Welcome to the Toronto Bruce Trail Club

Close to nature.   Close to home.

Hike Leaders

1 >| 2

Alina Lin



1. When and why did you decide to become a Hike Leader? In November 2014, after I just joined TBTC as a member. I have been leading hikes in a Meetup outdoor group and want to continue hiking on Bruce Trail, but on my own schedule, at my preferred time and for my comfortable distance. So I decide to become a Hike Leader to lead my own hikes. 2. What's your favourite part of the Bruce Trail? Sydenham section. It has unique view that other sections don't have, for example, the huge rocks and fossil rocks, as well as the lake view from the cliff. 3. What's your favourite Toronto-section Trail area? I hiked only twice end-to-end of Toronto section and don't have much memory of this section, except the part that is very rocky, very bushy along the trail and tons of mosquito. We have hiked through that part and ended with each hiker having some 60 bites from face to legs. 4. What do you love about volunteering with BTC? I am a Hike Leader, have been leading some end-to-end hikes on different trails. It is nice meeting like-minded hikers committed to the same goals. Most of the hikers appreciate the hikes I hosted, which make me feel sense of accomplishment. I have been involved in setting up the TBTC Meetup website, and I am managing this Meetup. Seeing the Meetup attracting hundreds of people and helping bringing awareness to Bruce Trail is another accomplishment for me. I was in 2016 Hike-A-Thon Committee and am continuing with the 2017 Committee too. I am also a member of Hike Leader Training Committee in 2017. 5. Why should GTA residents get outside and enjoy the Bruce Trail? First for their own health benefit, both physical health and mental health – tons of studies have shown that regular physical activities outdoor benefit both physical and mental health. Second, being in nature is the only way they can know nature, and the more they know it, the more they will enjoy, and the more likely they will care and support the environment. 6. Do you have any special hikes on your bucket list? Trans Canada Trail in Canada, and Silk Road in China are the ones I hope I could do in my life. The photo of me was taken at the North Terminus Cairn of Bruce Trail, Sept 18 2016, the day I officially finished the Bruce Trail.
Image 1

Andrew Proczek



1. When and why did you decide to become a Hike Leader? I became a Hike Leader for the THCC Sunday carpool group 6 years ago. Last year April in order to become a better Hike Leader and to become certified to lead for the TBTC I did the 2-day Hike Leader training course and have since completed all my requirements. The question of why become a hike leader was put to us at the start of our training course. When it was my turn I gave an altruistic reply of wanting to motivate and inspire others but right after me, Andrew Wood, one of the trainers, gave what I feel is the best and truest answer to that question and one that applies to all of us. He said, “I became a Hike Leader to expand my skill set and comfort zone.” In other words by leaving our comfort zone, trying and learning new things we overcome our fears and consequently grow as individuals. It is the fruition of this ongoing process that will inspire others and impact the world around us for the better. 2. What's your favourite part of the Bruce Trail? My favourite part of the Bruce Trail is the Peninsula for its ruggedness and beautiful views of Georgian Bay. 3. What's your favourite Toronto-section Trail area? My favorite Toronto-section Trail area is Terra Cotta through to Silver Creek and Scotsdale Farm. Terra Cotta was where I began hiking as a young lad with my father. It was where I really started to use my senses and where I discovered my love of nature and the outdoors. 4. What do you love about volunteering with BTC? I feel that the BTC has worthy goals, their directives are sound and they always put the safety of participants first. The BTC has a long tradition of volunteering and stewardship by many who have gone before us. It’s important to carry on their good work of preserving the natural beauty of the Niagara Escarpment for future generations. As Hike Leader for TBTC I can offer hikers new and challenging experiences while allowing them to benefit from the beauty and serenity of nature. And by offering interesting and attractive hikes I can interest non-members to join the BTC. Membership support is what drives the BTC work to protect what is our heritage. 5. Why should GTA residents get outside and enjoy the Bruce Trail? It frees them from the bonds of technology and electronic devices and allows them to breathe fresh air, rejuvenate themselves physically and spiritually. 6. Do you have any special hikes on your bucket list? The hikes that I am endeavoring to introduce are new or ones that have not been done is some time. When I take hikers on an urban hike I try to include a natural area where they can be inspired and feel like they are in the country. Staples of my hikes are bodies of water, streams, rivers, ponds and/or lakes. Water has a soothing effect on our souls. I also like to bring back older hikes and to honour and include the leaders who use to lead them. My own personal style is to lead from the middle of the pack and to give directives so having a lapsed or unaccredited leader at the front lends well to this. I have faith that people will follow my directives and it is both empowering to those who like to be at the front and a new and enjoyable experience for others. The photo of me was taken at Terra Cotta several years ago on a TBTC interpretive hike.
Image 1

