Bruce Trail Conservancy encourages responsible hiking this May long weekend
As we approach this May long weekend, Bruce Trail Conservancy’s CEO, Michael McDonald would like to remind everyone who will visit the Bruce Trail that with every step and choice made, there is an impact on the sensitive environments around the Trail.
STAY ON THE MARKED TRAIL
Hiking along the marked (“blazed”) routes, avoiding ‘off-trail’ use, will ensure that sensitive vegetation is not damaged, and relationships with our private landowners are not strained. The Trail ensures the impact on the environment you’re visiting is minimal. Learn how to read the blazes, and when in doubt, follow the blazes. If the blazes don’t match your map, the blazes always take precedence. If you lose the Trail, go back to the place where a blaze was last seen.
BE MINDFUL OF LANDOWNER PROPERTY
Private landowners are critical conservation partners of the Bruce Trail Conservancy. Landowners graciously allow the Bruce Trail on their property, while simultaneously contributing to healthier and more biodiverse Niagara Escarpment ecosystems. Trespassing on their properties can strain valuable relationships and could lead to a request to remove the Trail from their land. When this access to the Trail has been revoked the entire continuity of the Bruce Trail is threatened.
PARK SAFELY AND LEGALLY
Parking lots fill up quickly. Because of the increase in visitors and our limited parking availability, there has been an increase in illegal parking. The Bruce Trail Conservancy has plans to install a number of new parking lots along the length of the Trail in areas where they are most needed. In the meantime, consider planning your visit to the Bruce Trail during off-peak times (early morning or weekdays) and avoid parking on roadways. If a parking area is full, please consider another location, perhaps one you can walk to.
TAKE ONLY PICTURES, AND LEAVE WITH MEMORIES
Perhaps the most well-known rule is to leave no trace. This means that no one should be able to know you were exploring the Niagara Escarpment. Whatever you brought in, you need to bring out. Leave flowers and plants for others to enjoy, and avoid acts of vandalism, such as carving your initials in a tree or a rock face. These simple deeds protect the sensitive species and habitats along the Niagara Escarpment.
PLEASE STAY LOCAL
The Bruce Trail Conservancy understands and supports people’s desire to connect with nature. The iconic Bruce Trail is a well-loved and popular option, especially as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please do not travel outside your region to hike at this time. Stay local and check our website for COVID- 19 updates as they pertain to the Bruce Trail: https://brucetrail.org/pages/news-events/covid-19-updates