JUNE 1, 2020 UPDATE
Next step in the phased re-opening of the Bruce Trail, June 2.
As of Tuesday June 2, 2020, eighty-five percent of the Bruce Trail is open for people to get fresh air, connect to the wonders of the Niagara Escarpment, and practice physical distancing.
Areas remaining closed will continue to be updated on our Trail updates page, on our Bruce Trail App, and on the websites of parks and other public landowners. Closed areas currently include most waterfalls, high-traffic tourism destinations, and some private properties. Keep in mind that where the Trail is open, most facilities remain closed and some parking is restricted or not available. Please respect all closures.
With these new openings, and the excitement they bring, everyone is reminded to hike locally and hike responsibly. Do not travel outside of your community to use the Trail, maintain physical distancing, and always check Trail changes on our website before heading out.
Although much of the Trail will be open, all BTC and Club organized hikes and in-person events remain suspended. In the meantime, we are working with Hiking Directors from all nine Clubs to establish new protocol for our organized hikes when they resume. Our BTC office remains closed and employees continue to be reachable by email and phone.
Thank you for your patience as we work with our conservation partners and landowners in re-opening the Bruce Trail.
Have a safe and happy hike.
CEO, Bruce Trail Conservancy
MAY 15, 2020 UPDATE
We can feel the excitement growing as everyone looks forward to re-connecting with our beloved Bruce Trail.
Please keep in mind that we are now in a phased re-opening of the Bruce Trail. We continue to work with our conservation and landowner partners to coordinate openings.
Some areas of the Bruce Trail are currently open for hiking. They can be found on our Trail updates page here. This page is updated as opening status changes.
All other areas of the Bruce Trail remain closed.
Our Trail Maintenance and Land Stewardship volunteers have been given the go-ahead to begin their important work on their sections of Trail and our properties.
However, the Bruce Trail on private land and BTC-owned land is not yet open for hiking. Although closure signs are not posted on all properties, please do consider these areas closed.
In those areas where the Trail is open, please hike responsibly. Do not travel outside of your community to use the Trail, maintain physical distancing, avoid all waterfalls areas, and always check Trail changes on our website before heading out. See our guidelines on hiking responsibly & safely.
Thank you for your patience as we work to safely open the Trail.
CEO, Bruce Trail Conservancy
MAY 11, 2020 UPDATE
Phased Re-opening of the Bruce Trail beginning May 15
With the recent Provincial announcement on the re-opening of Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves, the Bruce Trail Conservancy is beginning the process of a safe and controlled staged re-opening of the Bruce Trail.
Some sections of the Bruce Trail will re-open for hiking on May 15, 2020 as we coordinate with our partners.
Please regularly check this page and our trail changes page for updates.
Sincere thanks to our dedicated Trail maintenance and land stewardship volunteers for their quick response in preparation for the opening.
- All BTC and Club in-person events and organized hikes remain suspended until June 30.
- Our BTC office remains closed as required by law via the provincial shutdown. Employees continue to be reachable by email and phone.
- During trail closures, please do not park on nearby roads, move gates or barriers, or hop fences, as these actions are illegal.
We are all eager to reconnect with the Bruce Trail and natural spaces. But keep in mind that this is not yet a return to hiking as we have been used to.
To assist the province with its efforts to keep all Ontarians healthy and safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone enjoying the Bruce Trail beginning May 15 is asked to do so in a socially responsible way.
As lands and trails re-open, please keep these measures in mind:
- Keep 6 feet away from other walkers and hikers.
- Move aside to allow others to pass.
- Only walk and hike with members of your household.
- Walk or hike for shorter spans of time.
- Hike or walk in your local area.
- Respect any trail or facility closures.
Making responsible changes to our hiking approach will keep us all safer and healthier.
Thank you for your ongoing support and enjoy a safe hike.
CEO, Bruce Trail Conservancy
APRIL 28, 2020 UPDATE
Extending our Cancellations & Closures
- All BTC and Club in-person events and organized hikes are suspended until June 30.
- Everyone is asked to continue to stay off all areas of the Bruce Trail until further notice; the Bruce Trail is closed.
- Our Dundas office remains closed as required by law via the provincial shutdown. Employees continue to be reachable by email and phone.
The Bruce Trail Conservancy has over 700 handshake agreements with private landowners that are critical for the connectivity of our conservation corridor. These essential stakeholders have politely requested hikers stay away during the pandemic. The Bruce Trail Conservancy respects these wishes, and we ask the same of you.
We acknowledge the difficulty of staying at home and the impact it has on our lives. But we’re confident that extending these measures is the best way for all of us – hikers, volunteers, and our local communities – to stay safe and reduce the impact on our health system.
MARCH 27, 2020 - Message from Bruce Trail Conservancy CEO Michael McDonald
We didn’t think we’d ever be encouraging people to stay off the Bruce Trail, but unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. For the safety of our communities, and to assist the province with its efforts to keep our communities safe as the COVID-19 pandemic quickly evolves, I have an important request:
Please postpone your use of the Bruce Trail for walks or hikes until further notice, to minimize the spread or contraction of COVID-19.
We realize that we cannot close-off the Bruce Trail. We cannot bar access to all trailheads nor enforce closures. We can and do, however, urge everyone to please stay away from the Bruce Trail until further notice.
Many popular areas have seen increased crowding in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. And even beyond these areas, travelling to and on the Trail puts local communities, hikers, and our health system at risk.
