New invasive species… potentially on trails

Himalayan Balsam Impatiens glandulifera

Himalayan balsam is an annual herb, native to the western Himalayas. In the early 1800s it was introduced to many parts of Europe, New Zealand and North America as a garden ornamental. Himalayan Balsam has an orchid shaped flower resembling a British policeman’s helmet, which gave rise to its other common name of “Policeman’s helmet”.

Himalayan balsam can completely cover an area and crowd out native vegetation. Mature seed capsules explode when touched and can eject seeds as much as 5 m from the parent plant, giving it the alternate common name of “Touch-Me-Not plant”. It is mostly found in riparian areas, especially river edges and wetlands.

For more information, go to http://www.invadingspecies.com/invaders/plants-terrestrial/himalayan-balsam/

Hike leader certification course May 24

Hike Ontario, in partnership with the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association is hosting a Hike Leader Certification Course on May 24, 2014 in  Peterborough, ON.

The course is designed to train leaders to safely lead day hikes, which are within 2 kms of EMS support (i.e. not remote wilderness hikes).

Cource registration fee: $ 50.

Note: participants will receive a free 1 year membership in the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association (a $25 value).

For more information, see Hike leader poster – Kawartha May 2014 or contact Eveline Stout 705-874-6028 or estout@cogeco.ca

Time to get the snowshoes and skis out!

Heavy snow in Midland

It’s been snowing non-stop since Tuesday night, and snowsqualls are expected to continue until Friday… But don’t let that stop you from going outdoors. Follow the example of the above Midland Ganaraska Hiking Club hikers, who were out today and enjoyed a brisk snowshoe walk.

So get your skis and snowshoes out and get out there!!

Note: OFSC snowmobile trails are not open as yet. Check the interactive OFSC website www.ofsc.on.ca for trail status.

Hunting season is upon us!!

Hunting is one of the many activities enjoyed in the forest and is considered a very safe recreational activity in Ontario. Both hunters and non-hunters need to do their part to respect the privileges of other users and keep the outdoors enjoyable for everyone.

Most fall hunting takes place between early September and mid December.  You can find detailed information on the Ministry of Natural Resources website:

http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/FW/2ColumnSubPage/291144.html

To find out specific dates, you need to know that Simcoe County is for the most part in Wildlife Management Areas 76A to 76E,  WMU 77A to 77C as well as WMU 81B.

In Simcoe County, the controlled deer hunt season, which seems to attract the most hunters, is November 4 to 8, and December 2 to 6, 2013.

Be Safe Be Seen is a safety campaign to create awareness amongst trail users. For more information, go to http://beseenbesafe.simcoetrails.ca/.

Particularly in the fall, trail users may want to be seen and be safe.

 

At a minimum, wear bright colours!

  • wear bright orange (hat, vest, scarf, bandana, helmet cover) instead of beige, brown, white orblack clothing.
  • During turkey season (late spring) avoid wearing red, white, blue or black.
  • Cover your backpack with orange.
  • Put brightly coloured markers on horses, dogs & other pets. (Make or buy an orange rump sheet for your horse. Put an orange bandana on your pet).

Do your part to share the woods safely and respect each other and the land we share.

Copeland Forest… in the fall

We are just amateurs, but recently discoverd mountain biking… What a great way to see and enjoy our local landscapes. One great place to visit is the Copeland Forest.

Stopping to take a picture of the gorgeous fall colours

The Copeland forest, located in Central Ontario close to Barrie and Horseshoe Valley Resort, is one of the loveliest forests in southern Ontario and is comprised of 4,400 acres. It is full of lush undergrowth, towering old pines, unusual wildflowers and ferns, and hectares of maples, oaks, beeches, birches and evergreens.  Depending on the time of year, you may glimpse interesting wildlife like wild turkey, kingfisher, wood ducks and red-winged blackbirds.  The forest is home to more than a dozen species of sedges and numerous wildflowers.  There are natural views of a duck pond, beaver lodge and the Coldwater River.

Wetland along the 3rd line

The forest offers a variety of trails, some are very easy and others are way too technical for the beginner mountainbiker. None of the trails are marked, so you will need a very good sense of orientation, or a good GPS.

Single track trail in the Copeland Forest

Hikers can follow the white blazes of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail, which winds through the Copeland Forest on the Ganaraska Trail’s 600 km route from Port Hope on Lake Ontario to Glen Huron, near Georgian Bay.

For more information on the Copeland Forest, check http://www.couchichingconserv.ca/copeland-forest/

Fore more information on the Ganaraska Hiking Trail, check http://www.ganaraska-hiking-trail.ca/

For more mountain biking information, check the website of  the Simcoe County Mountain Bike Club at http://www.scmbc.ca/.

Enjoy!!