Although we ski on the Nordic Trails in winter, we leave the trails for hiking or biking until late in summer. We find the entire area wet and buggy before mid-August. The main trails – McGillivray and Great Gray are drier, but many of the side trails are muddy, wet, and even swampy in places. It takes months for the snow to clear, the area and the surfaces to dry out. Mosquitoes and flies move in from Mid-June to the end of July. For this reason, we only hike on these trails late in the season. By the end of October, the rain and snows come and the area turns muddy again. For this short window of time, the trails are a pleasant area to explore.
We hiked from the end of the golf course (East Village) over to the Great Gray Trail, then went up Lynx Link to Holy Cow. After following the Morrisey FSR for a while, we looped back on Deer Run, which is an unmaintained backcountry trail, a little grown over and wet. We linked back into the main trail system again and made our way over to Little McGillivray Lake for lunch. We followed the McGillivray Trail back to our vehicles, a 10.6km loop.
We saw frequent bear scats along the trail. A family of grouse blended into the background along Deer Run. Little McGillivray Lake had dragonflies, fish surfacing for a hatch, and a muskrat home across on the other side. In September on a weekday the trails were quiet. Each time we do these trails, we will take a different route.