Landowner Rights & Trail User Responsibilities

The Waskahegan Trail is a unique resource that exists only because of the generosity of landowners. Before you set foot on the trail, know the landowner rights and the trail user responsibilities.

Saunders Lake North Hike

Sixteen people came out to hike the trail from the north end of Saunders Lake going south. Under a sunny sky, the wind was relentless—bending every tree, flower, and blade of grass. It created whitecaps on the lake.

Nevertheless, the sun shone brightly the whole way and there was a complete absence of mosquitos.

The highbush cranberries are abundant and ripening quickly. The hawthorn bushes, probably planted as a windbreak decades ago, are loaded with berries too. It must have been an amazing sight when the bushes were blooming in the spring.

We had our lunch in a grassy dip away from the lake, sunny and mostly protected from the wind.

Thanks to Stella for scouting and leading the hike and to Trail Maintenance for clearing the trail. You can find more photos on Flickr.

Middle Battle River Ross Flats to Fidler’s Monument

Sixteen people came out to hike the Middle Battle River section of the trail. Our starting point was at the Ross Flats campground on Highway 21 near Duhamel. We ducked across the road (much faster than real ducks) and after a short walk around the edge of a farmer’s field, we were on the open mossy floor of the ancient forest.

Moving quickly because of mosquitos, and dodging a few wet spots, we made our way past elderberries, mushrooms, bunchberries, and many other plants that love the shade with occasional dappled sunlight.

Eventually we reached the top, where we found the picturesque pond that was once a gravel pit. This is where we lingered for some time on our return trip, which is a tradition for this hike.

More up and downs, under blue skies all the way until we reached the Trautmanns’ camping spot where we had lunch. This is where we spotted a warbler.

After lunch we paid homage to Peter Fidler at Fidler’s monument a short distance away.

Thanks to Lee to for scouting the hike and to Trail Maintenance for the fantastic job of trail-clearing and mowing.

You can find more photos on Flickr.

South Saunders Lake Hike

Fifteen people came out on a cloudless Sunday to hike the south part of Saunders Lake. After climbing over the new stile that Trail Maintenance had put in just a few days earlier, we came into view of a stunning sight. Flocks of pelicans, sleek and majestic, splashed and preened in shallow waters, just a short distance from the highway.

This is hike that we normally do in the spring, so it was a treat to see so many young pelicans.

Another unique feature of this area are the occasional occurrence of bull thistles. The plant is tall and extremely thorny and the flowers are rose pink. They may remind you of the thistle of the Scottish emblem.

The temperature on this day was supposed to reach 30 C (86 F) and we knew this trail was mostly open country, so we were all well-prepared with our hats and extra water. Thankfully, most of the trail is quite close to the lake, so we enjoyed steady cooling breezes almost all the way.

We walked as far as the turn to Verchomin corner and ate our lunch in the shade.

Thanks to Sandra for scouting and leading the hike and to Trail Maintenance for the excellent work in mowing, clipping, and signage—and for the new stile!

You can find more photos on Flickr.