Tag Archives: hiking

Fall is a great time for outdoor walks, hikes; but check for ticks, says EOHU

The fall season is upon us, providing ideal conditions for outdoor walks and hikes on our terrific nature trails, but the Eastern Ontario Health Unit reminds you to be on guard for ticks.

A tick (stock photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

Trails are in abundance in our region, and so are these pesky insects, some of which carry diseases, such as Lyme, that can affect humans.

The EOHU tells us, “Lyme disease is a serious illness that can be spread to people by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks (also known as deer ticks). Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics. However, if left untreated, symptoms can last from months to years and can cause serious health problems. Blacklegged ticks live in woodlands, tall grasses and bushes, and are found throughout Ontario – including the five eastern counties. The number of infected blacklegged ticks is increasing each year.”

It’s worth noting that not all ticks, including all blacklegged ticks, carry the Lyme-disease-causing bacteria. Nonetheless, it’s important to take mitigation measures before your hike and to do a tick check afterwards.

Among the suggestions from the EOHU…

  • Wear light-coloured clothing. It makes ticks easier to spot.
  • Wear closed footwear, socks, a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Tuck your shirt into your pants, and tuck your pants into your socks.
  • Use an insect repellent that has DEET or Icaridin on clothes and exposed skin (be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s directions).

When completing your tick check, “If you find a tick on your body, remove it as soon as possible. The risk of getting Lyme disease increases with the length of time the tick remains attached to your body.” You should then monitor the site where the tick was attached to your body, if it was, and watch, over the next few weeks, for any symptoms of Lyme. Treatment with topical antibiotics is usually only needed if the tick has been engorged for more that 24 hours.

Symptoms of Lyme disease include…

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Spasms
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Facial paralysis
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen glands
  • Expanding skin rash (however, many people never get or see a rash)

For more information, please see this section of the EOHU website.

If you find a tick and are curious to learn more about its identification, there is an online submission tool. You can access it here.

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Glengarry Trails schedules March 26 AGM, seeks new board members

The Friends of Glengarry Trails Association has scheduled its annual general meeting for Thursday, March 26, starting at 7 p.m. New general members and board members are welcome.

Note/update: AGM has been postponed to April 23.

Glengarry Trails boardwalk
The Glengarry Trails boardwalk near Alexandria. (Friends of Glengarry Trails Association photo)

Board member Patricia Kerr, in a post to the organization’s Facebook page, noted all are invited to attend the meeting, which will be held at The Georgian House Restaurant, 148 Main Street, in Alexandria.

“We invite you to consider being on the Board of Directors of this vital community organization that develops, maintains, and promotes our safe public trails system for outdoor walking, biking, and skiing trails in the Alexandria area,” Kerr added.

“Please consider this opportunity to make a difference in your community by serving as a board member. Being on the Board of Directors contributes to the broader community in so many ways, making possible a safe, public trail system near Alexandria, that supports outdoor recreation, tourism, environmental education, nature connection, and natural heritage in our local area.”

Prospective board members are asked to contact Helena at helenamccuaig@sympatico.ca for more information.

Among items on the agenda for the AGM are a report on the new boardwalk that was installed last fall (accessible from the Lochiel Street entrance to the trails), a report on the StoryWalk Project, the annual financial report, and the annual election of Board of Directors. (Several positions are open for 1-year and 2-year terms.) There will also be a 30-minute presentation on trails of Cuba.

Current members may vote at the AGM, join committees, and stand for election as board members.

To become a member before the AGM or to renew a membership, please visit the Glengarry Trails website membership page here.

The 13 km trail network includes four trails, with access points at the west end of Lochiel Street in Alexandria, on Kenyon Dam Road, Marcoux Road, and Lakeshore Road (with parking).

Glengarry Trails map
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Walking on the Glengarry Trails

The Trails of Glengarry, four trails totalling 15 km, provide a great opportunity for walking in the great outdoors and taking in the natural environment our county has to offer. The four trails are located west of Alexandria, accessible from several points, including Island Park, the hospital, Kenyon Dam Road, and Lakeshore Road. For maps and information, check out this page on the Friends of Glengarry Trails Association website.

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