Article Written by Sarah Penney
It may be the longest continuous footpath in the world, but you can be certain that the Bruce Trail truly is a hiker’s haven. Extending across the Niagara escarpment from Niagara to Tobermory, the trail runs l200 km in length. Close to 100km of the trail passes through Halton. The trail boasts a vital mix of nature and nurture; it provides the opportunity for outdoor adventure, while assisting in the conservation of its surrounding habitats.
The concept for a trail stretching across the entire Niagara escarpment was born in 1960 and championed by three people who formed the Bruce Trail Committee. With the help of escarpment property landowners and volunteers, this world-renowned project come to fruition. Regional clubs responsible for its maintenance, organization and necessary construction were established shortly thereafter. The Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club took charge of the trail’s development in the Halton Region. This aptly named section of the trail traces the geographic remains of Lake Iroquoia, and its conduits became well known for their scenic access to a variety of waterfalls. With minimal exposure to the bustling towns that surround it, hikers will find peace beneath the full forest canopies on the well-traveled woodland trail.
The immensity of the trail can be daunting. If you’re not sure where to start or are leery about legging it alone, the local club organizes guided events to help orient you with the trail. There are already several hikes planned for this October, including an End-to-End hike, which is split into four hiking sessions over two weekends. The “end” goal is to cover the entire portion of the Iroquois region trail during the hike. Another popular outing is The Bruce Trail Heritage Tree Scavenger Hunt. In this trek, 10 groups of remarkable must-see trees (due to their age, size, species or history) must be identified with a code word and scavengers are challenged to find all 10.
Taking the family on a hiking trip to explore the trail is a great way to combine fun and fitness. Here in Halton camping is available at Kelso Conservation Area and Rattlesnake Point. The Bruce Trail conveniently runs through the Royal Botanical Gardens and several of Halton’s other conservation areas, including Crawford Lake, Mountsberg, Rattlesnake Point, Hilton Falls and Mount Nemo.
An organization that is specially devoted to protecting these areas, called The Bruce Trail Conservancy, offers yearly all-access passes for community members granting parking privileges to members who pledge their support. Diverse volunteer opportunities are also available to help sustain the Bruce Trail Conservancy for those who want to get involved.
The Bruce Trail offers a magnificent natural playground in our backyard with rich opportunities to explore, adventure, hike, bike, camp, and connect. Blaze your own trail!
Did You Know?
A total of 1500 events and photo contests are held throughout the year across the entire escarpment trail. Approximately 400,000 people visit the trail per year by foot, cross-country ski and snowshoe.
Bruce Trail Day Event
October 6 is Bruce Trail day, an annual event celebrating Canada’s oldest and longest footpath. Each individual club will host free guided hikes and family activities to celebrate the 50 years since the Bruce Trail began. Visit brucetrail.org for details as they become available.
Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club
Grimsby to Kelso
Rules of the Trail:
Hike only on marked routes to avoid harming habitats.
Respect the privacy of surrounding neighbours of the trail.
Do not start an open fire.
Always keep your pets on leash.