Welcome back

Photo by Joan d’Entremont

With the restrictions finally seeming to be lifting on Covid-19, I thought it about time to update the Elgin Trail map. The map is on the map page and a current GPX file can be downloaded to your cell phone.

I am really liking the ATLOGIS Canada Topo Maps Pro it is only around $11 and supports many map formats such as Toporama and in French, OpenStreetMap and my favorite OSM Outdoors. This was not available last year and is a great addition, unfortunately only for Android at moment, do not see it in iPhone app store.

The trail can be downloaded at zoom level eighteen which on my phone is 100 meters at 1 cm which is fine enough to not get lost. It is a lot of tiles so make sure you download with WiFi before going out on the trail.

We had high winds last night and a few more dead ash trees probably fell on the trail. This is an ongoing and endless project. We have several work parties going out this weekend and early next week to clean up parts of the trail. Even though it was technically closed during the pandemic and no one was doing any maintenance. Many people have taken advantage of the trail and enjoyed it.

Unfortunately some people who were not members chose to take it upon themselves and tell a landowner he should not be using a snowmobile on the trail. This angered the landowner and now we have lost a lovely part of the trail.

Just several years ago that part of the trail had a beech tree fall down several days before we were going to have a large group go through celebrating the clubs fourtieth anniversary. A crew went out and cleared the tree in time. Here is hoping the landowner will realize the value of the club and open his families property back up.

Hope everyone has weathered the isolation and looking forward to enjoying our great trail again.
Enjoy our great outdoors and keep safe by social distancing.

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Spirit Walk 2018 cancelled

Tree all dressed up for Spirit Walk. — photo by John Hutton

This years walk has been cancelled account of impending rain approaching during the event. Much work went into the preparation but mother nature had other ideas.
I would like to take this time to express the executives appreciation for all the effort Brian Wilsdon has put into the Spirit Walk. It has been his passion and
he has pulled off great Spirit walks over many years.

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Dutton Dunwich TTC Celebration

Dutton Dunwich Trans Canada Trail Celebration.

The trail is now 93% complete and some 22,000 kms long going through 13 provinces and territories. The Great Trail is comprised of 432 individual trail sections of which the Dutton Dunwich trail is one. There is The Great Trail app for IOS and Android designed in partnership with ESRI Canada.
Everyone is invited to celebrate the near completion of the Trans Canada Trail with a hike on August 26th. It would be awesome if we had a real good representation from the club. Long time member Marg Hulls will be leading the hike with a barbecue to follow. Information in poster above and a nice article in the St. Thomas Times Journal last Friday. The first 75 registrants will receive a commemorative embroidered badge.
Hope to see you there.

Fall end-to-end

Wendy, Phyllis and  Tom at Santa's way station in Union.
Wendy, Phyllis and Tom at Santa’s way station in Union.

We had a total of 15 people out for the fall end-to-end. Four people completed the whole trail with new member Joan being one of them. Congratulations Joan. We had three regular hikers miss the first hike which was cut short due to rain. The rain make up hike was also poorly attended due to slippery conditions. The trail was in pretty good condition and everyone enjoyed themselves. We saw a buck on second hike. Nine new people jointed us on at least one of the hikes and we hope to see them out on our winter hikes. Thank you to all who came out and made the hikes so enjoyable.

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.

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!

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.

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.
Sincerely;
Loretta Vaughan
519-782-7550

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