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Speed River Trail / Re: Sect 2 - Jan 23, 2010
« Last post by Pat on January 28, 2010, 02:11:23 PM »
Now, that's a great pictorial report on that Section, Dave!  Wonderful photography and fantastic write-up!

Where's your next hike?
Miscellaneous Hikes / Re: Clear the Cobwebs Hike~2008
« Last post by Pat on January 28, 2010, 02:07:04 PM »
Yes, and it's lovely to see that folks still have loads of hiking fun even if it's snowing!

Miscellaneous Hikes / Re: Cootes Paradise - Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club - Jan 24, 2010
« Last post by Pat on January 28, 2010, 02:02:27 PM »
Wow!  Dave, this is fantastic!  What a wonderful report on this hike!
Miscellaneous Hikes / Cootes Paradise - Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club - Jan 24, 2010
« Last post by DaveC on January 24, 2010, 02:12:38 PM »
     I found myself itching for a good hike today, and with nothing on the GHTC schedule, I turned to my Bruce Trail newsletters to scope one out.  I ended up joining the Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club down at Cootes Paradise, in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington.  I am putting it on here, because it is quite accessible for Guelph residents really.  Parking was 35km from my door in the south end of Guelph, and it only took about half an hour to drive down.

     We gathered at Raspberry House in the Royal Botanical Gardens, which is the HQ for the Bruce Trail Club.

     From there we passed an unusual piece of artwork as we set out for the trail.

     About 20 people showed up, even though the forecast was heavy rain.  If you do decide to go check it out, I would recommend icers...even thought there was virtually no snow, there were several significant hills, and the trail itself had a nice little crust of ice.

     The trail regularly popped out for shoreline views that were quite impressive.

     The second of those three pics is of Hickory Island.  It was forested until the late 1990s.  The first cormorant nested there in 1995.  Cormorants are colonial nesters, and within a few years there were over 200 nests.  Their droppings are high in nitrogen, and by 1998 the nitrogen had rotted the tree's root systems, allowing all of the trees to  blow over in short order.  The cormorant population on the island began to decline immediately afterward, and there are now no longer cormorants nesting on the island.  Guess we will see if the trees return.

     There was a large population of friendly chickadees that followed us playfully on portions of the hike.  It is a little hard to make out because of the red and black jacket behind it, but this next pic shows a chickadee perched right on a hiker's hand as a few offered seed.

     The rain held off until the last 15 minutes and then really let us have it as we finished up.  All in all, it was a great hike, and there are tonnes of trails that crossed our route that I would love to go back and explore.  I recommend this area to anyone who doesn't mind a half hour drive for a decent hike.

Miscellaneous Hikes / Re: Clear the Cobwebs Hike~2008
« Last post by DaveC on January 24, 2010, 01:43:36 PM »
Wow, these pictures are amazing!  What a difference in the snow when you look outside this year.
Speed River Trail / Sect 2 - Jan 23, 2010
« Last post by DaveC on January 23, 2010, 02:23:47 PM »
     Victoria, the kids, and I were meeting my Dad for brunch down in Morriston, and then planned to go for a hike together afterwards.  I picked up my Club Handbook and leafed through the pages for inspiration.  Section 2 is the last section of the Speed River Trail that I had yet to walk, and I read in the handbook that it had just reopened after being closed for hunting season.  Perfect!

     Looking at the map, I decided to take Laird out to SR 10, and set out from the marked gate, crossing the abandoned bridge and to grab the club trail from there.

     The handbook says that this section of SR 10 was closed back in 1992, and it was a pleasant enough start to the hike.  We arrived at the bridge, and were a little surprised to see that there was no bottom left on it, save for a little caging covering the western third, that the siderails were rusted out, and there were obvious barriers to crossing.  We rationalized that the barriers COULD be to discourage any rvs, bikes, or horses, and hopped the barriers and crossed.  The kids and Grandpa loved the crossing...not sure if Victoria appreciated it as much.  Anyway, this pic was from atop the bridge.

     We joined the Club Trail after crossing the river, and headed West on Section 2.  This was another fantastic day for a hike.  There were tracks everywhere, and we set countless waterfowl to flight as we tromped along the edge of the river.

     We went as far as 124, before turning and heading back.  The main trail was snow covered, very lightly travelled, and there were other prints crossing here and there...therefore there were a couple of places where we probably could have wandered off the trail, especially where it cut away from the river just before the gasline.  Hats off to those who maintain the trails, as the blazes clearly led us along the right path.  My son had fun counting blazes along the way.  Another great hike on the Speed River Trail, and I've now set foot on its entirety!

Radial Line Trail / Re: Hi Iím new to this forum
« Last post by Pat on January 23, 2010, 09:54:59 AM »
Welcome to the website of the Guelph Hiking Trail Club!

Radial Line Trail / Parts of Sects 3 and 4 - January 20, 2010
« Last post by DaveC on January 22, 2010, 02:15:28 PM »
     My wife and I realized we had a couple of hours to spare on Wednesday afternoon, so we drove out to the end of Arkell Road at 1st Line, jumped the small snow bank, and set out on Section 3 of the Radial Line Trail.

     It was a perfect day for a hike...just a few degrees below zero, some light snow falling now and again.  These pics won't do it justice, but the bright sun popping through the trees created some beautiful scenes along the way.

     We went East from 1st Line, crossed 2nd Line, and went out as far as Guelph Line, before stopping for a quick thermos tea at the stile, and then heading back.  It was a fairly easy hike, although Victoria did slip a few times on the way back up that first hill.

The trail between 1st Line and 2nd Line had a very different feel than the trail between 2nd Line and Guelph Line.  1st Line to 2nd Line was fairly open, with wide, even trail and easier footing.  Between 2nd Line and Guelph Line there were several icy patches, the footing was a LITTLE rougher, and there was a couple sections closer to Guelph Line where the trail squeezed right in and rubbed both arms simultaneously.  Here are a few more pics of what turned into one of my favourite little hikes of the season so far.

Radial Line Trail / Hi Iím new to this forum
« Last post by ReafPalamax on January 22, 2010, 12:12:22 PM »
Hello, I just became a part of this forum here and I would love to be a member of it. Just love the environment here. Excellent job by the mods and every member around.

I like the quality of posts posted by everyone and plan I can do that for you all too.
Hope to visit here often.
Announcements / January 21 SLIDE NIGHT
« Last post by Pat on January 07, 2010, 07:55:46 AM »
Thursday, January 21


"Hiking in Iceland"

Presented by Blair Capes

7-9 p.m. in Zehr's Community Room,

Imperial and Paisley Roads

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