Outing Report: Hike at the Murray Tract

On the morning of November 11 ten club members keen for the outdoors met at the SVCA parking area north of County Road 25 on Concession 4. The day was cool, just around 0C. and cloudy, which were fine conditions for walking. The eastern part of this property was at one time a farm, although the endless piles of stones along old lanes and fence rows make it evident that clearing the stones from the fields must have been a daunting and endless task. There is also a large kettle, a hole left by a giant chunk of ice at the time of melting glaciers, very close to the old home stead. The kettle sides are too steep to farm so it would reduce the acreage of viable farm land available to the owners, but it is an interesting physical feature for us now.
The Krug brothers bought the land from the Murray family in the first half of the Twentieth Century and planted a variety of trees on different parts of it. The pine plantations are now large trees but they were never tended or thinned properly and became diseased. A few years ago Ontario Nature had the diseased trees cut down and others cut and removed for use as timber. Our walk took us through the areas of pine plantation where we could see the unusable logs left to rot, the tall trees left standing, and the rough land left by the logging machinery. The pines will eventually yield to maples and other deciduous species which are beginning to grow in the understory now.
Farther west we explored the edge of a steep stream valley which separates the Murray Tract from another Ontario Nature property, the Fawselt property. Turning north and crossing the open maple woods at that western part of the tract, we found the two wetlands which are tucked in along the northern edge of the old farm. Following the edge of the wetlands brought us back to the old farm lane where we started.
It was an interesting outing with a strong presence of history and human activity. As stewards we need to visit occasionally to observe the slow march back toward an old growth forest.
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I the undersigned, wish to have my child
participate in the following activity
sponsored by the Saugeen Naturalists. As part of registering my child, I hereby agree as follows:
1. That I acknowledge that there are inherent risks associated with this activity and that my child could sustain personal injury through participation in this activity and I am hereby accepting to take that risk on behalf of myself or my child.

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