I know this is hard. For many of us, the Bruce Trail is an escape from the stresses of difficult times. We know hiking is good for our overall physical and mental health. It is heartbreaking to dissuade people from using our wonderful footpath, but it is absolutely crucial that we all do what we can to limit the spread of COVID-19. Our public health officials have sent us a clear message; stay home, and stay safe.
Many parks, conservation areas, municipalities and other landowners along the Bruce Trail have already made the difficult decision to close their facilities and access to trails. In these areas, hikers should consider the Bruce Trail closed. We support these organizations and landowners in their closures to halt the spread of the virus.
During this uncertain time, please know the Bruce Trail Conservancy is here for you. Although our Bruce Trail Conservancy office is closed, our staff are working remotely and will continue to be available by email and phone. Our main source of contact is: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-665-4453.
I thank you for your patience and understanding during these challenging times. The Bruce Trail will be there for us all to enjoy when the pandemic comes to an end.
Stay well and be safe.
CEO, Bruce Trail Conservancy
MARCH 20, 2020 UPDATE
During this difficult and unprecedented time, many of us are turning to the healthy benefits of time spent in nature. If you are making plans to do so, please note that access to the Bruce Trail may be affected in some areas.
Many of our partnering conservation organizations along the Bruce Trail (like parks and conservation areas) are making important and difficult decisions about their operations and the land for which they are responsible.
Currently, many areas along the Bruce Trail remain open. However, many visitor centres, washrooms, and parking lots operated by our partnering conservation organizations may be closed.
Currently, there are 2 areas where a section of the Bruce Trail is closed:
Bruce Peninsula National Park (Peninsula section)
Notice from Parks Canada: "Effective 12:01 a.m., Thursday, March 19, 2020, all lands within Bruce Peninsula National Park to the north and east of Highway 6 are now closed by Superintendent’s orders, including the Cyprus Lake and Grotto area, Halfway Log Dump, and Little Cove. This means all self-serve off-season camping and day-use offers at Cyprus Lake and backcountry campsites, all toilets, shelters, day-use facilities, the Bruce Trail within the park, and the Visitor Centre are not open."
Please see the latest updates from Bruce Peninsula National Park at https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/on/bruce/visit/covid-19-info
Cheltenham Badlands (Caledon Hills section, km 0 to km 1.4)
Notice from Credit Valley Conservation, Thursday, March 19, 2020: "Credit Valley Conservation is continuing to monitor developments in relation to COVID-19. Effective immediately, The Cheltenham Badlands will continue to be closed until further notice. This will include the Bruce Trail section the runs through The Cheltenham Badlands (Creditview Rd to Old Baseline Rd). Barriers and signage have been placed at trail entrances that will prevent access."
Please see the latest update from Credit Valley Conservation at https://cvc.ca/about-cvc/cvcs-covid-19-update/
Staying Up to Date:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, changes are happening frequently. Please visit the websites or social media accounts of these organizations directly for the latest on any changes to trail use or access:
Please remember that the Bruce Trail passes through land owned by over 900 private and public landowners and access to the Trail is at the discretion of the landowner. As always, we ask that you respect the decisions of our landowners.
In such times we at the Bruce Trail Conservancy are reminded of how grateful we are to have supporters whose devotion to the conservation and exploration of nature is unparalleled. Together, we will continue to ensure there are protected natural spaces close to home where we can find solace and rejuvenation in times of crisis and beyond.
Stay well and be safe.
We have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation and after thought and careful consideration, the Bruce Trail Conservancy and its Clubs are making changes to our operations and events.
The health and safety of our staff and members is always our priority and we are doing our part to act responsibly and to help stop the spread of the virus. We appreciate your help and understanding during these unprecedented times.
Bruce Trail Conservancy Office
Beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020 the Bruce Trail Conservancy office at 55 Head St. in Dundas will be closed and our staff will work remotely until at least April 6, 2020.
We continue to be available by email and phone, and our online membership, donation and store processes will remain in operation. We hope to maintain our current levels of service but appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience during this time.
We will have limited access to letter mail via Canada Post. Please connect with us online, by phone (1-800-665-4453) or by email (email@example.com).
Product orders, End-to-End certificates, and membership packages will not be shipped until after the office re-opens.
Bruce Trail Conservancy Events
All Bruce Trail Conservancy events between now and April 30, 2020 will be rescheduled to a later date.
Bruce Trail Club Events & Hikes
All organized hikes across all 9 Clubs are being cancelled until April 30, 2020.
We recognize the hike program represents an important outlet for many of our members to reduce stress, socialize and stay physically active. The Bruce Trail Conservancy has made this important decision to be proactive, to do our part to support the health care system, and to keep our volunteers and members safe.
The following other Club events and programs are affected through April 30th:
- Club social events & workshops are cancelled or postponed
- Club Annual General Meetings to be held by teleconference
- Trail Angels (trailhead transportation program) cancelled
- Trail maintenance group activities cancelled
The Bruce Trail itself remains open. Keep in mind that some access points, washrooms or visitor centres operated by our partnering conservation organizations (like parks and conservation areas) may be closed.
Please be sure to follow the advice of Public Health Officials to stay safe and keep others safe. You'll find trusted information here:
Thank you for your support as we work to ensure a continued safe environment for our staff, volunteers, and local communities.