Chief Trail patrol Warden's Report - October 2014

Chief Trail Patrol Warden’s Report
(Victor G. Henrikson)
to the CHPTA Board of Directors
for the month of October 2014

Number of Trail Patrol Wardens submitting an October 2014 report: 14
Heritage Park
Salt Marsh
Shearwater Flyer
Bissett Lake
Forest Hills
*Other Nova Scotia Trails
**Out of Province Trails

* Atlantic View, Baker Drive Trail, Centennial (Bridgewater)l Trail, Dartmouth Harbour Trail, Halifax Waterfront Trail, Indian Path Trails, MacDonald Park, Musquodoboit Trailway, Miller Point Peace Park, St. Margaret’s Bay Rails to Trails, Shubie Park and Point Pleasant Park.

A colourful tree along the LaHave River off the Centennial Trail

Comments/Observations Reported by the Trail Patrol Wardens:
1.     Our Trail Patrol Wardens continue to clean the trails and parking lots of various forms of garbage & dog feces and re-stock the Dog Bag Dispensers located at several trail heads. The Trail Brochures handed out to the many trail visitors are greatly appreciated.

2.     Several Wardens do all or a portion of their patrolling on bicycles. The numbers of reported kilometers covered via bicycle were 85km, 152km and 271km.

3.     With Fall upon us, the leaves are changing and looking quite pretty on the trails.




4.     Our Wardens have been advising trail walkers to stay to the right on trails so bicycle riders can pass on their left, according to trail safety rules. Many trail walkers mentioned the need for all bicycles riders to have a bell to inform them of their presence. One trail walker commented that a bicycle rider collided with him while he was walking on the Shearwater Flyer three years ago. He also mentioned the need for signs advising cyclists that “wheels yield to heels” and asked if this type of signage could be placed on our trails. This is an issue which will be brought to the Signage Committee.

5.     A Professional photographer was seen taking pictures of a young child and her Mother with a dog on the Bissett Trail Bridge.

6.     The recently hydro seeded grass along the Forrest Hills Trail is growing quite well.

7.     Some interesting mushrooms can be seen growing along several of our trails.

8.     A Warden installed a hand sanitizer dispenser in the outhouse located in the Heritage Park and in the one on the Salt Marsh Trail.

9.     Sixty-five Dartmouth Volksmarch Club members participated in their Annual Harvest Moonlight Walk on the Salt Marsh Trail.

10.  Good weather, especially on the weekends, brings out large numbers of trail walkers. Frequently, 30 cars are seen in the Heritage Park parking lot and several cars are often parked along Bissett Road due to the various parking lots being full.

11.  An older off-leash dog with was seen with a large bite mark on its left-hind quarter from another off-leash dog. To add insult to injury, the dog’s owner was bitten by an off-leash dog the following week. An infection set in and the gentleman had to have a tetanus shot and antibiotics. As you can see from the pictures, both the wound on the man and the wound on the dog are almost completely healed.

During the previous week, another dog had two similar wounds on it. This is another great reason to keep dogs on their leash and under control.

12.  The random disposal of home garbage at our Trail Heads continues to be of concern. A trail user (a Farmers’ Dairy driver) informed a Warden that the lights around the Caldwell Road parking lot are out which makes the area a good spot for disposal of household garbage during the evening/early morning hours. He usually drives by the parking lot between 0200 and 0400 and notices that the area is pitch dark. The lights being out were reported to Nova Scotia Power.

13.  A red /white motorized bike continue to be seen on the Shearwater Flyer Trail. Several complaints have been received from Trail walkers regarding motorized bikes on both the Salt Marsh Trail and Shearwater Flyer Trail. There are several signs of both motorized bikes and ATVs tearing up the Shearwater Flyer Trail. Motorized bikes are not allowed on any of our trails.

14.  Crows have been making a mess around the garbage barrels located at the Caldwell Road parking lot. Covers on the garbage cans could prevent this mess from occurring. This has been brought to the attention of the CHPTA Board.

15.  Someone deposited several bales of hay along the Forrest Hills Trail.

16.  Below are pictures of household/yard garbage which was located at the various parking lots on Bissett Road. In an attempt to prevent further unwelcomed dumping, a guard squirrel has been hired. She was willing to work for peanuts.

The Guard Squirrel

17.  A couple of first timers on our trails read our Chief Trail Patrol Warden’s report on-line so they came to check out the trails. They thanked us for keeping the trails so nice and clean.

18.  Someone is enjoying putting graffiti on the pavement and rocks along the Forrest Hills Trail. Some of the graffiti was not suitable for viewing and had to be painted over.

19.  Coyote feces are often seen along the trails by Wardens. This should be seen as a “take note” that coyotes live in the area.

20.  The water along the Forrest Hills Trail is quite pretty to look at during one’s trail walk.

21.  A Warden advised a young man on a bicycle in the Heritage Park that for safety reasons bicycles are not permitted inside the Park. The young man thought the no bicycles signage meant “to go slow down hills”.

22.  A Warden retrieved a torn off poison ivy sign from the side of the Salt Marsh Trail and it will be reinstalled by our Maintenance volunteers.

23.  A Warden was approached by a couple who were concerned about the number of used condoms around the first Salt Marsh Trail parking lot. They had picked up about a dozen used condoms with a stick and disposed of them in the garbage can. They had heard that this spot has become a gay rendezvous place.

24.  Someone moved a large rock from the side of the Heritage Trail at the Salt Marsh Trail Parking Lot entrance to beside the bollard. Placement of the rock could impede emergency vehicles entering the Heritage Trail. The CHPTA Board has been informed.

25.  Storm damage often causes large branches to be broken from trees. This is an example of such damage on the Forrest Hill Trail.

26.  A missing door hook on the Salt Marsh Trail outhouse was replaced by a Warden.

27.  A couple who walk our various trails replaced the dilapidated crosses in the Heritage Park cemetery which is located along the Poor’s Farm Road. We are grateful for their generosity.

The old crosses


The new crosses

28.  A group of trail walkers were seen with their pit bull dogs dressed in Halloween costumes.

29.  A man firing off rockets in the Heritage Park was approached by a Warden to ensure that the area would be safe for anyone walking in the Park.

30.  Someone walking the Forrest Hill Trail is missing a T-shirt.

31.  Wardens continue to see many dogs off leash, sometimes the dogs have a leash attached to their collar but are dragging the leash behind them. Often, unleashed dogs are leashed once the Warden is seen. In some cases, even with the Warden encouraging the leashing of their dog for its safety and for other dogs and trail walkers safety, the owners continue on their way with their dog off leash.

32.  Horse manure continues to be seen on the Shearwater Flyer Trail.

Reported Wildlife Sightings:
Bald Eagles, Beavers, Blue Jays, Black Capped Chickadees, Canada Geese, Chipmunks, Cormorants, Crows, Eagles, Eastern Painted Turtles, Great Blue Herons, Hawk, Herring Gulls, Kingfishers, Mourning Doves, Porcupines, Rabbits, Robbins, Sandpipers, Sea Gulls, Snakes, Song Sparrows, Squirrels, Tree Frog, Various Duck species (Black & Mallards), and Yellow Leg Gulls.

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