Hiking on the Bruce Trail

We are lucky to camp near the Bruce Trail, the most famous and oldest hiking trail in Canada. It leads along Niagara Escarpment from Niagara Falls to Tobermory and it is 840 km long (500 miles) with over 440 km of side trails. It passes through private and public lands and offers good hiking and unforgettable views, especially on the Bruce Peninsula. It is walked by over 400,000 people every year. This trail is mainly maintained by dedicated volunteers, who put a lot of work every year to maintain it in good order for everyone to enjoy. In 1990 the Escarpment, including the Trail, was named a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. For more information see: www.brucetrail.org.

The Trail User’s Code:

“Hike only along marked routes, especially on farmland.

Do not take shortcuts.

Do not climb fences-use the stiles.

Respect the privacy of people living along the Trail.

Leave the Trail cleaner that you found it.

Carry out all litter.

No open fires are allowed on the Trail.

Use a portable stove.

Leave flowers and plants for others to enjoy.

Do not damage live trees or strip off bark.

Keep dogs on a leash and under control at all times.

Protect and do not disturb wildlife.

Leave only your thanks, and take nothing but photographs.”

This is a very good code to abide by at any trail anywhere and I am sure that most hikers are familiar with all the points above.

This trail has a lot of interest points along the way including Bruce Caves, Devil’s Monument and the Inglis Falls. Most attractions are free, but parking fee may apply at National Parks.

Last week we visited Bruce Peninsula National Park near Cypress Lake and we hiked from the Cypress Lake campground (good starting point for many hikes in the area) to Indian Head Cove and the Grotto. The weather was hot and sunny, perfect for swimming in the freezing water of Georgian Bay at this location. Water there is very deep (good for divers) and unusually cold, but the colors and views were spectacular. Kids could not get enough of jumping off into the deep, aquamarine water and swimming back to the rocky shore.

More adventurous and older kids (teenagers) and dads were jumping off the cliffs. This activity is very dangerous and prohibited, but remains popular nevertheless.

Other famous North American Trails:

-Appalachian Trail: 2200 miles (3540 km) from Maine to Georgia

-Pacific Crest Trail: 2650 miles (4260 km) from California to Washington

-John Muir Trail:  211 miles (340 km) in Sierra Nevada in California

-Continental Divide Trail:3100 miles (4,990 km) from Mexico to Canada

-Trans Canada Trail: (still being built) 10,000 miles (18,000 km) from St. John in Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia.

-West Coast Trail: 47 miles (75 km) on Vancouver Island, it is one of the toughest in North America