Great day at Backus Woods

Backus Woods in the fall season.

Backus Woods in the fall season.

There were only 5 of us but the trip was very worthwhile, with a clear blue sky and the leaves changing colour.

I originally planned a 8 km hike but half way through the weather was so nice we decided to add some of the Flood Plain Trail along Dedrick Creek where we saw the huge puff ball. The water was crystal clear. The forest had many young Sasafras and Tulip trees. The paths were quite wide and maps were at every intersection. You could hear the turkeys, but they did not show themselves.

After the hike we all went to the Boathouse in Port Rowan, surprisingly we saw Roseann and Wilf there. After lunch Loretta and Wendy headed to the Pumpkin Festival in Waterford and Tom, Joan and myself went to Long Point where we saw mute swans and sandhill cranes and a praying Mantis on the deck of Long Point Bird Observatory. All in all another wonderful excursion.

First day of fall end-to-end in Port Stanley

Testing out the accommodations in 1870's era jail.

Testing out the accommodations in 1870’s era jail.

Six of us ventured out on the first leg of Elgin end-to-end on a overcast day in October. Wild turkeys were seen while hiking through the woods and cormorants have taken up home in the harbour. We were given a tour of the Lake Erie Trout club facilities by Kit Brown and got to see fingerlings in the holding tanks.
The hike was cut short due to muddy conditions and will be continued on November 26th. Our newest member Joan was out as well as two ladies from London Doris and Jennifer. They all hope to continue with the end-to-end. Welcome. Fellowship followed at Harbour Merchant Coffee Company in Port Stanley.

Columbia Employee Store Invitation


Members of the Elgin Hiking Trail Club are invited to shot at the Employee store on Max Brose Drive in London from Sept 19th to October 23rd. Up to 4 people may shop with one invite. During September when you purchase 7 items you will receive an additional 10% off. On average items are 45% below retail. If you would like an invite email me and I will email one to you.

Pat Turow remembered

Pat Turow and fellow hikers at end of 900 km hike on Bruce Trail in front of Northern Cairn in Tobermory showing special badges made for the unique hike.

Pat Turow and fellow hikers at end of 900 km hike from Port Stanley to the Northern Cairn of Bruce Trail at Little Tub Harbour in Tobermory. Each showing special badges made to commemorate the unique hike. Fall 2001.

Picture above shows Anne Faubert of London, Ann Hoover of Aylmer, Loretta Vaughan of Port Stanley and Pat (seventy at the time) after they hiked 900 km from Port Stanley to Tobermory over five years. Pat’s favourite memories of the trip were using ladders and ropes to traverse the escarpment at Devil’s Pulpit near Orangeville.
Pat and her husband Joe volunteered many years fundraising and other duties for the Elgin Hiking Trail Club, especially at the Spirit Walk.
Her funeral is today.
Loretta talks of this hike regularly and how much they all enjoyed the challenge, well maybe not the waist deep snow and wicked thunder storms.

Sincerest condolences from the Elgin Hiking Trail Club.

Card of thanks to trail maintenance crew.

Card from Elgin Court Public School Way-2-Green Environmental Club.

Card from Elgin Court Public School Way-2-Green Environmental Club.

Received this week and it is nice to see that the teacher and students took the time to thank our trail maintenance crew. Nice to know others outside the club appreciate the effort put forth by our volunteers. Good job to our trail maintenance director Tom Beharrell.
Pretty cool!

Go to Blazes Day: May 28, 2016

Clean-up at red barn. --- photo by Cathy Johnstone

Clean-up at red barn. — photo by Cathy Johnstone

We had a very successful morning at the Red Barn. Thanks to Brian Wilsdon, Dave Kirkpatrick, Tom Beharrell (brought his tractor and wagon), Loretta Vaughan, Joanne Welch (became a member during the work), and Jim Northey for coming out to the barn. Another thank you goes out to the following: D J Smale for sending lunch food with Jim. Richard Wright and Brian King for cutting and trimming the grass last Monday of the long weekend. The property looks awesome. After the shed came down and the debris was cleaned up, Brian, Dave and Tom headed out to do some trail rerouting at 4th Concession Rd. while myself and the ladies stayed back to clean and organize the barn. The lunch menu was turkey sandwiches, veggies, chips, bottled water, Loretta’s selection of chocolate covered cookies and D.J’s famous homemade cookies.

Loretta and I took home approximately 10 very large bags of garbage to be tagged for today’s garbage day.

Welcome new members Joanne Welch and her husband Mike.

Again, thank you all so much …. YOU ROCK!



Dutton-Dunwich hike on Trans Canada Trail

Group at start of Dutton/Dunwich Trans Canada Trail End-to-end.

Group at start of Dutton/Dunwich Trans Canada Trail End-to-end.

Eleven of us starting the end-to-end of Dutton/Dunwich Trans Canada Trail. The weather was cool yet quite comfortable for the 9.4 km hike this morning. There were many spring flowers in bloom and the birds were singing away. The maintenance folks were busy this week as we could see signs of at least three bridges being recently repaired. The hike was planned to end at Backus-Page House to take in The Road To Culloden, a Scottish living history event in 1745 following Bonnie Prince Charlie and his loyal Jacobites in the quest to reclaim the throne. Thanks to Marg for planning the dual event.

Installing bench at Bluebells

Jim holds the new bench steady while Brian pours cement and Richard spreads it around.

Jim holds the new bench steady while Brian pours cement and Richard spreads it around.

Weather was great for the crew to install the bench at the bluebells off Lyle Road. Special thank you to Green Lane Environmental Fund for providing grant to purchase the materials and Richard for getting the steel frame welded up.

Boardwalk installation

Boardwalk completed in record time with help from eighteen cadets.

Boardwalk completed in record time with eighteen members of St Thomas Army Cadet Corps help.—Photo by Brian Wilsdon

The weather could not have been finer, when 18 army cadet volunteers and their leaders showed up to assist in setting the 45 eight foot panels into place for the new boardwalk. Due to the excellent prep work done by Loretta Vaughan and Richard Wright everything went smoothly. Loretta figured all day and many hands made light work. The installation was completed in a little over 3 hours. The cadets were mindful of each other and when one saw another getting tired, the other quickly stepped in. The cadets truly made their leaders proud.
Cathy, Jackie, Debbie and Loretta prepared a nice lunch for everyone, which we enjoyed at the Trout Hatchery. Special thanks to Kit for allowing us to use the facilities. Just a great setting for lunch and the cadets really enjoyed it. Special thanks also go to D J for supplying home made cookies for everyone.
Parkside Collegiate Institute students under the supervision of Mr Haskell assembled the 45 panels. Richard Wright and Brian King brought them down to the location. Four by five inch locust was used for the base and all the panels were two inches thick and 32 inches wide on 2 x 8 frames. It looks amazing. Thank you to all the volunteers. We could not have done it without you. Splendid job!