Thirty-two hikers, some on cross-country skis, some with pet dogs in tow, gathered at the Health Valley Trail terminus Sunday afternoon February 16. There, Hike organizer and leader, Bernard Goward, welcomed the assembled to the 3rd Family Hike.
Bernard set off and allowed the two children on skis to take the lead following the trail along the Conestoga River. The rest of us joined in behind.
Conditions were ideal – no precipitation, ample sunshine and snowy trail. Geese floated along the river, enjoying their family day weekend. For three kilometres, the Avon Trail and the Health Valley Trail amble along beside each other like two old friends before the Avon Trail branches off to the northwest. Our hike took us past the bench placed in the memory of Avon Trail member, David Peacock, a longtime hiker and advocate of trail maintenance.
We stayed on the Health Valley Trail for 45 minutes. Bernard noted the children and some parents appeared tired, so asked us to turn around and head back on this in and out hike route. Everyone enjoyed the weather and completed this 6km hike. In the parking area, the hikers ate cookies, along with hot chocolate or juice, as refreshments. Our young participants each received an Avon Trail Hiking Log to record the sights and sounds encountered.
The ten family hikes commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Avon Trail. Each walk takes place at a different trail location. (Unfortunately, scheduled hikes are cancelled currently due to Covid-19).