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.
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. No attempt is
made to provide a total time for a 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
Currently my hikes tend to be at a slow to moderate speed.
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].
2021 Group Hikes?
Spring 2021 is approaching. The Covid-19 Pandemic continues.
Let's hope that mankind will find a way out of the
predicament. We have adjusted our lives like most others and
we continue to do our own daily walks. Part of me feels that
group hikes as we have known them for the past 30 some years
may take a long time to return. The psychological and
economic damage in all aspect of life on this planet seems
inconprehensible. It is at time like this that I need
gimmicks to help me along. For example, the concept of
gratefulness and gratitude
helps me. Sometimes it is
hard to believe that we always have choices. There are
examples of people who felt they had a choice even as
prisoners in concentraton camps.
As you can appreciate, group
hikes, as we knew them, have been curtailed. A few smaller
group hikes are sometimes being allowed under strict conditions. Some hike leaders, myself included,
are reluctant to resume published group hikes as we did
pre-pandemic. I will continue personal hiking/walking. I
look forward to seeing and smelling the ephemeral
wildflowers this spring 2021. At some point I may start publishing a limited
number of hikes in the space below. If you have never hiked
with me before and need ideas for some Ontario hikes, please
check my Master Index of Hikes.
Until then, happy hiking and stay safe.