A brief history of the club created for our 40th anniversary
by Brian Wilsdon
Here is a PDF of our clubs history that was enclosed in the Fall edition of the Pathfinder to help celebrate our 40th anniversary in October 2015.
Port Stanley, Ontario
It has been a very busy fall, hiking and preparing the trail for the well attended end-to-end hikes in October. I think it has rained more this fall than I can remember in the past and as a result we have had more than the usual bridge and erosion problems. Many thanks to Tom and to all who have come out to help with the repairs in problem areas.
In May our “Go to Blazes” Day was poorly attended, approximately 6 volunteers…so in 2015 organized trail maintenance days are:
Saturday, April 18th and 25th
Saturday, May 9th and
Saturday, May 23rd “Go to Blazes” day with lunch provided this day only (May 23).
On all the dates we will meet at
9 am 10 am posted in Pathfinder and work till 1 pm. Meeting spots in Spring Pathfinder newsletter. So please come out for a productive fun day and keep our 41 km of trail looking great next year!
I attended the Hike Ontario Summit (AGM) October 31st to November 2nd. Common concern was aging executive and maintenance workers. How to attract a younger group and Al Sharpe is doing this through maintaining our blog to appeal to younger crowd.
Thank you Al.
Over the winter months we will also explore other ideas.
D.J. Smale keeps us connected to Hike Ontario as our representative and is the club social convener. Don’t forget our Christmas Dinner at the Beanery on November 29th. Thank you D.J.
Brian King has served our club for fourteen years as treasurer. I cannot thank him enough. He is resigning in April. He deserves a break! Enjoy it Debbie and Brian.
Brian Wilsdon has had many hats over the years and continues to serve any need to be filled! Thank you Brian. He continues to organize the Spirit Walk. Please join me in wishing him a Very Happy 70th Birthday this month.
I really enjoyed the summit and feel invigorated to tackle the jobs that need to be planned over the winter months. Sunday’s horiscope best sums up my experience: “Getting out and sharing information and ideas with people you enjoy brings you closer to formulating what you want to strive for in the future. Insight coupled with dedication equals success.”
EHTC Report 2012
The Trans Canada Trail is a 16,000 km dream, connecting Canadians between three oceans, the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic. The vision emerged from the celebration of Canada’s 125th year in 1992. By 1993, the Trans Canada Trail Foundation were on a search for local organizers and had started fund raising. They encouraged Canadians to donate $36 a metre. I remember that, and donated, as did the Elgin Hiking Trail Club, as marked in the TCT Pavilion at Station Parkette, across from the CASO Station downtown. The concepts are exciting. It echoes two sentiments, mutual respect and love for our country, cornerstone values upon which this trail is being built.
It will be the World’s Longest Recreational Trail when completed hopefully by 2017, the year of Canada’s 150th Anniversary. It is a multi-use trail. The five main uses include walking, cycling, horseback riding, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling. That is where the Elgin Hiking Trail is different.
The Elgin Hiking trail is for HIKING only. None of the other uses are permitted. We are connected to the Legacy of Ontario Hiking Trails, including the Bruce Trail. Interestingly our trail runs basically north/south along Kettle Creek. The Trans Canada Trail runs east/west through Southwestern Ontario. So they intersect in St. Thomas. We both follow a short piece on Sunset Drive. Interesting too, that a movement has started up to make an elevated park on the old trestle bridge that crosses Sunset Drive and old Talbot Street. The bridge has been purchased but is still fenced off to the public.
The Elgin Hiking Trail has access under the bridge, on the west side of the Creek. The trail heads northwest to Payne’s Mills, 10 km and it goes 2 km south around the old horse farm, before using one km of Sunset Road. The old trestle bridge, is about the middle marker on the Elgin Trail. It is 21 km north to Southdel Line, where it connects with the Thames Valley Trail. It is 20 km south to Mackie’s at the beach in Port Stanley, the southern extent of the Elgin Hiking Trail.
Brian Wilsdon, August 21, 2012.
EHTC Report 2010
It’s been a busy fall on the Elgin Hiking Trail. A leisurely end-to-end started on October 9, in partnership with the Avon Trail Club.
On our second hike, October 23, we stopped at Sunset Café to celebrate the 35th anniversary of both clubs.
A total of 28 hikers enjoyed a piece of cake at the spot where the Elgin trail began 35 years ago. At that time the trail went six kilometres south to John Wise Line. Now the trail runs 41 km from Port Stanley, Ontario north to Southdel Line where it connects with the Thames Valley Trail. The original club had about 20 members, today there are 150 members.
The trail owes its origins to the ideas proposed by Brian Henson, now of Brantford.
The picturesque Elgin Trail which runs along the Kettle Creek Valley to St. Thomas, and then along the Dodd Creek tributary to Paynes Mills is a challenging hike. It also goes one km through a horse farm northwest of St. Thomas.
On October 15, 60 senior public school students walked to the sand dunes overlooking the Kettle Creek spillway valley south of St.Thomas.
Our annual Candlelit Christmas Spirit Walk is scheduled for Saturday, December 4th at Springwater CA, in partnership with the Catfish Creek Conservation Authority.
Last year we had 800 people take the tour. Volunteers from the club work the gate, lead the tours, and serve hot chocolate and cookies.
Some of the volunteer performers have been there for the 12 years of the event.
This busy season is in contrast to the heat of the summer when very few activities are held.
We will be having a Christmas party for the first time in several years, Thursday, December 8, at Sunset Café.
This will be followed by an optional walk through the Fantasy of Lights in nearby Pinafore Park, St. Thomas.