New Friendships and Superb Hiking on Blue Mountain Bus Trips

Hike leaders Michael Humpage and George Lennon have been leading a series of bus hikes to complete the 70km of Blue Mountain section’s Main Trail from Swiss Meadows south to Lavendar. Those trips had up to 44 of us hiking together.  Of all these hikers, 18 participants have now completed the six trips that took them from End-to-End to earn their Boot Badge. Each Bruce Trail club, like the Blue Mountain Club and including our own Toronto Club, offers badges for completing its section of the Trail and for other challenges.

On all of these trips that Michael and George led, before the bus returned to Toronto, the walkers would visit a local town for refreshments in its bakeries, coffee shops, or pubs. With the final trip, the celebration of a good day outdoors became especially festive because of the accomplishments of the end-to-enders. If you have not had such an experience yourself, or if you have and would like another like it, then join Sajedeh Zahraei and Celia Ho on May 25th as they lead the first of their series of five hikes through the Caledon section. Registration begins on May 11th at 7 AM and can be found here: .

Michael and George’s hikes began last September on a beautiful day overlooking Nottawasaga Bay. The early-morning clouds had lifted so that we could see from Collingwood below us and all the way over to the east shore of Georgian Bay.  Six weeks later, in October, our next hike immersed us in fall colours as we climbed the highest point on the Bruce Trail and then descended along the rushing waters of the aptly-named Pretty River.

By the end of October, on the following hike, the dying leaves had mostly fallen from the trees. Where the leaves were damp, footing could be slippery and treacherous, and we were traversing along the crevices and clifftops near the Standing Rock and Caves. We passed by an emergency crew from the Blue Mountains Fire Services practicing their rescue techniques should a hiker fall through one of the deep cracks splitting the Niagara Escarpment.

Two weeks later, as our bus neared Stayner, we could see in the distance that the Escarpment was white with newly-fallen snow. The lake-effect snowfall, so early in the season, was not what we had expected from the forecasts for the day. The views of the heavily-laden branches on the tree below us in Devil’s Glen were remarkable.  However, much of that snow had disappeared when, late November, we returned to finish out our walk along the Mad River and Nottawasaga Bluffs.

With winter almost upon us, we waited until the first weekend in April to do our final hike to conclude the End-to-End of the section. We descended to the Noisy River and then climbed up to reach the Dufferin Heights. Some of us were already making plans for our next series of end-to-end bus hikes that would take us onward into the Dufferin Heights Club’s section of the Bruce Trail.

  • Courtesy, George Lennon