Hike Ontario 50th Anniversary Badge

Hike Ontario is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year and they are offering a special edition 50th Anniversary badge. Great for all you badge hounds to add to your collection.

Congratulations to Hiking Ontario for being the voice of all hikers and hiking groups in Ontario for so many years, and delivering essential programs like Certified Hike Leader and Safe Hiker training, affordable insurance for hiking and outdoor groups, and so much more.

Thank you.

New Printable Maps of the complete GTHA Trail

A printable Wall Map of the complete Ganaraska Trail is now available. Approximately 83cm x 58cm it’s best printed on photo paper at a print shop. There are two versions Complete GHTA Map without sections and Complete GHTA Map with sections.

For detailed printing instructions click here.

A Message from Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association (GHTA) president Frieda Baldwin

2023 The Year in Review

A year of growth and progress:

  • membership grew from an average of 500-600 in previous years to over 700
  • donations are coming in stronger then ever… some as small as $25, or more
  • after some difficult Covid years, volunteers have been working hard to keep our beloved Ganaraska Hiking Trail open for all to enjoy, in a safe manner
  • volunteers came forward to fill in the vacancies of Mapping Coordinator, Newsletter Editor and Web Content Manager. Thank you Victor Tolgyessy, Lana Johnson and Campbell Britton for stepping up to these roles.
  • the Indigenous Engagement Committee has developed 2 Land Acknowledgements, and designed a sign for posting on the trail
  • the Risk Management Committee has developed new trail standards and inspections procedures
  • and lastly, the GHTA has implemented Microsoft 365 to store all our important documents on an on-line platform and we are now employing Outlook for GHTA communications. All volunteer roles in the GHTA have been or will be provided with generic email addresses such as president@ghta.ca, at the same time simplifying the earlier email addresses which were more complicated.

The Trail:

  • the Midland club has made huge progress on closing the gap between the Midland and Tiny sections of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail, and is planning to officially open this new 17 km section on Saturday April 13, 2024. Mark your calendars!
  • new maps of all sections were developed and a beautiful wall map of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail will be launched shortly (Thank you Victor!)
Larry, Frieda, Linda P, Evelyn, Roxanne, Eveline, Penny, Shirley, Barb, Mary, Linda G – Gap between Midland and Tiny

The Achievements:

  • we celebrated the first ‘gold badge” receiver: Bob Wilson for being a GHTA member for 50 years, and having filled volunteer roles of club president, association president, hike leader extraordinaire and trail maintenance steward and coordinator.
  • our 50/100/200 hikes in 1 year challenge and badges have been extremely successful and have promoted the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association even outside the GHTA membership, with many enjoying the challenge of setting themselves a goal of completing 50, or 100, or 200 and even 250 hikes in a year, and enjoying the physical and mental benefits of hiking

In closing, I would like to:

  • thank all volunteers who have stepped forward to help the GHTA, whether it is with our admin, our finances, our mapping, our trail conditions, etc.
  • congratulate all those who have completed section hikes, and End to End hikes of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail
  • congratulate all who achieved their 50/100/200 badges… and completed even more hikes than 200

And finally, I wish you all a happy, healthy, peaceful 2024, with lots of great hiking adventures throughout the year, on the Ganaraska Hiking Trail and beyond!

Happy hiking
Frieda Baldwin
Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc.
Getting outside is good for your inside!

Frieda Baldwin wins Hike Ontario Award of Excellence

Frieda Baldwin, President of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association received the Award of Excellence during the Hike Ontario Annual Summit in London, Ontario, on September 23, 2023. For the complete article visit Hike Ontario Award of Excellence 2023.

Trail Hazard Strachan Tract

There are two overhanging branches on our trail about .5 km west of the parking lot at 1832 Line 8. They are about 200 meters apart, and one can bypass them by going around the overhanging branch, but hikers probably should not pass underneath them until they are cleared.

Another post will follow when these have been cleared.

Couchiching Conservacy

The Couchiching Conservancy is offering a number of self-guided events that can be downloaded at any time throughout the year – mostly related to hiking, birding, and nature. They are free to download, you just need to register at the links on the conservancy website. 

– Conservancy Trails 101: Download this digital download from The Couchiching Conservancy to get all the details on some of the trails that the Conservancy manages (in Orillia, Severn, Carden, and more!). https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/523888042237.

– Experience Carden Road Trip: Discover a globally rare landscape, just outside of Orillia, home to over 250 species.https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/615215916367.

– Experience the Wildlands Road Trip: Did you see that? Was it a Great Blue Heron? Or maybe it was a Belted Kingfisher!? You never know what you will discover in the Black River Wildlands, just outside of Orillia. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/615212927427

– Birding by Ear: A big part of being able to identify birds is your ability to ID by song! https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/523870158747.

QE2 and Our Partnership with Ontario Parks – An Appreciation

The end of one year and the beginning of another is traditionally a time for reflection. In that vein, it is noteworthy that the Wilderness Club of the GHTA enjoys a special and treasured relationship with the Ontario Parks staff that manage the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park (“QE2”) – the park that encompasses about 95% of the Wilderness section of the Ganaraska Trail. With an area of 33,505 hectares, QE2 is the second largest park south of Algonquin Park with 100 habitat types and is a vast biological engine renowned for its rock barrens, and beaver fens. Hikers and canoeists can enjoy a true wilderness experience in QE2 that is not typically available so far south in the province.

The flavour of a true wilderness experience is nicely captured by the lead article of the Winter 2023 GHTA newsletter (https://ganaraska-hiking-trail.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/GHTA-Newsletter-Winter-2023-online-compressed-version.pdf) in which Kate Kostandoff describes a 3-day/2-night “cross-over” hike through the interior of QE2 completed in October. Later in the newsletter is an amusing epic poem penned by Ruth Patterson in the style of Robert W. Service. These appreciative contributions illustrate the significance of QEII to the hiking community in general and to the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association in particular, while underscoring the importance of the work undertaken by the Parks staff.

Looking back over the past 12 months, the following is a top-of-mind random sampling of highlights for 2022:

* The seasonal floating footbridge over Montgomery Creek installed by Ontario Parks in collaboration with the GHTA continues to be a great success, much appreciated by Ganaraska members as well as the general public.

* Park Biologist Phil Careless was a big hit with his enthusiastic participation as a panelist in the Wilderness Club’s overnight Zoom call hiking clinic in September.

* Trail maintenance, thunder boxes, visitor monitoring & management: we at the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association appreciate the effort it takes to manage QEII, and we know there is a lot of work behind the scenes, much of which we are only vaguely aware.

Fall Hunting Season

Be Safe Be Seen: Hikers should be aware that hunting is taking place all year round, but is especially busy during the fall between early September and mid-December.  The exact dates vary across the Ganaraska Hiking Trail as it passes through different Wildlife Management Units.

To be safe, hikers should:

– Know when it is hunting season in the area you will be hiking in. Consult this website for exact information:


– Wear bright colours, preferably hunting orange

– Put bright colours on your pets and keep dogs on a leach

– Avoid hiking at dusk and dawn, i.e. typical times when hunters are in the forest

– Stay on established trails and avoid bushwhacking

– Make noise, so hunters know you are nearby

And finally, note that hunters and trail users both have the privilege to pursue their chosen outdoor recreation. Therefore, be courteous and respectful of all outdoor enthusiasts, hunters and non-hunters alike. Do your part to share the woods safely and respect each other and the land we share. 

More information is available on 


Frieda Baldwin, President

What3Words App

Barrie Police put out the following 
What3Words Technology Available for Use by Barrie Police | Barrie Police

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. 

Frieda Baldwin, Association President