2 h 30 min; leisurely pace
Generally flat hard packed sand -loosein some areas
Small free off-road parking lot
None -Large trail maps in parking lot
Fallen logs along the trail.
19 April 2015
Easy family outing
Hike can be extended north from waypoint (010) to include the Patterson Tract Side Trail.
Wetland area at (007)
Dainty & Clarke Tracts
The Dainty and Clarke tracts are two parcels of land in the York Regional Forest in Whitchurch Stouffville immediately to the south of the Patterson Tract Side Trail in Hike L23 Eldred King Woodlands.
A small parking lot on the west side of McCowan Road just south of Aurora Road provides access. The two loops are relatively flat and make for easy hiking or trail running as well as cross country skiing in winter. Together they make for approximately a 7.9 km hike. This is a good choice for a leisurely family outing although no facilities are provided save for a trail map at the parking lot.
The soil is fairly sandy and although hard packed in most areas, there are places were the sand is quite loose. Of course this soil condition is typical of the Oak Ridges Moraine where the sand serves as a natural filter for rain water. The moraine extends for approximately 200 km from the Niagara Escarpment in the west to Rice Lake in the east. As such it bisects York Region and many of the York Regional Forest Tracts are located on this moraine.
Both the Dainty and Clarke tracts are side trails of the Oak Ridges Trail and as such are marked by blue blazes while the main Oak Ridges Trail is marked with white blazes. This will be familiar to anyone who has hiked the Bruce Trail.
The forest is home to the Emerald Ash Borer since being discovered in 2008. This and other invasive forest insects can be found in firewood and other forest wood. While these pose no risk to human health, it is wise not to remove any wood from the forest to prevent the spread of such species.