Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit launches tick surveillance program

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has launched an active tick surveillance program to track the prevalence of Lyme disease bacteria in our area. However, Lori Holmes, the unit’s program co-ordinator of health hazards and vector borne disease, advises Simcoe Muskoka is not considered high risk for Lyme exposure.

Hike Ontario Updates

The registration for the Hike Ontario Summit on the 45th Anniversary of the Rideau Trail Association will be open on the Hike Ontario website tomorrow. Please inform your members. We look forward to having a great time with hikers and trail association representatives from across the province. The registration will close on September 24th.

The Summit is the chance for our members to participate in our Annual Meeting. You can find past Annual Reports on our website at

If you have a nominee for a Volunteer of the Year Award, please submit it using this link:

I hope you all continue to have a great summer and that we see many of each other from September 30 to October 2nd in Perth!
Best regards.
Tom Friesen (President – Hike Ontario).

“Hike Ontario Summit 2016” (Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2016)

The Hike Ontario Summit is THE EVENT to celebrate trails and hiking across the province of Ontario. Held in Perth this year to celebrate the 200th anniversary of that scenic and historic town, we will also be celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Rideau Trail, one of Ontario’s oldest and most scenic trails.

Come to Canada’s oldest golf course Links O’Tay for a Friday Hiker’s Pub.

Topics will explore: Lyme disease, Bill 100 and landowners, Hike Leadership, Young Hikers’ Program, Urban Poling, Mood Walks, Using Digital Media Technology, Starting an Emergency Fire, Historical Walks, Hiking Trail Associations: Successes and Challenges.

Dinner will celebrate the Rideau Trail, with its founder Doug Knapp presenting, Volunteer Awards will be presented. Breakfast on Sunday will be available as a chance to celebrate Ontario’s Trails and our successes.

Public Hikes will be offered on Sunday morning. Come and celebrate Ontario’s Trails with us!
Summit & Dinner $50
Summit ONLY $25
Dinner ONLY $30

Mad River Section at Glen Huron

Mad River Section at Glen Huron
Please note that until the corn is harvested, the Mad River section from the 8th Conc. of Nottawasaga (at the bottom of the 15-16 Conc.) will temporarily be closed all the way to River Road. Also, the Mad River trail from New Lowell through Angus to the start of the Barrie section remains closed until further notice. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Frieda Baldwin

Frieda’s Glen Huron hike Tuesday August 2

Feel free to join me on an approx. 10 km hike in the Glen Huron area (south of Collingwood) on Tuesday Aug 2, 2016. We will hike the the Mad River section of the Ganaraska Trail as well as an approx. 5 km section of the Bruce Trail through the Nottawasaga Bluffs on the Niagara Escarpment. Should be a great hike, on one of my personal favourite sections.

If you want to join me, let me know, and meet at 10:15 AM at the Giffin Apple Orchard and Cold Storage in Glen Huron from where I will arrange the car shuttle. Please bring lunch, water and some insect repellent (although mosquitoes do not seem to be bad at all this year).

Happy hiking!!

Frieda Baldwin
Certified Hike Leader

Cell (on Tuesday only) 705-937-1005

Ganaraska End to End Hikers Reunion

Were you part of the group of hikers who slogged through water, mud and snow on the end to end with Peter Tomlin and Don Priestman in 1995 through to the fall of 1996? It does not seem like it was 20 years ago that these hikes started until you look at the photos! Do you recognize any of those in these photos? Vlado Bosnar, Gerry Dowd, Tony Edmonds, Ross and Vi Yorth, Shep, Regine Joxen and others???? The group that started in spring of1995 and the group on that final hike in October 1996.
Peter would like to plan a reunion in the fall 2016 for this group of fearless hikers who braved the Minising swamp, the Montgomery Creek rapids, mosquitoes and black flies and the long stretches of road walking and longer car shuffles. An afternoon to get together with those who walked this trail together , catch up on what you have been doing for 20 years, renew friendships NO weare not going to plan a reunion hike of the wilderness section.
. Please send us a note or call if you would be interested and we will start planning. IT would be fun to see those who walked it all or parts of it. As Maureen Smith remembers the Wilderness section hike Labour Day weekend 1996 “The Hike from Hell” Who could forget that backpacking adventure!
Contact Lynn or Peter 905-791-9156 or

Bill 100 and Landowners

The Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association wishes to clarify that the proposed Ontario Trails Act (Bill 100) has no impact on the existing handshake or written agreements the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association has with the landowners, who so graciously allow the Ganaraska Hiking Trail to pass on their private land.

Reading Bill 100 will correct any misinformation regarding access to private land, as will this recent note from Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport:

The province introduced Bill 100, the Supporting Ontario’s Trails Act, 2015, to improve access to Ontario’s trails, building both a healthier, and more prosperous Ontario. Our ministry held consultations with over 250 organizations, including municipalities, Aboriginal groups, trail organizations and not-for-profit organizations. The feedback the ministry heard during these consultations was integral to shaping the proposed legislation.

To be clear, an easement pursuant to Bill 100, if passed, would be a voluntary agreement between a landowner and an eligible body or bodies. No property owner would be compelled to provide an easement unless they agreed to do so.

– Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Many of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail’s “handshake” or written land use agreements have been in place for close to 50 years, and the landowner has the right to allow or withdraw access at any time. While easements are a more permanent arrangement whereby landowners are compensated for a permanent right to cross their land, the establishment of an easement is totally at the discretion of the landowner.

Landowners can be assured that Bill 100 (Bill 100.pdf) has no bearing on our current land use agreements with landowners, and contrary to what was suggested by the Ontario Landowner’s Association, in recent media coverage, the issue of easements is 100% in the hands of the landowner, per section 12.3 which reads that:

“An owner of land may grant an easement, with or without covenants, to one or more eligible bodies,

(a) for the preservation, enhancement or management of the use of, or access to, all or a portion of the land for purposes relating to trails or to activities relating to trails;

(b) for the creation, maintenance or management of trails for public use; or

(c) for the purposes as may be prescribed by the regulations made under this Act.”

In addition, the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association has no intention whatsoever to approach landowners to turn its existing land use agreements into easement agreements.

The Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association thanks its landowners for their understanding.

For additional information, please contact:

President                         Hike Ontario Representative
Bob Bowles                      Frieda Baldwin
705-325-3149                  705-245-1005