The New and Improved Trail Guide

This is very exciting news! History in the making!

The Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. is extremely pleased to announce the launch of a new Trail Guide that will complement our Ondago mobile app maps of our beloved Ganaraska Hiking Trail. The last edition of our hard copy trail maps was in 2013 and included only some minor revisions of the original 2006 edition.

Our new maps offer much more detail and are a far cry from what used to be just a “red line on a map”. A lot of effort has gone into the production of these new maps, and we are very pleased with the outcome.

Our new Trail Guide, with downloadable and printable maps and trail descriptions, has now been posted on our www.ganaraska-hiking-trail.org website. You might remember that early in the project (December 2020) a survey was sent out to Ganaraska and other hiking group members asking questions about what they wanted to see in the new ‘Guidebook’. The key points in the feedback that were used to steer the work in this project were:

  1. Maintain the format of providing maps accompanied by a detailed trail description (similar to the 2013 Guidebook). 
  2. Provide hikers with the option of either a printed map or a mobile device map application.
  3. Make sure the maps have sufficient detail to be useable as a navigation tool in the field (sufficient contour detail, road and building detail, compass angle of declination detail, etc.).

Internally we also decided that we no longer wanted to inventory map books and ship them as required, so we opted for FREE downloadable/printable maps. In addition, all the key points of feedback from the survey were implemented, and our new Trail Guide combined with our Ondago mobile device app provides hikers of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail with the information they need, in whichever format they choose, to learn about and enjoy the approximately 500 km long Ganaraska Hiking Trail from end to end.

The new Trail Guide maps consist of a series of 33 maps plus an index map, as well as written Trail Descriptions (with latitude and longitude coordinates) of each of the 9 club sections of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail. All maps and descriptions can be downloaded for free and are printable. Our website also contains information on how to navigate the trail and the maps. See The Trail/Trail Sections with Maps for the maps and descriptions, organized by club.

We were very pleased with the work of our cartographer, Lyle Wood of Barrie (wood_lyle@hotmail.com) and my personal thanks go to Stan Muldoon, John Sloan, Gary Norton, Steve Broomfield, Heather Briant and a number of other people that have been involved in the making of this new Trail Guide.

Happy hiking!

Frieda Baldwin

President, Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc.

Trail Guide Update

Delay in the Launch of the New Trail Guide

The Trail Guide committee had planned to introduce the new downloadable Trail Guide in early 2022. The new guide, which replaces the 2013 Guidebook, will contain updated trail descriptions along with 33 maps of the trail. The production of the Trail Guide has taken longer than expected. It is hoped that it will be completed and launched by April. Stay tuned!

Stan Muldoon, Committee Chair

Covid-19 Protocol Update

In keeping with today’s provincial announcement, hike attendance will be limited to 10 persons including the hike leader, starting Jan. 5, 2022. We expect this restriction to last at least for 3 weeks, but an updated protocol will be issued as the situation changes. At this time, we should not carpool other than with members of our own household. Otherwise, all the other public health measures remain in place – observing social distance, wearing masks where distance cannot be maintained, and staying home if feeling ill.

Special Award to David Francis

The Executive of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. is pleased to announce that they have awarded a special award to David Francis, in recognition and appreciation of his past contributions to the GHTA, at the club level, the association level, as well as at provincial and national levels. His leadership, commitment and overall enthusiasm for hiking has been recognized, as over the years, he contributed his time and skills as: 

– founding member of the Alliston-Angus GHTA club, later more appropriately renamed Mad River club (he actually suggested the name!)

– first Mad River club president- dedicated and wonderful hike leader, especially as it relates to hiking with children and young adults

– GHTA Wilderness club president

– GHTA association president

– Hike Ontario president

– Director with Hike Canada

We also appreciate and currently hugely benefit from David’s past involvement and management of the Hike Ontario Certified Hike Leader program.

