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Special Notice - Plan ahead, check for closures, and hike responsibly. See hiking safety tips

Citizen Science

Collect important biodiversity data as you hike


We're looking for citizen scientists to help us better understand the biodiversity along the Bruce Trail.

All skill levels welcome.

Whether you are a trained botanist, mycologist or ornithologist, or just interested in learning more about the different species calling the Bruce Trail home, the Bruce Trail Conservancy can use your help. Using the free powerful online tool iNaturalist, you can collect much needed data while you are out hiking the Bruce Trail.  

Each observation from our Bruce Trail community will help

  • Catalogue species along the Trail
  • Build a map of sightings
  • Create a visual tool to look for distribution patterns & species movement
  • Track invasive species, rare species and native species 

New to using iNaturalist? Watch our iNaturalist tutorial to learn how to use the website and the app: 
iNaturalist Tutorial

BTC iNaturalist Project: What have we found so far?

Visit the Bruce Trail Conservancy iNaturalist page to see all the observations of our community of citizen science volunteers so far.

Webinar: BTC iNaturalist Findings 2019-2021 (Feb 4 2021)

Report: 2020 BTC Citizen Science iNaturalist Report

How to Participate

1. Create an account at

2. Download the iNaturalist app on your mobile device (optional):

3. Register as a BTC Citizen Science volunteer

Contact Meghan Croll at We'll add you to the Bruce Trail Conservancy iNaturalist Project so that you can start adding observations. Download our iNaturalist Guide for more information.

4. Start hiking and taking pictures of the things you observe along the way.

Take photos either directly in the iNaturalist app, or using your regular camera app or camera

5. Share the observations with the Bruce Trail Conservancy iNaturalist Project

  1. Using the iNaturalist app:  
    a) Sync your photos using the iNaturalist app
    b) Remember to add each photo to the Bruce Trail Conservancy iNaturalist Project. Although uploaded, your photos are not automatically added to the Bruce Trail Conservancy iNaturalist Project

  2. Using the iNaturalist website:
    a) Login to your iNaturalist account & Upload your photos
    b) Remember to add each photo to the Bruce Trail Conservancy iNaturalist Project. Although uploaded, your photos are not automatically added to the Bruce Trail Conservancy iNaturalist Project


Do I need the iNaturalist App?

The iNaturalist App is handy but is not required. Without it you can still participate by uploading photos to the iNaturalist website directly, however, you'll need to manually enter your location information for each observation.

Do I need strong identification skills for the observations I take?

Don't worry if you are new to species identification. Label your photo as best you can and others can help identify it. Plus you can have the app make suggestions based on your photo. Your observations will be checked by BTC ecologists and other iNaturalist observers.

If you have botanical/mycological/ornithological knowledge, not only can you add your data, you can contribute to the identification of observations made by other iNaturalist participants.

What kinds of observations should be included?

Any and all species that occur along the Bruce Trail are welcomed. We're looking for rare or common, introduced or native, invasive or non-invasive species.

Notes on being a respectful citizen scientist

Minimizing disturbance to the flora we are observing is the main concern for every citizen scientist and field botanist. This includes:

  • staying on the trail
  • taking only photographs
  • watching where you place your feet



Plants of Southern Ontario - available at the BTC online Store or by calling 1-800-665-4453 ext. 0

Fact Sheets:


Purple Stemmed Aster
Upland White Aster 
Large Leaved Aster 


Harts Tongue Fern 
Christmas Fern 
Northern Holly Fern 


American Chestnut 
Sugar Maple 
American Beech 

Other Plants

Virginia Bluebells 
American cancer-root
Canada Goldenrod 
Spring Beauty 
Round Lobed Hepatica 
Hooded Ladies Tresses 
Striped Coralroot 
Wild Ginger
Alaska Orchid