The Bruce Trail Conservancy is working with international trail organizations to raise awareness of and support for public footpaths through the creation of Friendship Trails. In each case, a route on the Bruce Trail (main and side trails) and a corresponding route on the international trail have been designated as a Friendship Trail, displaying special signs to mark the partnership. Currently there are four Friendship Trails on the Bruce Trail, with more trails to open soon.
The latest Friendship Trail opened in the Iroquoia Club section of the Bruce Trail on Saturday September 28. The Offa's Dyke Path Friendship Trail is located between Waterdown's Grindstone Creek and Burlington's City View Park. This section of the Bruce Trail is twinned with the section of the Offa's Dyke Path from the Welsh town of Knighton (Tref-y-clawdd in Welsh, a town on the dyke) to Ditchyeld Bridge on the Herefordshire/Powys County boundary.
Cutting the ribbon at the opening of the Offa's Dyke Path Friendship Trail on the Bruce Trail, Sept. 28, 2013
l to r: Beth Gilhespy (Executive Director, Bruce Trail Conservancy), Pam Belgrade (Tourism Burlington),
Jake Reynolds (Hike Ontario), Paul Toffoletti (Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club), and
Judy Partridge (Councilor, City of Hamilton)
Thirty people joined in the festivities to open the latest Friendship Trail. Councilor Judy Partridge from the City of Hamilton was honoured to be included in the FT opening, she took time to acknowledge the Bruce Trail's volunteers and noted the value of the Bruce Trail, "the Bruce Trail and Niagara Escarpment are not only important natural assets for the residents of Halton and Hamilton, they are popular destinations for visitors to our area". Bruce Trail Conservancy Executive Director Beth Gilhespy spoke about the far reaching effects of these type of partnerships, "I love how Friendship Trails give people an opportunity to hike the Bruce Trail not just here in their backyards, but around the world. Friendship Trails provide international recognition and impact, and support a worldwide community of people enjoying nature."
Find out more:
Offa's Dyke Path - www.nationaltrail.co.uk/offasdyke
Friendship Trails on the Bruce Trail - www.brucetrail.org/pages/trail/friendship-trails