 As the Executive realized that David is not a lifetime member, we agreed to offer him a lifetime membership. It seems that the recognition was well received by David, who wrote us back as follows:

Frieda, It was with great surprise that I received your letter on behalf of the GHTA Executive Committee bestowing on me a lifetime membership of the association. My relationship and service to the hiking community have brought me great joy and satisfaction as well as a great sense of achievement. It has been my privilege of meeting many wonderful and remarkable people who have worked together to build and maintain a remarkable network of trails. These have been put in place by some visionary founders. They have brought immense pleasure to millions of people over the years and it is with great delight when I use these trails to see how many other people are also using them. When I see a white blaze, I think of the many hundreds of volunteers who have painted these iconic trail markers, enabling many to hike from end to end, or just a short casual stroll in nature. It is heartening to see that so many new younger people are taking over and carrying on the noble tradition of trail management. Long live the Ganaraska Hiking Trail and our many other trail systems. David

Well deserved, David!

Frieda Baldwin, President

DCF 1.0
Welsh Tract

Frieda on Parking

We would like our hikers to be aware that some municipalities have parking restrictions in winter, some even till noon, to allow snowplows to clear the roads.
This may affect morning hikers, such as when parking at the entrances to the Ganaraska Hiking Trail or a local forest.  Below is a summary of the parking restrictions in some of the Simcoe County municipalities:
Tay Twp: from Nov 15 – April 1 restricted parking  3:00 am to 12:00 noon
Midland from Nov 15 – April 1 restricted parking 12:00 midnight to 7:00 am
Penetanguishene from Nov 1 – April 1 restricted parking from 1:00 am to 7:00 am
Tiny & Oro Medonte Twps: from October 15 – April 30.  If there is a heavy snowfall in either of these townships the expectation is that the roads will be clear for snow removal.  If not, you could be subject to a fine.
We also learned that in some municipalities snowplow operators can actually ticket cars that are parked illegally.
Stay safe out there!

Frieda Baldwin Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc.  705-245-1005

Updates from Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc.

The Publicity Officer position has now been filled. We are thankful to Alana Boulay, a member of the Barrie Club, who currently runs the Facebook Group as well as the Barrie Facebook Page, for stepping up and offering to take care of the Association Facebook Page as well. 

I also wanted to thank Karen Bernardo for all her efforts with respect to creating a  social media presence for the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association and its clubs. This  has – no doubt – paid off in additional memberships and followers, which is what we were hoping to achieve. 


Also, as of January 1 the role of president for the Barrie Ganaraska Hiking Club will transfer to Liz Erwin. John Sloan’s role within the club will change to Director / Past President of the Barrie Ganaraska Hiking Club. He will also continue in his role as Director – Trails and Landowner Relations for the Association.  Thanks to Liz for taking on this responsibility.  Liz Irwin (705) 792-6181 or lizerwin@rogers.com

Frieda Baldwin
705-245-1005

Wanted, Social Media Volunteer

The Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. is looking for a volunteer to take on the role of Publicity Officer. Our current volunteer did a great job on establishing a following on social media and promoting the organization. Unfortunately, she has had to resign for personal reasons.  So we are looking for a volunteer who will be responsible for our social media efforts: – regular postings on the Association Facebook page – respond to Association Facebook enquiries – support, if needed, for the other volunteers who administer the club Facebook pages and the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Facebook Group  – provide a short bi-annual social media update for the board of directors If interested in volunteering for this position, please contact Frieda Baldwin at president@ganaraska-hiking-trail.org. Thanks for considering this position.

Frieda Baldwin
705-245-1005

Ganaraska Hiking Trail map project survey – input required

The Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. is embarking on a new “guidebook/map” project, to compliment the Ondago smartphone app, that we launched earlier this year. 
You are invited to provide some input, as to what format this new guidebook or map should take, and we hope to have all input by Sunday, December 6.
Click on the link below to add your input. Thank you.

Ganaraska Hiking Trail map survey

Frieda Baldwin
705-245-1005