Orillia Trail update

Regarding the overhanging branches about 1/2 km west from the parking lot at 1832 Line 8 Oro-Medonte, one has been pulled down, and the other has been bypassed by a short loop around the overhanging branch. The trail is “obstructed” from both sides of the hazard, and a semi-circular trail marked with pink ribbons guides hikers around the hazard. We hope that winter will bring the overhanging brach down, but for the meantime, hikers should use the re-route.

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.

Mad River Trail Section Affected by Vandalism

Hikers of the Mad River section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail should take note that Ganaraska Trail blazes have been vandalized and hikers will need to refer to the Ondago App for trail location.  The small section of trail impacted is located south of the Village of Glen Huron and runs east from Concession 8 Nottawasaga Road (formerly County 62 Road) alongside a corn field and an apple orchard up to the forest edge.

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.

Orillia Section Active Logging Breedon Tract – Nov. 13, 2023

The Breedon Tract of the Simcoe County Forest is closed due to logging. This affects the Orillia Section between Lines 9 and 8, the most easterly half. Attached is an image showing the (2-3 year old) re-route of the Ganaraska Trail from Line 10 south to Old Barrie Road, along Old Barrie Road and north along Line 9 to the entrance to the Breedon Tract. The Ganaraska Trail is shown in pink, and the Red Cross-hatches indicate active logging operations as per the Simcoe County Forest. This map also takes in the Arbour Tract as noted on Nov. 2, 2023. We have not heard of re-opening of the Arbour Tract as of today.

As soon as we hear of a change in the status we will update on Trail Changes.

Orillia Trail Alert – Nov. 2, 2023

The Arbour Tract of the Simcoe County Forest (the westerly tract of the two tracts that lie to the north of Bass Lake Side Road West between Line 7 and what would be Line 6 if it extended north of Bass Lake Side Road West) is commencing tree cutting and therefore off limits for hikers.  This affects the Ganaraska Hiking Trail for the last 1 – 1.5 km of the Orillia section (roughly Km 68.3 to Km 69.8, Orillia).  Signs are posted.  Effective immediately, hikers must stay out of the logging area, and be aware of possible heavy equipment moving along forest roads.  We will update when the Arbour Tract is again available for hiking.  Meanwhile, the Ganaraska Hiking Trail and the SCMBC trails in the Johnson Tract are still open.

2023.10.29 – Midland Trail Alert

Hikers of the Midland section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail should take note of the fact that at approx. km 11, there is a safety underpass that the trail goes under while bridge construction on Old Fort Road is taking place above. As hikers descend down to the orange fence, note that the fence has been cut to allow passage for hikers. See pictures.

Also, at approx. km 2.5 the Midland club is undertaking a reroute to by-pass a very wet area, probably caused by a beaver. A new pedestrian bridge has been installed, as well as stepping blocks but the new route has not been blazed as yet, until we know for sure that the route marked with pink ribbon will be confirmed as the new route. A group of Orillia, Medonte and Midland club members were the first to test the new bridge. 

2023.10.26 – Trail Blocked on Heather Dalton Memorial Side Trail Loop (Barrie Section)

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.

2023.10.12 – Work Begins to Develop Rail Trail Between Stayner and Angus (Mad River Club Trail)

A recent local news report announced that work has begun to remove railway ties and rails on the abandoned railway line between Stayner and Angus as a first step in the conversion of this corridor to a recreational rail trail. The work to remove the ties and rails is expected to be complete mid-December this year, but the total conversion project will last until late 2025.

Starting immediately, sections of the Mad River Club trail that follow the rail line will be inaccessible where work crews are active. Signs will be posted preventing access to work zones and in some situations there will be a ‘watch person’ to prevent access.

As the work will be intermittent and section-by-section this stretch of the Ganaraska trail will not be closed but all hikers are advised to follow the instructions of all posted signs and avoid areas where work crews are active. Also, hiking this section of the Mad River Club trail is not required to earn a Ganaraska End-to-End badge for the foreseeable future.