Plants & Animals

Plants and Animals

Poison ivy, although not encountered often to the north of Sault Ste. Marie, can be found anywhere along the Trail. This plant can cause an unpleasant itching or skin reaction that may last for several days. Poison Ivy plants are common in areas of sandy or gravelly soil and along limestone beaches, especially on the more sunny locations. If you do happen to come in contact with this low, three leaved plant, wash the area immediately with a strong soap solution (laundry soap) or rubbing alcohol. Calamine lotion or a paste of baking soda will soothe the itching skin. Poison Ivy often grows in the same area as jewelweed (a.k.a. spotted touch-me-not). Rubbing crushed jewelweed (touch-me-not) leaves on the affected area can relieve the itching. There are several commercial ointments on the market to control the infection. If it becomes serious, consult your doctor. Large animals (bears, deer, moose, wolves) generally avoid human contact, but if a bear is met, stop, avoid making direct eye-to-eye contact, and retreat slowly (but without delay, especially if a cub is present). If a cub appears to be alone, stop and retreat the way you came. The mother is certainly nearby and aware of you. Your life is in extreme danger under these circumstances. TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION! When camping, food should be strung up between two trees to keep it out of reach of bears. FOOD SHOULD NEVER BE STORED IN OR NEAR YOUR TENT. Avoid cooking in your tent as the lingering odours may attract a bear. Wash your cookware, etc. thoroughly after each meal to remove food residues. There are timber wolves in this area, but wolves tend to avoid contact with humans, you might be lucky to see signs of them or hear their eerie ‘call of the wild’. Having a close encounter with one is not likely (in other words they are not a threat to be concerned with). Along the Voyageur Trail, poison sumac, poison oak and poisonous snakes do not occur.