Group Hikes - 2017


  • You are welcome to join any of the following hikes but you do so at your own risk.
  • You are encouraged to join and support a 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.

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].



JUNE 2017

HikerSaturday, June 10, 2017
– Health Valley/Avon Trail, St. Jacobs. Level 2. Pace: 2-3 km/h. ~ 8 km

Leader: Jamie 519-745-1375. Depart at 9:00 a.m. from the parking lot behind the St. Jacobs Fire Hall, 3 Water Street (43.539146, -80.549918). We will walk along the Conestogo River and Martin Creek for about 4 km and return the same route. This footpath is one of the popular Woolwich Township trails and exists due to the generosity of landowners. The trail is maintained by Woolwich volunteers and members of the Avon Trail. Bring water and sturdy hiking footwear is suggested (no sandals). Directions: Enter St. Jacobs from Waterloo on King St., turn east (right) onto Albert St. East. Travel about 0.2 km & just before Albert St bends right to become Water St. follow the parking signs into the parking lot (north side of firehall) & drive to the back of the parking lot to the trail head. >>> Google Maps Directions. Check www.hember.ca/grouphikes for more information and last-minute changes.



Stay tuned. Some hikes are being planned and will be posted here once I have them finalized. There may not be too many in the summer months. However I may post a couple of short and local, evening hikes in July and August.

Do You Own an In-Car GPS?

Some in-car GPS units allow you to enter the coordinates (i.e. latitude and longitude) instead of a regular street address. If you own a Garmin unit press "Where to?" and then the down arrow in the lower right corner and that takes you to "Coordinates". Press "Coordinates" and enter the latitude and longitude. For more detailed step-by-step instructions check Entering Coordinates in Recent Garmin Nüvi GPS Receivers.