Coronavirus (COVID-19) Return to the Hiking Program Plan

This has been, and continues to be, a challenging and unprecedented time for the Toronto Bruce Trail Club. Our highest priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our volunteers and hiking community.

As of July 17th, many places in Ontario are moving to Stage 3 with the remainder of the Province expected to follow accordingly. The following is an excerpt from the official framework.

Based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health experts, gathering limits for regions in Stage 3 will increase. The gathering limit of 10 people indoors or outdoors will continue to apply for regions in Stage 2 until they enter Stage 3. Social circles should continue to be kept at 10 people province-wide, regardless of stage.

As of Saturday, September 12th, the Toronto Bruce Trail Club will increase the upper limit restriction on hikes from 10 to 30 participants for those areas in Stage 3. The banner on each registration will be:

COVID-19: ALL HIKES ARE MANDATORY PRE-REGISTER, LIMIT ALL HIKES 30 PERSONS

The hiking program will continue to be restricted to members only. This will show loyalty to our members and encourage people to renew or join. Overnight hiking trips are not permitted. There will be no car shuttles on hikes – all hikes must be out and back or loop hikes. Bus hikes are not provided at this time.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Hikers and Hike Leaders may choose to wear face masks
  • Hike Leaders and Hikers can carry hand sanitizer, but should not be sharing it with the group.

Health and Covid-19 Symptoms

  • Each hiker must perform a self-screening check before hiking.
  • Hikers and Hike Leaders are to follow the protocols laid out on the TBTC website for safe hiking.
  • Hikers who may come down with Covid-19 symptoms following a hike, must inform Public Health. Public Health will be responsible for contact tracing.

Waivers and Registration

  • Registration for all TBTC hikes will continue to be by Pre-registration Online using the TBTC Website
  • A new system has been developed for online waivers to be completed upon registration.
  • Registration is limited and those hikers who are not registered will be turned away from the hike.

Safety Talk for Hike Leaders

At the beginning of any organized hike, hike leaders will continue to perform the following safety talk to inform the participants of the protocol for COVID 19.

Hike leaders and hikers are aware of the symptoms of COVID-19. If any participants show the following signs, hike leaders will ask them not to participate:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath / Breathing difficulties
  • Cough
  • Runny nose

In the pre-hike talk, hike leaders will continue to cover the following items:

  • Remind people not to share anything including bug repellant, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, water etc.
  • Remind hikers to bring their own first aid kits.
  • Inform people to keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others, as much as possible.
  • Ensure people move aside to allow others to pass.
  • Pack out everything you bring on your hike. Garbage cans will not be available.
  • Inform participants that masks are optional.

The Toronto Bruce Trail Club has a proud history and is part of the nine sections of the Bruce Trail, the oldest long distance marked footpath in Canada. During the changes required during the pandemic, the ethos at the heart of our Club has remained the same – we embrace our role in responsible stewardship of the Bruce Trail, the lands in our care, and the organization’s resources, for the benefit of all including future generations.

David Royle
Hiking Director and Vice President
Toronto Bruce Trail Club

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