The Bruce Trail celebrates 50 years

Canada's oldest and longest hiking trail celebrates a milestone anniversary with a number of events

June 24, 2012 will mark 50 years since the first hike was made on the renowned Bruce Trail, which runs for more than 800 km, from the Niagara River to the tip of Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula. To celebrate the country’s oldest and longest hiking trail, you can be one of 50 hikers to follow in the footsteps of those who blazed, mapped, and created the path in 1962.

By doing so, you can help raise funds for the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC), a charitable organization that works to promote environmentally responsible public access to the magnificent Niagara Escarpment. What many hiking enthusiasts might not be aware of is the fact that the Bruce Trail is hardly secure. More than 50 percent of the 7,000 acres managed by the Bruce Trail Conservancy is vulnerable to development. Despite its designation as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Escarpment land can still be sold, carved up, leveled and paved.

If you want to get one of only 50 spots on the—you guessed it—50 km hike, you must raise a minimum of $500 to participate, which will help the BTC secure more land. Still, it’s not all work. The route begins and ends in Mono Cliffs Provincial Park (14 km southeast of Orangeville, Ont), and along the way hikers will be treated to a pre-hike rally, a shuttle bus to the trailhead, refreshment and support stations, a post-hike feast and celebration, and a commemorative badge to cap off the day.

Not able to come up with the funds in time, but still want to honour this awesome hiking destination? You can also sponsor a hiker or attend a special dinner being hosted by the Toronto Bruce Trail Club on June 28, 2012, which includes a meet and greet with the trail’s early founders.

For more information about the Bruce Trail’s anniversary events, visit the Bruce Trail Conservancy’s website.