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!

Build the Boardwalk Day this coming Saturday, April 16th.

Meet at 8:30 am at the boardwalk across the road from the Port Stanley Fish Hatchery on Thomas Road off Union Road. The green space west of the hatchery is private property that we can park on. We will be installing a new boardwalk. St Thomas Army Cadets will also be helping. Lunch will be provided.
For more info contact Loretta at 519-782-7550.

Loretta’s Presidents message

As I write my last President’s Message I would like to say Thanks to the current Executive for all their support.
Walking has always been my passion since high school and my service to this club has been because of this devotion; and the desire to improve the trail and make it safer.
Our efforts as a club paid off as we celebrated our 40th Anniversary; all sections of the trail are now open; reroute off Sunset is completed; for safety reasons. Boardwalk funding and material ordered; just hoping the weather co-operates April 16th.
Our membership remains constant; but if each of us asked just one person to join our club, membership would increase.
There are many excuses for not taking responsibility but there are more for stepping up and doing what needs to be done.
If you are at all interested in keeping this trail and club alive please call and I will help mentor anyone.
Soon it will be Spring; so get out there and enjoy the best local hiking trail around.
Loretta Vaughan

Annual Dinner fast approaching


The annual dinner for the Elgin Hiking Trail Club is at 5 pm on January 30th. Please RSVP DJ Smale at 501-765-2029 if you would like to join us at the St Thomas Roadhouse, 837 Talbot Street. We look forward to seeing you there for a great meal and social hour.

Christmas wishes to all

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Special wishes to our landowners who give generously; by permitting us to walk on their property.
A reminder trail is closed Dec 25th to protect their rights.
May this Christmas season be filled with good friends, health and great hikes!

Christmas Spirit Walk 2015

Catfish Creek Conservation Authority and Elgin Hiking Trail Club present our annual Christmas Spirit Walk..

Catfish Creek Conservation Authority and Elgin Hiking Trail Club present our annual Christmas Spirit Walk..

The Spirit Walk is just around the corner. Bring your children or grand children to enjoy a scenic walk through the forest enjoying the choirs. Derek Drover will be entertaining in the school house with 13 young performers. Apple cider to warm the children before visiting Santa. Hope to see you all out their.

Presidents message

Well after a very busy fall and a very successful 40th celebration our trail has never looked better!! Thank you to all who were able to help with Trail Maintenance!!
As we head into another very busy season; Christmas I hope to see you in Jan for a social event; details in Newsletter.
Our trail survey shows 121 people signing in at the Paynes Mills location and 107 signed in at the south end in Port Stanley. It would be nice to repeat the survey again next summer. Thank you all who took the time to sign in.
Maybe when things slow down in the New Year would you consider helping the club out? We are desperate for a full executive in April. Myself and others in current executive would be happy to help mentor or “co position” any position you are interested in.
We are also busy getting a supply list of lumber ready to do the board walk in April. We have a short time frame in which to get it done with the Grant money we received from Green Lane; before the fish arrive at The Lake Erie Salmon and Trout Farm.
Enjoy the winter; hope to see you on the trail or our Moonlit walk and wiener roast.