Lakehead University satellite campus in Orillia provided the venue for this year’s Hike Ontario Summit. The Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association, celebrating its 50thAnniversary, hosted the event.
The summit began Friday evening with a casual supper in a sports bar where members renewed old and made new acquaintances.
Early Saturday morning, with about 40 attendees, we met for the AGM, and were excited when Terry Leroux and Ian Bailey were elected President and Vice-President for the coming year.
Ganaraska member, Stan Muldoon, talked about the early history of the Ganaraska Trail, now extending 500 kilometers from Port Hope on the shore of Lake Ontario, to Georgian Bay’s Wasaga Beach. He was followed by well-known author and speaker, Kevin Callan, who kept us entertained with a humorous address on wilderness survival.
Over the lunch hour, a special ceremony called the Smudging and Blessing of Waters took place. An Indigenous woman led the assembled circle in this ceremony using water that had been relayed by trail members over the trail’s entire distance from Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay.
In the afternoon, two workshop sessions took place covering a variety to topics: Trail Association Strengths and Challenges, Lyme Disease, Fascinating Fungi, Introduction to Map and Compass (useful when your GPS does not work) and the Avon Trail App Demonstration (by Bernard Goward).
On Sunday, our Summit hosts organized and led three hikes at the Copeland Forest.