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Special Notice - Most of the Bruce Trail is open. Plan ahead, check for closures, and hike responsibly. See COVID-19 Updates

Notice: Hiking Program has resumed

(June 11, 2021 Update)

While the province is in Step 1 of re-opening, hikes are open to BTC members only with a capacity limit of 10 hikers. Registration is required. See Guidelines below.

The hiking program is resuming in concert with Ontario's three-step plan for reopening. The timing of each Step will be determined by the Province.

STEP 1 (beginning Friday, June 11):

  • Hikes open for BTC Members only. Group size limited to 10. Registration required.
  • Hikers should maintain 2m/6ft distance. Wearing masks is strongly recommended.
  • No car shuttles or bus hikes are permitted.

STEP 2:

  • Hikes open for BTC Members and guests. Group size limited to 25. Registration required.
  • Hikers should maintain 2m/6ft distance. Wearing masks is strongly recommended.
  • No car shuttles or bus hikes are permitted.

STEP 3:

  • Hikes will be open to BTC Members and non-members with no capacity restrictions, unless outdoor capacity limits are put in place by the Province for Step 3
  • Car shuttles and bus hikes may resume.
  • Group End-to-End hikes may resume.
  • Event hikes may resume.

Vaccination will NOT be a pre-condition of participating in the hiking program.

The Bruce Trail Conservancy and its Clubs continue to monitor the guidance provided by Canada's and Ontario's public health officers with respect to COVID-19. Our hiking program and our guidelines to hikers may need to change as this guidance changes.
 

Guidelines for Hikers joining Group Hikes with our Bruce Trail Clubs

Updated: June 11, 2021

In Step 1, hikes are open to BTC Members only.

Membership is 100% tax-deductible, is valid for everyone in a household, and is a wonderful way to support our mission: preserving a ribbon of wilderness, for everyone, forever. Join or Renew today >
 

COVID-19 Precautions Before, During and After your Hike (in Step 1)

 

  1. Self-Screening: Each hiker joining a Bruce Trail Club organized hike must perform a self-screening check before hiking.
    Find Ontario's self-assessment tool here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/
    Vaccination is NOT be a pre-condition of participating in the hiking program.
     
  2. Stay home if you have symptoms: If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, stay home.
    If you arrive at the hike showing any of the the following signs, you will be asked not to participate in the hike.
    • new or worsening cough
    • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • temperature equal to or over 38°C
    • feeling feverish
    • chills
    • fatigue or weakness
    • muscle or body aches
    • new loss of smell or taste
    • headache
    • gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting)
    • feeling very unwell
       
  3. Arrival at the group hike:
    • Remain in your car while you are being checked in for the hike.
       
  4. Follow the guidelines for safe & responsible hiking, including:
    • Keep a distance of at least 2 arm lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others not in your household.
    • Do not share anything, including bug repellant, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, water etc.
    • Move aside to allow others to pass.
    • Pack out everything you bring on your hike. Garbage cans will not be available.
       
  5. Personal Protective Equipment:
    • Hikers & Hike Leaders are strongly recommended to wear face masks during the hike.
    • Hikers may carry and use hand sanitizer, but should not be sharing it with the group
       
  6. After the hike:
    Hikers who experience COVID-19 symptoms following a Bruce Trail Club organized hike must inform their local public health unit. Public Health will be responsible for contact tracing.
    Find your local health unit at http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/system/services/phu/locations.aspx

 

Other Guidelines

  1. Arrive 15 minutes before the start of the hike.
  2. Wear sturdy footwear and appropriate attire for the weather and the terrain.
    Hiking poles are a good idea in any season, especially if the terrain is rocky or slippery. In winter, snowshoes or icers/crampons are needed when conditions dictate. Wearing appropriate clothing and footwear prevents injuries and shows consideration for a safe and positive group hiking experience.
  3. Always carry I.D. and your health card.
  4. Bring sufficient water and snacks (or lunch if indicated). A minimum of 1L of water is recommended on all hikes, and 3L is recommended for long, challenging hikes in the heat of the summer.
  5. Bring sunscreen and insect repellent (for spring and summer hikes).
  6. Bring your own first aid kit.
  7. Please leave dogs at home.

Transportation

All hikers are responsible for their own transportation to and from the hike.

In Steps 1 and 2 of the Provincial re-opening, there will be no car shuttles on hikes and no buses will be provided.

Hike Difficulty

Hikes vary in difficulty. In each hike description, you'll find important pieces of information - about distance, pace, and terrain - to help you determine if that particular hike is right for you.  To participate in an organized hike, you need to be able to complete the specified length of the hike on your own or with your own support person within the time allowed.

Hike Difficulty Ratings have been standardized across most of the Bruce Trail Clubs:

Pace:

  • Leisurely – 3km/hr or less
  • Medium – 3 to 4 km/hr
  • Brisk – 4 to 5 km/hr
  • Fast – 5+ km/hr

Terrain:

  • Easy – Mostly flat and usually good footing.
  • Moderate – Some hills and/or some poor footing.
  • Strenuous – Hilly with steep climbs and some poor footing.

Level (Used by Toronto Club only):

  • Beginner - These hikes are suitable for hikers with little experience who want to have a hiking experience. They are generally short, leisurely or moderate paced hikes over easy terrain.
  • Easy - These hikes are suitable for fit beginner hikers, or hikers who want an outing, not a workout.
  • Intermediate - Intermediate hikes are for experienced hikers, or very fit beginners.
  • Advanced - Only hikers who are very fit and experienced should select these hikes. If you are unsure of your ability, we encourage you to start with an Easy or Intermediate hike.