Upcoming Hikes Winter 2018-2019

You are welcome to join any of the following hikes but you do so at your own risk.
Please consider joining and supporting an hiking organization such as the Grand Valley Trails Association, the Avon Trail, the Guelph Hiking Club, the Bruce Trail Conservancy, the Thames Valley Hiking Association, and the Elgin Hiking Trail Club. See Hike Ontario and the Ontario Trails Council for other suggestions.
Smoking is not permitted on hikes.
Dogs are not allowed on most hikes unless otherwise stated.
Hikes usually proceed "rain or shine". Exceptions would be if there is severe weather with road closures or imminent lightning storms.
Note that it states "Depart at ..." in each description. That means you must be at the designated meeting place well ahead of time.
Some hikes are loops while others are linear. Linear hikes require a car shuttle at the start of the hike and at the end of the hike. If it is a car shuttle hike, we usually meet at the end point. Come prepared to participate in the car shuttle and ensure there are at least two to three empty seats in your car. Also, you need room in the car trunk for back packs, etc.
Some of these hikes may be offered through a hiking organization in which case you must be prepared to sign a "Waiver of Liability and Assumption of Risk" form before the hike starts.


Hike Rating

To help you decide if a hike is suitable for you, I tend to use a hike rating system similar to that used by organizations such as the Bruce Trail Conservancy, Hike Ontario and the Grand Valley Trails Association. There are three aspects that describe or rate the hike.

Pace (or Speed)

Leisurely = less than 2 km/h      Slow = 2 to 3 km/h
Moderate = 3 to 4 km/h              Fast = 5 km/h or greater

Level of Difficulty (LOD)/Terrain

Easy or Level 1 – Well–defined trails, gentle inclines. Hiking boots not required, but trails may be wet. Is suitable for beginners. This level is recommended for newcomers if the distance is suitable.
Normal or Level 2 – Generally on trail. May be hilly, light bush whacking, some rough spots or obstacles. Sturdy hiking boots are necessary.
Strenuous or Level 3 – Rough terrain with one or more of the following: extensive bushwhacking, steep sections, long climbs and descents, beaver dams, rock scrambling or other obstacles. Boots, Level 2 experience, and a high level of fitness essential. Long pants and sleeves recommended.


Distance is stated in kilometres (km). [1 kilometre = 0.621371192 mile].


2018-2019 WINTER HIKE(S)

Thursday, December 20, 2018 – Celebrating Winter Solstice. Level 2-3. Pace: 2-3 km/h (slow-moderate). ~ 9 km (or less)
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 9:30 a.m. (note time) from the parking lot Huron Natural Area, 801 Trillium Dr., Kitchener (43.398943, -80.481975). Today (the day before the northern solstice) we have about 9 h of daylight (compared to about 15.5 h in June), so let’s make the best of it, get some exercise & generate a bit of Vitamin D. If winter conditions allow, we will walk southward along some of the Huron Natural Area (HNA) trails that you may have walked before. Shortly after the start, we leave HNA on new community paths and head south of the historic Huron Road into the central-western portion of Brigadoon (see Brigadoon Neighbourhood map). Some of the Brigadoon loop takes us through a woodlot & around Wards Pond caused by the damming of Strasburg Creek like Battler’s Pond on the north side of Huron Road where George Davidson planned to build the village of New Aberdeen in about 1856 [see PDF map of New Aberdeen, the village that didn’t catch on]. Then we head back to our cars at HNA. Be aware that there are some short segments where we must “bushwhack”; that is, there is no path & we must make one. Hikers may wish to bring trekking poles & pack your “icers”. The walk will be at a medium/slow pace (not fast). A brief “nutrition” stop is planned during the trek so pack a thermos of hot tea/chocolate & a snack. If the weather conditions are extreme, I will shorten the walk to 5 km or less in the HNA. Check here for more information and last-minute changes.

Thursday, January 24, 2019 – A KW Loop Walk. Level 2. Pace: 2-3 km/h (slow-moderate). ~ 8 km (or less)
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 9:30 a.m. (note time) from the parking lot in Waterloo Park (43.467010, -80.529182) located just north of Silver Lake & near the Lions Lagoon Splash Pad. The walk today will proceed into Kitchener along city sidewalks & community trails. Imagine, there is a wee bakery along the way. We will pay homage to George Davidson at his Mt. Hope Cemetery tombstone, have a brief stop at Tim Hortons and head back via Cherry & Raddatz Park & the Iron Horse Trail. Dress for the weather conditions & carry your “icers” with you in case they are needed. If the weather conditions are extreme, I will shorten the walk to 5 km or less. Check here for more information and last-minute changes.