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.

40th celebration in Port Stanley

Loretta, Brian, Eileene and Steve at 40th Celebration held in West room at Mackie's, Port Stanley
Loretta, Brian, Eileene and Steve at 40th Celebration held in West room at Mackie’s, Port Stanley

The day started with the hydro being out in Port Stanley, the weather was a bit chilly and windy for our 40th celebration, still 60 people came out for the Port Stanley Terminal Rail train to Whytes Park. Cathy Johnstone had a nice surprise of water and chocolate at the park which everyone definitely enjoyed. The children had fun poking their heads out of the Col. Talbot’s Animal Circus rail car. The commentary on the train was superb.

At the train station it was a bit too windy and people started to migrate to the warmth of Mackie’s. The ten hikers who got off at Union Station arrived thirty minutes later, Loretta did a great job motioning them along. As we walked along the harbour, waves were certainly foretelling of rain to come.

We had the West room at Mackie’s for the celebration and everyone was socializing and bringing up old memories. John and Jeanette Cervan greated guests at the entrance to Mackie’s. Kelly Jones did a great job of welcoming everyone and introducing our guest speakers. The Mayor of Central Elgin, David Marr, welcomed everyone and acknowledged the county of Central Elgin appreciate all the work the volunteers do to make the trail possible. He presented the EHTC with a Certificate of Congratulations which Loretta accepted on behalf of the club. Dan McNeil welcomed everyone. Steve Peters spoke to the history of the trail and stated parts of it would have been used many many years before by settlers and natives. Brian Wilsdon introduced our special guests and thanked the land owners for their continued support.

William Stewart was one of the visionaries for creating the trail. His wife Eileene Stewart and current president Loretta Vaughan cut the cake. Loretta, Lydia Driscoll and Dave Gibson (absent) were instrumental in reforming the club in 1989. The socializing continued afterwards.

A group of us went for turkey supper after at the Anglican church and Tom Friesen, president of Hike Ontario was able to join us.

A big thank you to Mackie’s for allowing us free use of their facilities. The Lale family have been a strong supporters of the club. A very, very special thank you to the amazing job the organizing committee of Brian King, Loretta Vaughan and Brian Wilsdon did in making the 40th celebration such a great success. Good job.

More photos of 40th celebration can be found on our Flickr site.

Celebrating our 40th year in October

40th logo

You are cordially invited to join the Elgin Hiking Trail Club on October 3rd in Port Stanley as we celebrate 40 years since the inception of our trail. From our humble beginnings in 1975 when Brian Henson proposed establishing a walking trail in Elgin County, the 5 km trail was officially opened on September 27th in 1975 from then Woodland Farms Market (now car wash on Sunset Drive) to County Road 45 (John Wise Line). The trail is now 41 kilometers long and links Port Stanley on Lake Erie with the Thames Valley Trail at northern boundary of Township of Southwold.

This years events will start at ten thirty with a train ride aboard the scenic Port Stanley Terminal Rail train to White’s Flats and return to Port Stanley. People will have the opportunity to disembark at Union Station and hike the eight kilometers back to Port Stanley. This is hilly terrain, boots and poles recommended. The route back will take you along the west side of the harbour in Port Stanley and newly opened iconic main beach pier (after being closed for 16 years).

There will be a short ceremony in the west room at Mackie’s at one thirty with 40th anniversary cake and Mackie’s menu available. Fellowship will follow with past, present and prospective new members.

To participate on the train and hike please send $10 per person (cheque made out to Elgin Hiking Trail Club) care of Brian King, 28 Taylor Crescent, St Thomas ON N5R 5J4. We need you to reserve by September 23rd for booking sufficient seats on train. All who register for the train will receive a 40th anniversary badge as shown above. Hope to see you there.

Club receives nice grant

In June Sue Dodds and myself applied for a grant from Green Lane Community Trust on behalf of the EHTC.

We asked for funds to offset our 40th celebration in October, signage for Spirit Walk, two benches along the trail and majority of funds to replace the boardwalk.

Through the generosity of Green Lane Community Trust; we received all $4,060.00 requested!

Thank-you to Green Lane Community Trust!

Annual inter club bus/hike in Halton Hills


Mark the date: Saturday Aug.29th, 2015 All Day Event

Must pre-register and pre-pay with Pat at
Cost is $30 per seat, cheque payable to TVTA. Once contacted Pat will send information.
Join us for our annual inter club bus/hike, we will be hiking in the Terra Cotta and Silver Creek conservation areas and Scotsdale Farm on the Bruce Trail. Please arrive by 6:45 A.M. in London. Departing parking lot at 7:00 A.M. with stop in Kitchener.
The terrain is a mix of very rocky, some flat section and some hills. Bring lunch, water, bug repellant and sun screen. Sturdy footwear and hiking poles recommended. Dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Can store items (a change of clothes or footwear) on the bus while we hike.

Hike Leaders: Cheryl O , Fred M., Donica A., Pat J & Tilman J.

Trail references are shown in the 28th edition of the Bruce Trail Guide Book.
There will be two hikes offered:

Longer fast pace 5 km/h for 17 km
Start at km 47.5 map 14 Terra Cotta CA – Bruce Trail club Toronto section

Shorter moderate pace 3.5 – 4.5 km/h for 12.5 km
Start at km 41.2 map 14 Terra Cotta CA – Bruce Trail club Toronto section.

Both hikes to finish at Scotsdale Farm, near Georgetown.
After the hike we will stop at Boston Pizza in Georgetown.
This is a great opportunity to meet like minded people from area clubs, hope to see you there.

Go to blazes days volunteers

Bluebells in May
Bluebells in May

WOW! What productive “Go To Blazes Days” we have had! THANK YOU EVERY-ONE!
The Sunset Drive reroute is blazed; boardwalk repaired (which is ongoing) and weeds slashed!
The trail is in good shape.
Today we started a trail survey; one kit at the red barn at Paynes Mills and the other in Port Stanley, hoping to get three more on trail soon. We would like to know how many people are using the trail. Please sign our book with date and the number in your group.
Get out and enjoy all our hard work,

Virginia Bluebells in bloom

photo by Mark Yurek
photo by Mark Yurek

Today when checking on the Virginia bluebells we ran into a group of 45 hikers from the TVTA Ramblers. The sky was mostly overcast with the occasional showing of sunshine. While hiking we noticed grosbeaks, orioles, common yellowthroat and indigo bunting. Hopefully the bluebells will still be in bloom for the second group from TVTA (thru Meetup) on Sunday. The bluebells can be seen on trail east of Lyle road after about a 45 minute hike. Get out and enjoy this best kept secret in Elgin soon.