What does the Bruce Trail mean to you?
Thank you to everyone who shared photos and stories of what the Bruce trail has meant to you in our 50th Anniversary Photo Contest.
It was a joy to see and read how the trail has been a source of inspiration, adventure, healing, reflection, family time and more. With so many poignant and beautiful entries, it was truly difficult for our judges to narrow it down to these final 10.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER - Sonya Richmond
As a child my parents took me walking on the Bruce Trail. Later as a teenager I hiked and camped along the Trailway. Now we take our children and friends for excursions to relax, recharge, and reconnect with nature. The trail and landscape remind us what is essential in life, reacquaints us with who we are, and reaffirms where we are heading. For my family the Bruce Trail is about Connections. People to nature. Generation to generation. Past to present.
FINALIST - Melissa Krakar
On our end to end journey, we are often asked how we get the kids to hike so far and not get bored. The Bruce Trail is a special place where we leave behind the busyness of life to soak in the sounds and beauty of nature, listen to the birds, identify plants and animal tracks, learn about the flora, fauna and history, play shadow tag or hide and seek, sing, take pictures, explore the interesting features, balance on logs, have a picnic lunch, rejuvenate from the positive energy of the forest and simply enjoy spending time outdoors. It's a place to spend quality family time together. Pictured here is our youngest, with the help of my husband, pretending to be a raccoon in a hollow tree.
FINALIST - Jasmine Waslowski
34 days of hiking culminated in this photo. It was five-thirty in the morning and I was surrounded by a family of people I met the night before. One pot of boiled water had transformed into a delightful bowl of oatmeal and a cup of instant coffee. My body was rejuvenated from a night of rest and my soul was nourished by the company of tents at Storm Haven campsite. While the sun barely peeked out from behind the clouds, the crisp morning air and a peaceful Georgian Bay made for a satisfying sunrise. This last morning of my end-to-end journey is symbolic of all the special things the Bruce Trail offers: peace in nature not far from home, the opportunity to connect with old friends and meet new ones, a reminder to appreciate simple pleasures in life, and a call to take on new challenges with optimism and perseverance.
FINALIST - Linda Swance
I wonder...Fifty years ago, how tall was this tree? Just one of the many things I think about while on the Bruce Trail. It's not how many steps I take, but how many steps have travelled through the trails. I look at the trail, and the trees, and wonder the changes over 50 years. The Bruce Trail is my escape, and someday I hope to hike end to end, even if it takes me 50 years! I wonder...In 50 years, how much taller will this tree be?
FINALIST - Sean Morton
Choosing one location or one moment from a lifetime of trips along the Bruce Trail is an almost impossible task. The beauty and diversity of the landscape which spans from Tobermory to Queenston Heights inspires the soul and the spirit. The Bruce Trail itself guides us along the escarpment's natural beauty, allowing hikers to experience tranquility in the midst of Ontario's urban centres and the spaces in between which join them and us together. Whether on a day hike, a weekend camping trip, or an end to end excursion along the Bruce the pathway furthers our appreciation for the natural world and allows us to rediscover the nearby wilderness. I am always amazed at spots along the trail, such as those in Hamilton, which one often only discovers, or rediscovers, in moments of quiet reflection.
FINALIST - Peter Moule
The Bruce Trail ensures a secured corridor of preserved land through Southern Ontario. At a time when urban sprawl is quickly eating up many of the natural spaces outside of the city, it's good to know that the BTC is conserving many of these beautiful natural areas and unique ecosystems that would otherwise be destroyed by urban development.
FINALIST - Brenda West
I love the Bruce Trail, because it invites you in to appreciate this beautiful planet, both the grand vistas, and the tiny treasures. When you leave the car and enter the woods, boots on the ground, you're on a journey to discover all of the amazing details that you would not otherwise see - dew drops on spider webs, tiny buds opening, ice formations in creeks and ditches, flowers and trees clinging to cliffs, rock, rock, and more rock, insects visiting flowers, lacy lichen, patterns on bark, orchids, fungi, beams of light, ripples on water, reflections, and the adventure is just endless. The Bruce Trail is Ontario's treasure, and so good for the soul.
FINALIST - Michael McDonald
The Bruce Trail, it's inception and it's continued success is born from teamwork. People who care about preserving their natural environment work together to make this dream a reality. All along our trail you can see you see landowners, volunteers, conservation authorities and staff members working together to preserve this precious "ribbon of green" . This picture to me defines togetherness. Diverse backgrounds, different abilities, generosity and passion for nature bring us all together to love and protect the trail.
FINALIST - Margaret O'Dell
Water is Life! The Bruce Trail is infamous for its creeks and waterfalls and they get the spotlight most of the time, however, what I've come to appreciate so much in the 600km plus that I have covered is the tireless efforts of volunteers who maintain this trail and make it passable for us to enjoy its beautiful scenery and bountiful forest life that comes with the gift of water. The bridges, styles, steps and ladders, carefully thoughtful of our safe passage. I commend these amazing volunteers.
FINALIST - Maureen Elliott
I have enjoyed hiking and photographing the Bruce Trail for many years, exploring new sections, but this was the first time I introduce the trail to my grandkids. This image shows my 5 year old granddaughter, Jasmine, climbing and exploring around the crevices of the Boyd's Crevice section near Owen Sound. I was so delighted to watch the kids and their excitement. I crawled into crevices I had overlooked on previous hikes. To pass this love of nature and the Bruce Trail to the next generation is what it is all about!