Welcome to the Bruce Trail Conservancy’s pressroom

Thank you for your interest in the Bruce Trail Conservancy. We are here to help you with news stories, including arranging interviews with experts who work in conservation, land preservation, trail construction, hiking and more. We have expert staff and experienced volunteers who can contribute to news and feature stories on various topics. And we’re happy to provide photos or video footage to help you tell the story.

For Journalists

Nature has a story to tell and we want to help you tell it.

We are here to help you with news stories, including arranging interviews with experts who work in conservation, land preservation, trail construction, hiking and more. We have expert staff and experienced volunteers who can contribute to news and feature stories on various topics. And we’re happy to provide photos or video footage to help you tell the story.

Media Contacts

Elizabeth Harrington, Director Communications and Engagement

Bruce Trail Conservancy, Communications Department

Press Releases

Bruce Trail Conservancy sets its sights on protecting two vital habitats in Ontario

December 16, 2021: Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) has launched a fundraising campaign to protect two vital habitats with the creation of Balsam Wetlands Nature Reserve and Eugenia Woods Nature Reserve, both about an hour outside of Toronto.

To date, the Bruce Trail Conservancy has preserved over 12,700 acres of Niagara Escarpment habitats and makes them available to explore through 1,300 km of trails. But, our work is not done. Climate change contributes to the destruction of rich biodiversity, which negatively impacts our Ontario communities and our quality of life. Thankfully, the BTC knows what to do. Protecting more nature across the Niagara Escarpment is a solution, but we need to act now. 

At Balsam Wetlands Nature Reserve, an impressive coniferous swamp of mature Balsam Fir and White Cedar supports a diverse web of life. Rare species like Black Ash and Hart’s-tongue Fern are both thriving in this nature reserve. Wetlands help slow the effects of climate change. They store carbon, improve the quality of our waters and act like giant sponges controlling flooding, and sheltering sensitive species. Despite their undisputed value for the environment, wetlands are disappearing across Ontario.

Eugenia Woods Nature Reserve is nestled near the iconic Eugenia Falls. The soaring Sugar Maple forests of Eugenia Woods combine with those of neighbouring protected spaces to create an important wildlife corridor nearly 18 km long. Forests, like those at Eugenia Woods, purify the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, prevent erosion, cool our waterways, and reduce the effects of extreme weather. Forests help stabilize the climate. To maximize the climate benefits of forests, we must keep more forest landscapes intact.

Up until now, these important pieces of the Niagara Escarpment have remained unprotected. The total cost to preserve these two new nature reserves and protect their precious habitats is $3.6 million. But, we’re well on our way! Your thoughtful donation can help us raise the remaining $1.8 million needed to ensure these wetlands and woods, and the gifts they give us, are protected forever.


“Protecting lands along the Niagara Escarpment is critical in addressing climate change, and the global loss of biodiversity. These nature reserves are two of the remaining pieces needed to create a continuous conservation corridor along the Niagara Escarpment. And, with 4.5km of Bruce Trail carefully routed on the properties, these unique landscapes will be available for you to explore. Your generosity will ensure that nature continues to nourish our lives today, and into the future.”

—   Michael McDonald, CEO, Bruce Trail Conservancy 

Learn More

To learn more about this project, or to donate, visit #Balsam-wetlands-and-eugenia-woods

Bruce Trail Conservancy Contact:


Elizabeth Harrington, Director Communications and Engagement
Bruce Trail Conservancy

About The Bruce Trail Conservancy

Bruce Trail Conservancy is one of Ontario’s largest land trusts that acquires, protects and restores the vulnerable habitat and biodiversity of the UNESCO Niagara Escarpment Biosphere. For more than 50 years, we have responsibly connected people to nature through the Bruce Trail. We are a member-driven, volunteer-based, charitable organization, governed by a 19-member Board of Directors. Working with each of the nine Bruce Trail Clubs, we are committed to caring for the Bruce Trail and to preserving land along its route.

Bruce Trail Conservancy has announced the largest solo acquisition of land in the organization’s history

Thanks to generous donations, the Bruce Trail Conservancy is continuing their mission having secured over 500 acres in a breathtaking new nature reserve on the iconic Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula

August, 31, 2021: The Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) today announced that they have acquired the MapleCross Nature Reserve at Cape Chin, marking the largest solo acquisition of land in BTC history.

With over 500 acres of iconic Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula landscape, a breathtaking 270-degree view of Georgian Bay, and 1.8 kilometers of Bruce Trail, Cape Chin is a natural masterpiece and an important step for conservation in Ontario. This nature reserve is helping save critical natural spaces for Species at Risk, restore overgrazed lands, monitor wetlands, and remove invasive species – all important activities to addressing the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.

