El Camino & The Bad Thing
While many people hike the Maitland Trail between Goderich and Auburn alone or in small groups, there’s one event each year that becomes a joyous gathering of those who love hiking.
The El Camino hike takes two days (Sept. 24- 25 in 2022) to cover the 52.6 kilometres from the head of the trail near Auburn, along the beautiful, winding route of the lower Maitland River to Goderich.
Hikers will traverse narrow trails, wide rambling trails, many hills, past farmland, river vistas, autumn meadows and towering forests. They may see wildlife: from toads, salamanders and snakes to ravens, robins and majestic bald eagles.
It is important to note that this is a challenging course, with many hills and stairs. Even the most seasoned hikers can find it difficult, so training and conditioning is important. For a full-distance hike, you would be tackling 32.4 kilometres on Saturday (five to 10 hours) and 20.2 kilometres on Sunday (four to eight hours). There are different options for the length of trails hikers want to tackle and shuttles will take hikers to the starting points each day.
The hike usually sells out well in advance so you may want to start planning for 2023. If you’re interested, the full registration kit is available on the Maitland Trail Association’s website at www.maitlandtrail.ca.
Perhaps walking a 50-kilometre trail riddled with ravines, stairs and mud sounds too tame for you. The folks at The Bad Thing Trail Race have created an event with you in mind. On Oct. 22, there will be a point-to-point race from Goderich to Auburn along the Maitland Trail, with either a 50-kilometre or a 25-kilometre option. This is not for the faint of heart and is recommended for seasoned trail runners. The 2022 races are sold out, but to get planning for 2023 visit www.racethebadthing.com