I visited Callaghan's last Saturday morning from 10 AM to a bit after noon. I hadn't planned to visit, as I'm concerned about confrontations, esp. as I've had one or two in the past, but then curiosity got the better of me : ) First I picked up what little garbage remains in the parking lot - only some cigarette packages and a couple of crushed cans. I was the only person or vehicle inn the lot. Then I walked the path to the bridges, and again there was basically no trash, just lots of mushrooms and toadstools on full display. One ATV passed me when I climbed the bank from the 'illegal' EOTA parking lot, and they stayed on the trail as we casually waved to each other.
The bridges were completely uninhabited. It was a beautiful early fall morning, so I'd expected at least some visitors, but word of mouth must have spread quickly about the OPP ticketing campaign last weekend! I sat on the east end of the bridges for 10 or 15 minutes, enjoying nature as I used to be able to do in the distant past without the buzz of annoying ATVs.
After the break I walked down the bank to the river, and again almost no trash anywhere. There was the deserted cowling of an ATV, but that was beyond my means of carrying out. The river is really low now, and I walked the bank to the second beach or trail area where there's an old campsite. Again no trash! I walked further downstream to the middle trail back to the parking lot, when I heard a couple of ATVs zipping through the woods on the trail to the rapids. Fortunately I didn't encounter them.
When I got to the parking lot after my hour plus ramble collecting a small plastic bag of garbage, a guy was reading the covid signs by the entrance. I said hello and we chatted for some time. He's a local landowner, Jeff B, who owns property adjacent to Lorrie and Callaghan's. He noticed I had my bag of garbage, and said he'd recently brought his sons to the parking lot and collected many bags of garbage. He didn't know about our Friends group, so I gave him my card with my email address. While we were chatting the other Erin arrived on bikes with her fiance and a friend (best man for their wedding next week?). I introduced Jeff to them, so perhaps they have established further contact with Jeff.
One thing I felt was missing on my visit was some kind of identifying marker, perhaps a large brightly coloured tee shirt or vest with "Friends of Callaghan's" or somesuch on it. I suspect there's at least one very capable artist in our group or larger circle who could design this. Wearing an identifying shirt or vest would inform the public that our group exists, and would also establish a conversational opening for questions about Callaghan's and our Friends group.
Let's keep up the good work, as it was so pleasant for a change visiting Callaghan's and feeling comfortable even in the bridges area.
p.s. Jeff said there's an EXTREMELY rare fern which only grows in one place in the depths of Callaghan's forests - he's also a nature photog who was there to photo the puffballs and any of the rare orchids if they've survived the ATV onslaught