Upcoming Hikes 2019

You are welcome to join any of the following hikes but you do so at your own risk.
Please consider joining and supporting hiking organizations 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

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

 

2019 FALL HIKES

Thursday, September 26, 2019 – One Devil of a Walk, Galt. Level 1. Pace: 2-3 km/h (slow-moderate). ~ 8.0 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:00 a.m. from the parking lot (43.358822, -80.326309) in Victoria Park, Cambridge. The entrance to the parking lot is across from the house at 105 Salisbury Ave, Cambridge. The walk follows street sidewalks in an older and beautiful Galt area, community trails that pass along the Grand River and through an environmentally sensitive area . Check here for last-minute changes.

Thursday, October 3, 2019 – Stratford Side Trail of the Avon Trail. Level 2. Pace: 2-3 km/h (slow-moderate). ~ 10 (or 5) km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:00 a.m. from the T.J. Dolan Natural Area parking lot at coordinates 43.370260, -80.995459. The parking lot is at the intersection of John St North and Centre St a bit north of the hospital. The walk consists of two loops: 1) around the Avon River in the T.J. Dolan Natural Area on the west side of the city (~ 5 km), 2) around Victoria Lake in the city (~ 5 km). On the second loop I plan a stop near Victoria Lake to enjoy a packed lunch (weather permitting). Bring water and lunch. Feel free to join in for the T.J. Dolan Natural Area loop only. Directions: Take Hwy 7&8/Ontario St west into the centre of Stratford, turn left onto Erie St/Hwy 7 (signs for London) for about 0.7 km, right onto Cambria St for about 0.8 km, right onto John St North for about 0.12 km. Details pertaining to this walk and maps are available at hember.ca/hikes/StratfordLoop.html. Check here for any last-minute changes.

Thursday, October 10, 2019 – Glasgow-Petersburg Hydrocut Loop. Level 2. Pace 2-3 km/h (slow-moderate). ~ 9 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:00 a.m. from the Glasgow Street parking lot, 1670 Glasgow St, Kitchener (43.428911, -80.563366). We walk west on trails along the hydrocut to the Petersburg Regional Forest (the Pines Side), do a big loop, including the picturesque and short Kamikaze section (if it is open), and then return. Bring water and a snack. Directions: From the Ira Needles Bvd/Highland Rd roundabout (43.423006, -80.553006) go west on Highland Rd for about 350 m, turn right (north) on Glasgow St (43.421925, -80.556582) & travel about 1 km (across railway tracks) & turn left into parking area (43.428911, -80.563366). Check here for any last-minute changes.

Saturday, October 19, 2019 – Winterbourne/West Montrose Area. Level 2. Pace: 2-3 km/h (slow-moderate). ~ 8 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:00 a.m. from Letson Park, West Montrose (43.585520, -80.479824). A car shuttle will be required so arrive with space in your vehicle for other hikers. The Grand Valley Trail takes us from Winterbourne (Short Street) along Cox Creek, the Grand River to Buggy Lane, and proceeds north through West Montrose before we return to Letson Park on a short section of the Kissing Bridge Trailway.  Check here for any last-minute changes.

Thursday, October 24, 2019 – Grand Valley Trail and Airport. Level 2. Pace: 2-3 km/h (slow-moderate). ~ 10 km
Leader: Jamie. Depart at 10:00 a.m. from the Walter Bean Grand River Trail parking lot [K.D. Woerner Family Trailway] (43.444636, -80.402164) near the end of Woolner Trail (formerly Zeller Drive). This hike involves a car shuttle so please arrive with room in your vehicle for at least two other hikers. After our car shuttle to the M.R. Good Family Walter Bean parking lot on Otterbein Road, we follow the Grand Valley Trail (GVT) through Natchez Hills (ESPA 24)  [Will there be a golf course adjacent to Natchez Hills? See page 20 in this online PDF.] to the Fairway Road bridge (one of only a small number of segmental bridges in the province). At the bridge we leave the GVT and cross “the Grand” from Kitchener to Cambridge to Woolwich Township (no passports required). We proceed to the airport and stop at the Runways Café for lunch. After our nutrition break, we re-cross “the Grand” (yes, on the bridge) and walk to the Walter Bean Grand River Trail parking lot [K.D. Woerner Family Trailway] (43.444636, -80.402164) near the end of Woolner Trail for the final car shuttle. Check here for any last-minute changes.