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.
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
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 are pleased to advise that we will be resuming our Spring 2022 Hike Schedule on Wednesday, June 8th. As clean-up from the May 26th storm continues around the region, we may need to change the occasional venue. In those circumstances an email will be sent to all Kawartha Club members advising of the updated hike details. If you are not a member of the Kawartha Club but would like to join us on a hike, please contact the hike leader as a courtesy and to confirm the hike location.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Janice BrownWednesday Hike CoordinatorGHTA – Kawartha Club
GRCA is requesting that you communicate the following messages out to your members and networks while stressing the seriousness of the situation.
- On Saturday May 21, 2022 a massive storm system caused significant damage to the Ganaraska Forest and its entire trail network (West Central and East Forests are all effected).
- The current situation in the Ganaraska Forest is very serious and extremely dangerous.
- The GRCA and Police are strictly enforcing the closure of the Ganaraska Forest and NO ACCESS is being granted until furture notice
- The Ganaraska Forest is extremely dangerous with hazard trees and significant blockages throughout the entire trail network of the Ganaraska Forest (West, Central and East Forests).
- Please respect any form of barriers and signage that is blocking access and DO NOT cross these barriers.
- All Special Events are cancelled for the foreseeable future. No new applications will be accepted.
- Updates will be provided through the Ganaraska Conservation Facebook page, www.grca.on.ca and www.ganaraskaforestcentre.ca.
- Staff are currently assessing the entire Ganaraska Forest trail network and Trail clearing work is underway.
- As assessment and trail clearing continues, recovery plans are being created.
- Thank you for your support, and patience during this trying time.
Ed Van Osch
Forest Recreation Technician, Provincial Offences Officer
Ganaraska Forest Centre
RR1 Campbellcroft, Ontario
905-885-8173 ext. 325
We sincerely regret to let you all know that Kawartha Club hikes are suspended until further notice.
One by one, property owners are closing parks and trails as a result of the storm last Saturday. Those closures include trails that are on our Spring 2022 Hike Schedule. Reopening of those parks and trails are dependent on the completion of a property by property assessment of conditions and completing actions to ensure that the trails are safe. The property owners that have closed parks and trails include the City of Peterborough, Otonabee Conservation and Kawartha Land Trust.
We will continue to monitor the status of the park and trail closures and let you all know when we can begin hiking again. Hopefully that will be soon.
In the meantime, enjoy your hiking and biking in safe locations! We are hoping that this will be a brief suspension and will let you know when we restart our hikes.
Richard Raper, Weekend Hike Coordinator – Kawartha Club
Midland Ganaraska Hiking Trail Club president, Marc Vallee has decided to step down as president of the Midland club, after having held this position for almost 30 years. The Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association (GHTA), as well as the Midland club, appreciate his dedicated leadership and enthusiasm for hiking over so many years, while growing the Midland club and maintaining the Midland and Tiny sections of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail in good shape. Marc also attended GHTA board meetings twice a year, and his attendance record and input at these meetings were impeccable.
We are fortunate to advise that Marc will be succeeded by Larry Piitz, who some of you may know from the many hikes he has led. Larry is also the Midland club’s Trail Director for the last couple of years. Larry has leadership experience as he is currently also president of the North Simcoe Anglers and Hunters Conservation Club.
Let’s applaud Larry for stepping up to the plate, and provide him with the support he needs to continue in Marc’s footsteps, and lead a vibrant and growing Midland Ganaraska Hiking Trail club.
Frieda Baldwin, President,
Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association, Inc.