As the Ontario government opens from lockdown in stages, research shows that the risk of infection from the coronavirus reduces significantly in outdoor settings. But, being near an infected person outdoors still matters. So, group hiking remains a risk; physical distancing still matters. Hiking the Avon Trail has its advantages: physical exercise, the pure pleasure of walking in a natural setting and being in control.
Here are comments from hikers who have been on the trail in various locations (I have paraphrased where necessary):
I was out with a friend on the Amulree portion of the trail on Saturday. We ran into a couple of the landowners, who were hanging over a fence chatting when my friend and I walked up. I took the opportunity (as did my friend) to thank them for allowing hikers to cross their land. They both said something like, “well, no skin off my nose!” For which I was grateful. They also mentioned that considerably more people were hiking this year than any prior year in their memory. I think they said they had seen more hikers this year than either had witnessed if you added the last 15 years together. But, farmers hanging over fences do tend to exaggerate. We crossed paths with 2 families hiking… which was quite lovely.
My wife and I walked section km 50.9 from the having entered from the Stratford Side Trail and walked on to km 52.2 on May 23. We saw, along the hydro cut, Trillium, both white and pink, in the field, away from the understory. Never saw that before.
We enjoyed a fascinating walk on the newly reopened Little Lakes route Sunday afternoon, May 31. (km 52.2 to km 49.9). We encountered new poison ivy on the hydro cut and high up on the hemlock tree we spied a large furry creature resting on a large branch next to the trunk. Our research strongly suggests it was a possum we saw, a very agile tree climbers. Hikers are using the trail as is apparent by the downtrodden grass, and the steps up to 7 & 8 are immaculate.
This morning June 9, 2020, along with my daughter, we traversed the bulk of km 43.0 to km 46.9. You can see the maple tree planted around km 45.2 in 2015 is thriving, and even providing shade. Many hikers enjoy the trail. A warning for others – be aware of the voracious varmints(mosquitoes) in the bush.
Take time to enjoy the trail this summer.