Bob Humphreys



1. When and why did you decide to become a Hike Leader? Halfway up a Swiss mountain in June 2004, accompanying another hiker with a heart condition, whilst sweeping for the first time in my life. I found the responsibility and challenge enjoyable, and figured I might like to do it a bit more often. What's your favourite part of the Bruce Trail? Either the view from Murphy’s Pinnacle, or from the bench seat on the Mulmur Lookout Side Trail. Both on map 20 in the Dufferin Hi-Land section. What's your favourite Toronto-section Trail area? The section of the Hilton Falls Side Trail between kms 10.2 and 11.8, map 11. A little bit boggy here, but really pretty going up and down around the ponds and small streams here. 2. What do you love about volunteering with BTC? I love the opportunity to help others enjoy the beauty and variety of nature in our great outdoors, so close to the metropolitan areas where most of us spend our daily lives. 3. Why should GTA residents get outside and enjoy the Bruce Trail? Not only do you get to enjoy the previously mentioned outdoors, you get to relax in the company of the new friends you make. 4. Do you have any special hikes on your bucket list? In no particular order, to hike the Tour Du Mont Blanc on the France-Swiss-Italy border, and secondly to hike the full length of the Pennine Way, up through the north of England. (Mont Blanc I’ve seen both from a distance on the ground and from an Air Canada jet at altitude, and it is truly one spectacular mountain. As for the Pennine Way, yes, they can be 417 wet kilometres if it’s raining, but that only adds to the atmosphere.) My photo,“Bob and the Bull” was taken on the Bayview Extension in Sydenham section, map 30, between kms 45.0 and 46.9, in October 2012. (Sadly, trail changes mean you can’t hike that section of trail now.) No, I was not standing as close to the bull as it would first seem, with the photo was taken with a long telephoto lens, so hence the compressed perspective. Hiking up to that point I had realised the bull was a bit of a pussy-cat, and so decided to position myself right there to give my hiking group the confidence to hike past!)
Image 1

Robert Gillespie



1. When and why did you decide to become a Hike Leader? 2010. When I retired I wanted to introduce new hikers to the Bruce Trail. 2. What's your favourite part of the Bruce Trail? Bruce Peninsula because it's so beautiful and quiet. 3. What's your favourite Toronto-section Trail area? Hilton Falls because there is a variety of terrain and nice loops. 4. What do you love about volunteering with BTC? Friendly people. I am secretary of TBTC Board (formerly chair of Environment Committee, Trail captain, secretary of Caledon Hills Club). 5. Why should GTA residents get outside and enjoy the Bruce Trail? Beautiful resource, close to home, good for soul. 6. Do you have any special hikes on your bucket list? Patagonia, Cornwall in 2017 My photo is from July 2009 on the East Coast Trail.
Image 1

Susan Bondy



1. When and why did you decide to become a Hike Leader? It is important to give back to the community of volunteers who make clubs just work, so everyone can relax and have fun. I felt it was important to know the drill for logistics and safety. Even when “just a hiker,” to be part of the invisible network of support ready to aid others in a pinch. 2. What's your favourite part of the Bruce Trail? Parts of the Peninsula Section that are less well travelled, around Hope Bay. The scenery changes constantly. There are many hidden gems, from look-outs to green rainforests suitable for any Hobbit. 3. What's your favourite Toronto-section Trail area? Two extremes. I love the accessibility of Limehouse Hole-in-the-Wall area, especially for people completely unaware of the Bruce Trail and its opportunities. Always a great day out watching people light up in a smile and say, “I never knew!” Strange and wonderful sections rarely day-hiked, with really rocky footing – because that’s a great personal challenge. 4. What do you love about volunteering with BTC? Hike leader (fond of “second” or supporting role). Trail maintenance. Love the really great people. 5. Why should GTA residents get outside and enjoy the Bruce Trail? For social time and silent time: gaggles of nice people who like nice people; or hours lost in your own thoughts as you exercise with the best live video imaginable passing before your eyes. 6. Do you have any special hikes on your bucket list? First New foundland – East Coast Trail and Gros Morne. My photo is me having just climbed “Giant Staircase,” Three Sisters, Katoomba, Blue Mountains, Australia. July 2017.
Image 1