Tag Archives: trail

Hiking the GART

11 Feb

gart4By Diva Shari Parsons

AUBURN – My hubby and I love hiking on the many lovely nature trails that Huron County has to offer. The spring-like weather recently was the perfect time to check out the section of the GART (Goderich to Auburn Rail Trail) that we are taking responsibility for this year as Trail Rangers for the Maitland Trail Association.

The GART follows the old CPR rail line from the historic CPR Station in Goderich (now the Beach Street Station restaurant) to the remnants of the former bridge over the Maitland River just west of the village of Auburn. The trail is a little over 13 km long with the vast majority of it being an easy walk over flat ground on a fairly wide and well cleared trail. For the most part, the trail base is made up of finely crushed rock with flat grassland and hard-packed soil in other sections. Large sections, especially at the beginning of the trail, are wheelchair and stroller accessible (not in Winter). The entire trail is great for riding bikes (not in Winter). Part of the GART is also used as a snowmobile trail in winter.

gart7This weekend we hiked the section between Sharpes Creek Line and Heron Line, a distance of approximately 4 km return. Depending on the season, there is a little space for parking one or two cars on either side of the road edge on Sharpes Creek Line. The trail entrance is well marked.

As we walked along we enjoyed the wind whispering through the tops of the Scots pine that line each side of the trail. The pines give way to scenes of rolling farm fields and tree studded hilltops. Towards the far end, there is a small bridge that spans a burbling stream.

gart8The trail is popular with walkers, joggers and their faithful four-legged companions. It is also a veritable highway for the local wildlife. A thin layer of snow made the perfect medium for leaving tracks of all shapes and sizes. We saw squirrel, rabbit, hare, and fox tracks along with the snake-like trail of a field mouse in the snow. We also got to enjoy the sound of chickadees “chick-chick-chicking” us and the sight of a beautiful hawk soaring in the sky. I even found an old rusty rail spike lying on a mound beside the trail giving evidence of the trail’s former glory as an active rail line.

gart5If you are looking for an easy stroll filled with peace, tranquility and pleasing scenery, give a section of the GART a try. There are eight or nine different access points for the trail so you can walk just one section at a time if you wish. My only complaint/comment about the trail is that there aren’t any benches to sit on for most of the trail.

A free hiking guide with maps for the GART and other area trails can be found at http://www.hikehuron.ca/. You can also purchase a Maitland Trail Guide from the Maitland Trail Association

Happy trails!

gart1gart6gart3gart2

Advertisements

Naftels Creek Family Hike

18 Jul
hiking

Hiking at Naftels Creek

By Diva Jenna Ujiye

At almost mid-point between Bayfield and Goderich Ontario there is a wonderful hiking trail called Naftels Creek ( http://www.hikehuron.ca/site/?page_id=53 ). I had been discussing an outdoor fun photo shoot with my friend Dana for a month or so and we finally decided on Naftels Creek trail.

Dana, her husband Dave, their son Cullen and I had a great hike and so much fun searching for lady bugs, fish and other animals! I hadn’t been out to the trail in a while and it seemed a bit different than in the past. Of course, I forgot my hiking guide so I tried to take note of the trail markers along the trail. Well, within about 1 kilometer I totally forgot what colour we were following, so we ended up hiking the whole trail… plus some!

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

The trail meanders through mixed conifer plantations, hardwood and wetland areas. It is a great length for young families and even strollers would make it through the majority of the trail.

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

This trail is only one of the 28 that exist in Huron County, so if you are interested in Hiking, make sure to pick up copy of the Ontario’s West Coast hiking guide or visit it online: www.hikehuron.ca

danaanddave-1 danaanddave-53

Information about the Trail:

Distance
3.2 km loop

Difficulty Level
Level 2 – moderate, wear comfortable, sturdy shoes

Trail Use
Walking, Skiing, Pets on leash

Trail Hazards
Poison ivy in wet areas, steep hill on blue trail

Trail Surface
Natural surface, some boardwalks

Cost for Using Trail
None

Driving Directions
Located about 7 km south of Goderich on Hwy. #21. Parking is available just off Hwy. #21 at the trail access point – # 79152. Between Union Rd. and Kitchigami Rd.

Our Countryside – So Beautiful!

2 Jul

I was out driving around the county last week and was noticing how beautiful the wonderful Countryside is!

I thought I would post some pics to remind everyone how pretty Ontario’s West Coast is!