Hike In Huron - Spring’22
Hullett Provincial Wildlife Area
Hullett Provincial Wildlife Area - It’s true, we’re bringing you back to the Hullett Provincial Wildlife Area (HPWA), as it is the best vantage point in the county for viewing wildlife, especially the waterfowl in spring. With over 5,000 acres, including 2,100 acres of wetlands, seven trails and the entire dyke system to explore, you are certain to find something new with every visit.
Park in the lot at 41494 Bridge Road and enter the HPWA for a lovely spring walk on the dykes in this area. After you cross a bridge, you’ll find the dyke at the end of the road. If you turn right, there is only a short walkable path, but there is an abandoned apple orchard that blooms in late May. A left turn takes you out on the dyke with the Bluewing Pool on your right and an overflow waterway to your left. As you walk along, you will come to a corner where you can turn right and walk on a dyke that has the Bluewing Pool on the right and the Whistler Pool on the left. Make sure that you visit the website and download the Birding Checklist. With more than 200 species visiting regularly, the checklist is a fun tool to see how many of them you can see in a season. http://www.hullettmarsh.com/attrcations
Another favourite entry point is at the end of Conservation Road, using the parking lot at the very end of the road (40650 Conservation Road). From here, it’s a short walk in and you have two hiking options: to the right is a dyke that passes by Woodie Pool, a favourite of nesting Canada Geese and out to a dyke that has a woodlot on one side and the Greenwing Pool, with frequent sightings of deer and muskrats, or you can go straight ahead and across the old iron bridge and up to the main dyke system that surrounds the Bluebill Pool. Either option will be loaded with opportunities to see wildlife.
Maitland Trail at Morris Tract Nature Preserve
One of the most popular entry points to the 52-kilometer long Maitland Trail that runs from Auburn to Goderich, is the Morris Tract Nature Preserve. The short side trail runs from Londesboro Road (County Rd 31) to meet up with the main trail. A right turn on to the Maitland Trail takes you through the Morris Tract, a 58 hectare property owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada that consists of a hardwood forest of towering maple, oak, beech and hickory trees. Spring is a wonderful time to visit the tract with an abundance of trilliums giving way to lush ferns, making this also a great place to observe the abundant bird and wildlife.
In this section you will also see the lingering impact to the forest from two significant weather events. The area was heavily damaged during a meso-cylcone in 1995 and again in 2011 when an F3 tornado cut a wide path of destruction and intersected many points of the trail. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers the trail has been restored but you can see the number of trees lost.
Sections of the Maitland Trail can range from moderate to difficult, so make sure that you have sturdy footwear, carry a cell phone and hike with a friend.
A great reference tool for this trail is The Maitland Trail Guide, a pocket book that contains maps, descriptions and highlights. You can order it online or find a list of places that sell it at www.maitlandtrail.ca