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Nature – Ganaraska

Nature – Ganaraska


Submitted by Jacqui Woods

March 24, 2024 – Lace up those hiking boots and join the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association (GHTA) for the historic “I closed the Gap” hike on a scenic trail linking Tiny and Tay townships through Midland and Penetanguishene. This trail has been over 10 years in the making, and the hike organizers are excited to finally connect local municipalities with this through-hike trail.

On Saturday April 13, 2024, hikers will arrive at Sainte Marie Among the Hurons on Hwy 12, where they’ll be able to leave their cars, sign in, and participate in the official launch ceremony before being bussed to the starting point of the hike on Tiny Conc. 12. From there they’ll hike the 18 kms back to the starting point at the Wye River.

We are also pleased to announce the official trail launch will welcome the mayors of Tiny, Tay, Midland and Penetanguishene and their individual messages of support,” says Frieda Baldwin, President of the GHTA. They’ll be joined by Father O’Brien of Martyrs’ Shrine church who will also provide a blessing for the community, the trail, and all hikers who use it

Anyone who would like to join the hike can do so – it’s a free event and everyone is welcome. Hikers who complete the entire 18 km hike on April 13, will be presented with a free commemorative “I hiked the Gap” badge.

If you’re interested, sign up via Eventbrite by the end of the day on Thursday 11 April.

On Saturday 13 April, hikers should arrive at the Sainte Marie Among the Hurons car park between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. to check-in. The official opening ceremony starts at 9:00 a.m. with the national anthem, and the first of two buses leaves to take hikers to the start of the trail at 9:45 a.m.

More information can be found at www.ganarask-hiking-trail.org


Bearbells by Leslie Noonan

March 18, 2024 – I am a woman of conflicting views and feelings.  For instance, I love waterfalls and the sound of the thundering water, the beauty of the rocky cliff face and the view out over a valley or gorge.  However, I also hate heights, with swooning vertigo and an intense panic that leave me nauseous.  When I was younger, I was determined to overcome this fear, and spent several years rock climbing with friends at the Kingston Locks.  Now these cliffs are not very tall, maybe fifty feet or so, but tall enough to cause that sick feeling in my stomach.  My friends would set up the lines for top rope climbing and all I needed to do was attach to the line and climb.  Remarkably I could do this, as you only look up to the next handhold and not down at the ground, and once you smack the carabiner at the top, your friend on belay would control your descent. I convinced myself that I had conquered my fear of heights, but I was just gaslighting myself as you will soon see.

I grew up in Creemore and spent much of my youth exploring the Niagara escarpment and Grey Highlands, yet I had never made it to the 30 metre Eugenia Falls near Flesherton.  Once deciding on this spot for my next hike, I was relentlessly hounded by nightmares of gorges, swinging bridges and falling.  Ugh.  I had not even made it to the falls, and I was already terrified.  I cajoled my teen son to skip school and take a ride with me to Eugenia.  Well, it didn’t really take much cajoling, as he didn’t mind missing a day of math class.  I was hoping that having someone with me would lessen my fear, as I would at least have someone to alert the authorities if I fell off the edge. There’re those conflicting emotions again, as I laugh at that last comment then want to cry.

We arrived in Eugenia after a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Port McNicoll.  The parking area is closed off as the park is officially closed in the winter.  I parked off the entrance and my son and I headed out to the trail.  Almost immediately you can hear the water, not loud like Niagara, but the sound of falling water.  Only a short distance from the entrance you come out to a waist high concrete wall, and there it is, Eugenia Falls.  The water flow is surprisingly low, with only a trickle of water going over the cliff face. I imagine that after rain fall that the falls would be spectacular.  The view out and over the gorge was beautiful, though I stayed well back from that rock wall. From here, the trail out to Hoggs Falls is a rugged 6.6 km.  Alas, my son and I did not make it that far.  That stone wall gives way to a rickety chain link fence, that then also disappears.  The trail continues along the edge of the gorge with nothing to stop a tumble but some small cedars.  My son went ahead to prove how safe it was, until he slipped on a root and almost took a tumble.  My stomach plummeted and I broke out in a sweat and dragged my son back to the safety of higher ground.  Nope, I can not do this.  Instead, we headed back and took a short section of the Bruce trail before heading back to the car and gave my poor racing heart a chance to settle.  A beautiful area for hiking for those with a head for heights.


Jo Knows Nutrition by Joanne Nijhuis


Are you ready to take your cooking to new heights? Look no further than this Asian Maple Syrup marinade which combines the richness of maple syrup with the umami flavours of soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil. Get creative and use this marinade for assorted vegetables, chicken, fish pork, beef, portabello mushrooms or tofu. Serve with a side of noodles or rice and don’t forget to use the leftover marinade as a dipping sauce for a mouth-watering experience sure to delight.


  • 1/3 cup (83 ml) olive, canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (83 ml) orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup (83 ml) maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) rice, white wine or white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) fresh or ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) dried ginger
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic or ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) hot sauce or ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) red pepper flakes, optional


  1. Whisk in a medium bowl, the oil, orange juice, soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil, vinegar, ginger, garlic and hot sauce or red pepper flakes, if using.
  2. Brush the marinade onto chicken, fish, pork, beef, vegetables, portobello mushrooms or tofu.
  3. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking in the oven, on the cooktop or the grill.
  4. Use any leftover marinade as a dipping sauce by boiling it and stirring vigorously for at least 5 minutes to kill the bacteria from the meat. This step is not required if using tofu or portobello mushrooms.


Did You Know?

While the World Health Organization recommends that sweeteners, including maple syrup, be consumed in moderation, pure maple syrup is a natural sweetener containing many beneficial compounds. Rich in antioxidants and minerals pure maple syrup is a great choice for baking, marinades, waffles and pancakes.

Joanne Nijhuis MSc, RD is a consulting, media and culinary dietitian in Simcoe Grey Bruce on a mission to entertain and educate through her love of food. In addition to recipe development and writing for several publications, Joanne offers nutrition talks and cooking demos/classes in-person and online via Zoom. For more information, email Joanne at jo.knows.nutrition@outlook.com


Instagram: jo_knows_nutrition

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