffic on some ecologically sensitive areas and also to avoid some areas where the invasive garlic mustard has been found. If you are hiking southbound from Baldwick Lane the trail changes when you come to the first stile. Previously you would have gone right (west) across the open field but now you veer slightly left. The new trail is actually quite nice, going through cedar forest, over some small streams, and along a ridge providing great views of the open fields looking towards Minesing Wetlands. The new trail is fully blazed and ready to use. It is very important to stay on the trail through this section as garlic mustard can be found close to the trail and it is important not to spread it by carrying seeds on your boots. Both Ondago and our website downloadable maps will be updated in the near future.
On June 6 of this year we announced changes to the Barrie main trail between the parking lot on Gill Road and the Midhurst Community Centre. Due to a new landowner request we had to move a portion of this trail onto Gill Road. There are now two new side trails to recapture some of the best features of the trail section that had to be moved. From the Gill Road parking lot, the Bear’s Creek side trail provides a 3.6 km loop that goes over a picturesque creek and runs along an interesting (and hilly) ridge beside the creek. In the middle of the forest the Heather Dalton Memorial side trail provides a 1.3 km loop (also with hills) that has multiple tree mounted memorial displays for a local person that loved to hike the trails in the area. Ondago has been updated and our website downloadable maps will be updated soon. Try them out.
On 2022.07.23 we made the announcement posted below. As of today the Simcoe County Forestry map does not show any activity logging operation in this area. There will likely need to be some clean-up and re-blazing (to be done asap) but the trail is open – enjoy.
Previous Announcement: We have received notice from the Simcoe County Forestry organization that logging has started in the Orrock Creek South tract. This means that there is an unusable section of the Barrie trail between Old Second South and Gill Road, as shown in the attached map. Hiking in this area from either the Old Second South parking lot or the Gill Road parking lot would still be possible, but it would be necessary to turn back as soon as the logging operation signs are reached (do not hike in the signed area even if the logging operation isn’t active when you get there). The duration of the logging operation isn’t known, but a future posting will announce when the trail is fully open again.
Effective immediately, a section of the Barrie trail running south from the Gill Road parking lot (KM 24.9 on the Ondago and Trail Guide maps for the Barrie Club) is no longer available. A private landowner has acquired property that had our trail running through it and has asked that we discontinue hiking on the property. The trail now runs south from the Gill Road parking lot on Gill Road for about 1.5 KM and then re-enters the forest. The new route is 0.3 km shorter than the previous trail (2.3 km versus 2.6 km).
The following map shows the change. Our Trail Guide and Ondago mobile app will be updated in the near future.
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!
We have received an email from the Simcoe County Forest that hikers have been violating the “no trespassing” rule in the Crawford Tract, where logging is now taking place. The original notice of tract closure was posted on December 2, 2020, but it is still current. We risk losing access to these treasured forest tracts if we do not comply with the SCF requirements, so we trust that our hikers will not hike in this tract while the rule is in place.
We will update “Trail changes” when we can again enjoy this tract.
Carol Strickland, for Frieda Baldwin, President, GHTA Inc.
May 15, 2020
There is still a section of the trail that remains closed even with the opening of some parks in Ontario. The section of trail immediately south of Baldwick Lane is still closed. It is now possible to hike north from County Road 90 until you get through the forest to the open meadow. The situation is being closely monitored – please watch for future updates,
Announcement on May 8, 2020
The west end of the Ganarasaka Barrie Hiking Club trail, from Baldwick Lane to County Road 90, goes through property owned by Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, Nature Conservancy of Canada, and private landowners. Regardless of ownership, all of this section of the trail is in the area designated as Minesing Wetlands. These organizations have all recently designated their properties as closed to the public due the pandemic restrictions.
Until these restrictions are lifted, the Ganaraska trail between Baldwick Land and County Road 90 is to be considered ‘off limits’ to comply with the wishes of the land owners that support our trail system. Thanks for your understanding, and stay safe.