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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

Hiking Program during Step 3 of Provincial Reopening

(August 24, 2021 Update)

In concert with Step 3 of Provincial reopening, the BTC hike program is open to BTC members and non-members, and group size is capped at 100 hikers. Clubs may choose to set lower capacity limits. Some hikes may be for BTC members only while others are open to the public.

Registration is required for all hikes.

Step 3 and our Hiking Program:

  • Hikes open to BTC Members and non-members by registration. Some hikes may be for members only.
  • Group size capped at 100. Clubs may set capacity limit lower than 100.
  • Registration required.
  • Hikers should maintain 2m/6ft distance. Face masks should be worn anytime this distance cannot be met (on the hike, in a car/bus).
  • Car shuttles may resume.
  • Bus hikes may resume. All bus hikes must follow the bus company protocols.
  • Group End-to-End hikes may resume.
  • Event hikes may resume.

Vaccination is NOT a pre-condition of participating in the hiking program.
The Bruce Trail Conservancy strongly encourages all hikers to get vaccinated.

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: August 24, 2021

In Step 3, hikes are open to BTC members AND non-members. Some hikes may be for 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 3)

 

  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 a pre-condition of participating in the hiking program.
    The Bruce Trail Conservancy strongly encourages all hikers to get vaccinated.
     
  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. Follow the guidelines for safe & responsible hiking, including:
    • Keep a distance of at least 2 m/6 ft 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 may not be available.
       
  4. Personal Protective Equipment:
    • Face masks should be worn (on the hike or in a car/bus) anytime 2 m/6 ft distance cannot be met.
    • Hikers may carry and use hand sanitizer, but should not be sharing it with the group
       
  5. 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. Bring 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

    Note: Hike Leaders cannot provide medication (including pain relievers and antihistamines)

    Your first aid kit should include: bandaids, sterile gauze pads, a tensor bandage, Sam splint, moleskin, SteriStrips for lacerations, antiseptic ointment, ASA, ibuprofen, Benadryl, gravol, imodium and personal medications
     
  7. Please leave dogs at home.

Transportation

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

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.