Day 11: Scotch Block - Silvercreek, 245 km completed

We spent the morning walking through farmers’ fields, where the trail follows the edges of each farmer’s plot. On either side, we could only see corn for huge distances, but somehow the trail passes through the thin line of trees between these fields. Midway through the morning we spotted a family of turkeys that were too fast for my camera. 

Next on its way through Limehouse Conservation Area, the trail winds its way through a quarry from the 1800s, and passes through crevices and holes in the in the limestone walls. 

From here on out the trail passes into new territory, and we started seeing the wildlife of wet woodlands as we walked across its boardwalks. This section was filled with weird swamp plants and fungi, including large cedars, deep red mushrooms the size of my head, and the beautiful coral mushrooms you see in the photos.  

Trail Tuesday: Trail Erosion

Hiking is good for the environment right!? Hiking can foster a love for the environment and through conservation area fees, we also directly support environmental programs. While this is true, we should also be aware that our activities can have a negative impact and we should take the steps necessary to mitigate that impact. Trail erosion is something that can be seen on all hiking routes. Erosion is a process where soil or rock are loosened and swept away and can be caused by both geological and human factors. Some of the geological causes of trail erosion can be mitigated through proper trail development and maintenance. For example, grade reversals are a commonly used mechanism to ensure water is diverted off the trail. A grade reversal consists of a short dip followed by a slight rise every 8 to 20 metres. But what about human caused erosion? Essentially human caused erosion is a result of the widened use of a trail. Trampling the outer edges of the trail can lead to poor plant health and growth, resulting in soil exposure and eventually, erosion. It is important to do your best to walk in the centre of the trail to reduce the chances of trampling the outer edges. Also -- don't take short cuts! The trail is designed in a way to reduce the amount of erosion, a switch-back is there for a reason! Shortcuts can result in erosion in areas that are most susceptible to its impacts. What other ways are there to reduce your environmental impact on the trail?