0.3 C
Monday, January 27, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

Where asking you to take a hike is a good thing

Woolwich Trails Group gearing up for its next guided outing of the season on June 7


News Briefs

Woolwich nixes traffic islands Displeased with the troublesome pedestrian islands installed during the Region of Waterloo’s reconstruction of Church Street...

Woolwich proposes 5% tax hike for 2020

Budget talks underway this week, Woolwich council is looking at five per cent hike in property taxes, a...

20-year-old agreement causes a stir

An Elmira environmentalist’s “smoking gun” appears to be shooting blanks. Al Marshall, a long-time critic of cleanup efforts at...

Taking the plunge on condos

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but it’s also a prime reason Woolwich councillors this week approved...


light rain
0.3 ° C
2 °
-1.7 °
74 %
90 %
2 °
-1 °
-3 °
-2 °
-0 °

It’s still spring – despite the summery weather of late – and the Woolwich Trails Group is hosting one of the last hikes before taking a break for the season. Events are typically held in the spring and fall, avoiding the heat of summer, to take advantage of the township’s growing network of trails.

“It started over 20 years ago when interest in maintaining and developing trails started,” said Nancy Stayzer, a volunteer with the group. “There was a group of interested volunteers that got together and met once a month. So that’s how it started. In the spring and the fall we do hikes twice a month. We take the summer off because it’s just too hot.”

The trail group was established in 1992. Woolwich Township boasts 10 public trails that total more than 80 kilometres.

“When we plan hikes, we’ll send out the details to this hiking group,” said Stayzer. And so we probably have over 40 names on the list of people who might want to join us on a hike.”

“Our next hike is going to be lead by Jamie and Jen Hember,” added Stayzer. “They’ve been leading hikes forever. We get them to do a couple of hikes for us within the township. They’re friends of Woolwich Township, and they do a great job.”

The participants are generally a mixed bag.

“When we advertise a hike, we never know how many people will show up,” said Jamie Hember, a trail leader. “Sometimes there will be seven people or five people; sometimes we’ll get 21 people. It varies, in other words.

“We seldom, very seldom get children. Believe it or not, I hiked the whole Bruce Trail a couple of times now,” added Hember. “The one time there was this girl, about 12 years old with her parents. And she did the whole thing. That’s extremely rare.”

Closer to home, he’s looking to boost the profile of the trails group.

“I’d like the public to know just that we exist,” he said. “A lot of the people who do come out are older and quite often retired people. If they go out, they go out as a family. It’s like a cycling group or any other kind of group. With advertising, we have our newsletters, but to get the paper copy of the newsletter you have to be a member.”

The next hike is scheduled for June 7 at the Grand Valley Trail starting at 9 a.m. and ending at around 11:30 a.m. It will be about 10 kilometres in length.

The walks vary greatly in range, from five to 20 kilometres. Any members who come by who wish to stop at any point can do so, said Hember. He has given directions to members who find the length of the walk too daunting.

While there are specific hikes that allow for dogs, the general rule of thumb is that they are not permitted for safety reasons. However, there are rare exceptions.

“If you’re on a group hike and you’ve got 25 people on a rather treacherous part of the Bruce Trail, if they’re off leash, they can end up tripping you. The other issue locally is a lot of the time we’re hiking on private land where the landowner has permitted us. And it could be a farm where there are cattle – the farmer doesn’t want dogs, because sometimes the dogs don’t get along really well with the cattle. As a rule, we don’t permit dogs.

“Now, having said that I will do a hike and advertise it and I will say in it, ‘dogs welcome.’”

There are also different types of activities, such as interpretive nature hikes.

“One of the series that we planned in the Region of Waterloo, we have a number of forests, the regional forests that are open to recreation and open to hiking,” said Stayzer. “We really wanted to get somebody to come along on these hikes who knew the flora and fauna and to give us more information about the regional forest than any of us who are volunteers can do.

“Albert Hovine who works for the Region of Waterloo, his specialty is forest management. And he’s worked for the region for years. He’s the leader for these interpretive hikes. Once in the spring and once in the fall we choose a different regional forest. It’s nice to see what’s going on in the forest.”

For more information or to purchase the Guidebook to Woolwich Trails, visit www.healthywoolwich.org

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


Catholic teachers join public board on the picket lines

Local Catholic elementary and high school teachers hit the picket lines Tuesday, marching up and down Arthur Street in Elmira as part of a one-day, province-wide strike. It’s not an...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Job vacancies become harder to fill in the townships

It’s becoming increasingly tough for employers to find the right candidates to fill vacancies, particularly in local and rural areas, says a new report...

Jacks post first loss of 2020, but post wins on either side

A four-game winning streak to start the new year having come to an end Saturday, the Wellesley Applejacks rebounded Tuesday night to post...

Water and sewer rates to rise again this year, as Woolwich approves budget

Flush with cash or otherwise, you’ll be paying more again this year for turning on the taps and taking care of business in...

Sugar Kings lose for the first time in 2020

A couple of streaks came to an end Sunday as the Elmira Sugar Kings played their lone game of the week: the four...
- Advertisement -