“We are powered by our mission to preserve a ribbon of wilderness for everyone, forever by creating a permanent protected natural corridor along the Niagara Escarpment.  This addition to our conservation corridor protects sensitive ecosystems while offering a fantastic hiking experience along the iconic Bruce Trail,” said Michael McDonald, CEO of the Bruce Trail Conservancy. “We would like to sincerely thank all 1,500 of the generous donors who have made this nature reserve possible.”

Protecting land like the MapleCross Nature Reserve at Cape Chin adds to the conservation corridor the BTC is creating, which proves to be significant in addressing the impacts of climate change. The restoration of the forest on the property will help to provide more natural solutions to climate change by increasing the local tree population and creating more opportunities for natural carbon sequestration. Several wetlands exist on the property, which play their important role in filtering water and providing habitat for insects, reptiles, amphibians and birds.

“Our donors have made conservation a priority. They have led the way to ensure the protection of irreplaceable natural land along the Niagara Escarpment.” Marsha Russell, Vice President of Fund Development at the Bruce Trail Conservancy continues, “The creation of this nature reserve is helping to address the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss while allowing public access in an environmentally responsible way.”

The BTC is a registered charity and conservation of the Niagara Escarpment is funded by a community of generous donors working to ensure the Escarpment’s unique habitat and biodiversity are protected. The BTC is also one of Ontario’s largest land trusts and the steward of Canada’s longest marked footpath – the Bruce Trail. Driven by over 1,400 volunteers and 13,000 members, they actively preserve and care for over 12,700 acres of land within the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere to protect its ecosystems for the benefit of all. Working with each of the nine Bruce Trail Clubs, they are committed to caring for the Bruce Trail and to preserving land along its route.

Bruce Trail Conservancy

Bruce Trail Conservancy is one of Ontario’s largest land trusts who actively preserves and cares for the vulnerable ecosystems of the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere for the benefit of all. For more than 50 years, we have responsibly connected people to nature through the Bruce Trail and our protected natural areas.

We are a member-driven, volunteer-based, charitable organization, governed by a 19-member Board of Directors. Working with each of the nine Bruce Trail Clubs, we are committed to caring for the Bruce Trail and to preserving land along its route.

Throughout Ontario’s pandemic, the Bruce Trail Conservancy continues to adhere to all shifting public health guidelines in respect to trail visitation. Our hiking program and our guidelines to hikers may need to change as this guidance changes. Currently, as the Province is in Step 3 of the re-opening plan, hiking guidelines for personal hiking remain: Plan ahead, expect no facilities, practice physical distancing and leave no trace. For more information please visit brucetrail.org.

Media Contact:

Elizabeth Harrington, Director Communications and Engagement
Bruce Trail Conservancy

Bruce Trail Conservancy re-affirms strong interest in permanently securing the Bruce Trail on the former Talisman Resort lands

As the process to determine the future of the former Talisman Resort lands continues, the Bruce Trail Conservancy reaffirms their strong interest and commitment to securing the Bruce Trail in this location.

The Bruce Trail has crossed these lands by verbal agreement since 1965. This section of Trail forms part of an 86 kilometre continuous route through the Beaver Valley that links with the Town of Blue Mountains and the Municipality of Meaford. It is evident that the Trail passing through the former Talisman Resort lands forms a critical link between a chain of publicly owned lands, including Bruce Trail Conservancy lands secured specifically for the Bruce Trail, and its conservation corridor. Understanding the importance of this route, the Bruce Trail Conservancy is optimistic public access in this location will be maintained, permanently.

The Bruce Trail in this location provides all-season recreation to local residents and visitors to the area. More than 8 million Ontarians live within a 90-minute drive of the Niagara Escarpment and countless others travel further to enjoy this ribbon of wilderness. If permission to cross these lands is withdrawn, it would force the Trail and thousands of hikers every year to use busy roads. The Bruce Trail Conservancy hopes to continue to provide this amenity and to promote the Bruce Trail through Grey Highlands as a destination to these visitors, and in doing so, provide important economic support to area businesses.


“The Bruce Trail Conservancy is guided by our strong mission, and we commit to working with any and all stakeholders to protect the continuity of Canada’s oldest and longest public footpath. As one of Ontario’s largest land trusts, and creators and stewards of the Bruce Trail, we balance conservation and recreation priorities, and share in a commitment to building active healthy communities.”

