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One of our readers writes:
"My boyfriend and I have made more than 20+ hikes to this area over the last 8 years. Many older Ajax folk know of this area and hike there on occasion too.
We understood it to be an old police fishing camp from some decade past (not sure which decade). Ajax folk don’t call it Salems Lot though, they call it “Bass Pond”.
Our last hike was just 3 days ago (New Year’s Day 2009) mid afternoon. Although pretty snowy and many trees have fallen, the road (once inside the “lot” in still easy enough to discern (if you know where to enter) and yes there is a farmers field on the left. The “road” takes you about a km straight in and where it ends, it opens up to the same farmer’s field to your left and a small pond at 2 o’clock to your right. You continue along the right edge of the pond, traversing the cement embankment and pick up another clearly discernible “path” which continues for another 2 km until you hit rail road tracks. There are two places we frequent when we hike there, the stream which is about ¼ km along the “path” and the pines area which is about 500 feet further along the same “path” but on the left. The pines is where you are probably referring to as an old teenage haunt…at times we found it to be strewn with garbage and yes one pine tree in particular appears to have been burned at the base with a pagan symbol carved into it. In all the years, we and friends have hiked here, we found no hoards of pagan symbols there. Up until the last two years, this area was a beautiful little area to hike, once in a while you’d get to see an owl soar through the trees and one time, a young coyote followed us in to the pines. We watched each other curiously for a few minutes until he scampered off. Those days are gone now with suburbia encroaching from all sides of these woods. For the right price, I suspect these woods to be cut down in the next 2 to 3 years.
Of all the times we have hiked there, I may have felt uncomfortable two or three times, tops. I would describe it as a general feeling of discomfort, being watched, and a couple of times (2001/2002) I definitely heard low growls coming out of the marsh area of the pines. The growls (one animal) came from about 10-15 feet away, too close to be from the junkyard–but I speculated it may have been a hungry coyote. (There’s also an old story of a cougar roaming the area once in the 90s; as well one of a hunter who frequented the area also many years ago.) With that said and just in case, I wouldn’t hike there alone or bring small children.
Anyways, just thought I’d give you an update."