On June 6th we had an upstream beaver dam blow-out, this sent a temporary flood of water streaming across the access-road, but thankfully none of the single-track was affected. If you’ve noticed the erosion and wondered how that happened; then that’s what happened! The extra volume of water flowed into a large downstream wetland, through a culvert and eventually into the Hilton Fall’s reservoir.
As late as June 13th we’ve had reports of a Black Bear in the Britton tract of our forest. This is the northeastern forest adjacent to 6th line. A bear was spotted earlier to the northwest of our forest (image above) so bear could be a thing this summer.
We’ve heard multiple people and their dogs have been acquired by black-legged deer ticks. This is troubling because these ticks spread Lyme disease. According to Public Health Ontario our forest is now part of the estimated risk area.
Be tick smart, carry fine tweezers, regularly check your clothes for stowaways. Each day inspect the nooks and crannies the tick-favours such as: Between your toes, behind the knees, groin, waist, belly button, elbows, armpits, behind the ears and your scalp.
Spot it early and the risk of Lyme (a very serious infection) is very low.
This year’s spring rains have been relentless, but the temperatures are rising and helping to change the balance of power. Knock on wood, the conveyor belt of rainstorms from the south is slowing and many trails are drying out, though others are lingering as muddy.
Please don’t use the ones that are still muddy – There are only a few and they’ll be dry in a week or two!
Anyhow, enough of our trails have reached the dry or variable state that the general condition of the AF can be upgraded to Moderate. So as of June 3rd, 2019 we’re encouraging people to enjoy! And wow, that was the longest stretch of Poor conditions we’ve ever seen. Two months of rains. I read in the news the other day that Lake Ontario is at its highest level in recorded history.
It’s no exaggeration to say this is a strange spring.
Now that we’ve reached June and “Good” trails are on the horizon, we’d like to send a sincere thank you to all who’ve exercised restraint during the past months and either abstained or rode elsewhere. To those who didn’t care we hope you start to and come join us at trail days in the Fall to repair the damage done to the trails we must share. Sadly it doesn’t take many selfish people to ruin a trail when it’s muddy and we’ve learned a lot through the grape-vine in recent weeks, some of it was disappointing (like the person who stole their community non-profit’s #ridedirtnotmud sign) and some of it a really awesome surprise (like the people who switched to road or used drier trail networks).
We’re focused on all the awesome people who help make these trails possible and hoping others choose not to try and drag things down like the proverbial crab in a bucket. Make no mistake, the people out there whining about HAFTA not condoning their riding (and damage) of muddy trails, jacking our signs or belittling people trying to do the sustainable thing are outliers (maybe even nihilists). Feel safe knowing that most people using this forest want to do the right things to keep trails sustainable; if that wasn’t the case the entire place would have destructed last month.
There is no beating around the bush, we have had more dumped on our plate by the outliers who continue to damage muddy trails, but our vision of top-drawer trails and a community that cares for them is still alive.
Salute to our volunteers putting effort in to maintain and improve the network,