We have received notice that the logging operation in Simcoe County Forest Rathburn Tract, affecting the Orillia trail east of Orillia, are completed and the trail is now available for use.
Wild Parsnip has been noted along the Mad River Hiking trail section in the Glencairn Conservation Area (this area is found at KM 25.3 on both the Ondago mobile app and Map 25 of the downloadable Trail Guide). Take caution when hiking through this area.
Wild parsnip is a member of the carrot/parsley family, and like giant hogweed, produces sap containing chemicals that can irritate human skin.
Further information on this plant can be found on the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) webpage.
Wild Parsnip Fact Sheet. www.nvca.on.ca/Shared%20Documents/Wild%20Parsnip%20Factsheet.pdf
Starting July 24, the Sylvan Glen Road Bridge at k7 on the Ganaraska Trail will be closed to vehicles and foot traffic until next spring while it undergoes removal and reconstruction. Please see the detour plan below for hikers.
Big surprise this morning on our Wednesday morning hike, when Midland Ganaraska Hiking Club president Larry Piitz had the notion that we should hike in the Thompson Forest leading to the Tiny Trail (also called Bridges Trail and part of the Trans Canada Trail). Good thing we did as we discovered the beautiful set of stairs built by Tiny Township at our request and leading from the top of the cliff down to the Tiny Trail. 39 steps!!!
This will become part of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail, as we close the gap between the Midland and Tiny sections of the trail…. hopefully before year end. Just some minor loose ends still to get approved.
This will add another 16 km approximately to the Midland section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail.
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.
Kudos to Diane Reid McConkey for being the first recipient of the new “50 Hikes in 1 Year” badge. Diane is a new hiker, who joined the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. in December 2022, and set herself a goal of doing 50 hikes in 2023… but she already surpassed this goal, and is well on her way to reaching 100 hikes in 1 calendar year. Today, she mentioned that her newfound love for snowshoeing sped up her attempt to reach 50… and 100 hikes in 2023. Well done, Diane! Kudos also to all the other hikers who have already done 50 or 100 hikes this year.
Further to our April 6 post, the logging operations in the Brentwood Tract have been completed and that section of the trail is open for hikers. Enjoy!
At the Annual General Meeting on May 9, the Volunteer and Trail Maintenance Awards were announced for 2023.
Volunteer of the Year – IRENE BELL
This year we recognize Irene Bell for her contributions to the Ganaraska Hiking Trail
Back in 2014, she and Shirl McArthur formed a 2 women’s team to take over the Club Presidency
of the Wasaga Beach Ganaraska Hiking Trail club, but in the last few years, Irene continued on
her own until 2022.
She not only made sure the Wasaga Beach section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail was in good
shape, but with her volunteers they created a new route along the Collingwood to Barrie
rail trail. She made sure there was a hiking schedule for members and organized many local
social activities for club members.
As the president of the local Wasaga Beach club, she attended the board meetings of the GHTA
Inc. for the last 9 years and contributed valued input to our discussions. She also acted as the
GHTA rep to Ontario Nature, and as such was GHTA’s sounding board on all things nature
Well done Irene! We herewith would like to show our appreciation by presenting you with the
Volunteer of the Year Award for 2023. Thank you for your past contributions. Irene, we all enjoyed working with you, you are an excellent ambassador for hiking, and we wish
you all the best for the future.
Trail Maintenance Club Award – PINE RIDGE
Following a Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc board decision in the fall of 2022
that the building of bridges is now allowed, the Pine Ridge Club of the Ganaraska Hiking
Trail Association Inc is among the first to implement the new policy and is therefore
being nominated for building new bridges over tributaries of the Ganaraska River:
On December 2, 2022, 5 Pine Ridge Hiking Club members (Jimmy Edwards, Stan
Muldoon, Jay Sherwin, John Ambler and bridge designer Ted Van Netten) installed a
new 20′ bridge between 4th and 5th lines of Hope Township, at km 12, on the property
of Gord and Judy Austin.
A further 2 bridges are currently being built at km 8. This project is being spearheaded
by property owners Bill and Penny Harris with several PRHC members contributing
numerous hours of volunteer labour. We are also appreciative of a $1730 donation from
an anonymous donor to fund the bridge.
Great work, Pine Ridge!
Further to the previous notice, all trails in the Ganaraska Forest have now been reopened by the Ganaraska Forest Regional Conservation Authority.
The section of the GHTA trail from the junction of the railway line and Brentwood Road (44.35386, -79.96300) to the junction Concession 3 and the railway tracks (44.35384, -7996378) follows an abandoned railway line. Railway ties and considerably overgrowth of shrubs tangled with vines makes numerous sections of this portion of trail very difficult to hike.
Maintenance of this section of trail is planned for the future, with the County of Simcoe considering transformation of the abandoned railway line into a multi-use trail (hopefully in the not-too distant future).
This trail section remains open for use, but the Mad River team wants hikers to be aware of the difficult hiking conditions.