— Michael McDonald, CEO of the Bruce Trail Conservancy

Bruce Trail Conservancy Contact:

Elizabeth Harrington, Director Communications and Engagement
Bruce Trail Conservancy

Bruce Trail Conservancy

Bruce Trail Conservancy is one of Ontario’s largest land trusts that acquires, protects and restores the vulnerable habitat and biodiversity of the UNESCO Niagara Escarpment Biosphere. For more than 50 years, we have responsibly connected people to nature through the Bruce Trail. We are a member-driven, volunteer-based, charitable organization, governed by a 19-member Board of Directors. Working with each of the nine Bruce Trail Clubs, we are committed to caring for the Bruce Trail and to preserving land along its route.

Bruce Trail Conservancy hopes new Trail Ambassadors will help encourage responsible hiking

On the Bruce Trail this summer, you’ll see a few new faces helping with onsite education. The Bruce Trail Conservancy has hired six Trail Ambassadors to perform visitor outreach and litter clean-ups at popular places in three regions: Hamilton/Halton, Beaver Valley, and the Bruce Peninsula. 

As more people seek the physical and mental benefits of walking in nature, some areas of the Niagara Escarpment have become hotspots, seeing more human-caused impact than the environment can handle. The high volumes of trail users include those who may not be familiar with trail etiquette. Litter, trespassing, and other poor behaviours are impacting the trail, the environment, other trail users, and landowners whose property the Bruce Trail crosses.

So together with Bruce Trail Club volunteers, these summer staff will visit busy trail destinations to promote leave no trace practices and safe trail use. They’ll even be distributing “Hike it. Love it. Keep it Clean.” badges to those who join them in picking up litter or who are demonstrating low impact hiking. To encourage safe and responsible hiking, the Bruce Trail Conservancy has also created some helpful online tips: Hiking-Safely-&-Responsibly


“More people using the Bruce Trail is not a bad thing, in itself. It is wonderful that people have discovered the Bruce Trail as a way to connect with nature. For these trails and protected areas to continue to thrive, the Bruce Trail Conservancy, its partners, and all its supporters must work together to ensure that the cumulative impact of all our visits is minimized.”

Adam Brylowski, Manager of Conservation and Trail

Bruce Trail Conservancy Contact:

Elizabeth Harrington, Director Communications and Engagement
Bruce Trail Conservancy

Bruce Trail Conservancy

Bruce Trail Conservancy is one of Ontario’s largest land trusts that acquires, protects and restores the vulnerable habitat and biodiversity of the UNESCO Niagara Escarpment Biosphere. For more than 50 years, we have responsibly connected people to nature through the Bruce Trail. We are a member-driven, volunteer-based, charitable organization, governed by a 19-member Board of Directors. Working with each of the nine Bruce Trail Clubs, we are committed to caring for the Bruce Trail and to preserving land along its route.

Check out the BTC’s social media accounts for profiles on our 6 new BTC Trail Ambassadors:

Devastation at local Nature Reserve leads to enhanced security

The Bruce Trail Conservancy is pleading to Dufferin County community members to keep vehicles and ATVs out of the Pine River Nature Reserve as devastation to property and escalating criminal behaviours have reached a critical point. This past weekend several trespassers entered the property and destroyed fencing, blockades and signage in addition to further damaging sensitive habitat. The OPP is currently investigating.

No vehicles of any type are permitted on the Pine River Nature Reserve. To ensure no additional damage comes to the Nature Reserve, security is now in place, and OPP has agreed to step up patrols in the area.

The Bruce Trail Conservancy continues to conserve and protect precious Niagara Escarpment land to give home to important habitat, and Pine River is no exception. Wetlands, like the ones found on the Pine River Nature Reserve represent a critical and disappearing landscape in southern Ontario. Mature Sugar Maples dominate the rolling terrain of Pine River Nature Reserve. Pockets of towering Eastern Hemlock, American Beech and White Cedar amidst the maples round out the forest. When protected from logging and development, forests contain trees that live to be hundreds of years old and offer essential habitat for a vibrant ecosystem.

Several ecological restoration projects are slated to take place on the Pine River Nature Reserve to enhance biodiversity and restore this 192 acre ecosystem to its natural splendor.


“Through generous donations from within this local community the BTC was able to purchase and permanently protect this ecologically important land. Local residents love this place and have also raised funds to help with its restoration. Local volunteers have donated hundreds of hours to this project and it’s sad to see a few individuals purposely undo this important work. We intend to press charges once the investigation is complete.”

— Michael McDonald, CEO of the Bruce Trail Conservancy

Bruce Trail Conservancy Contact:

Elizabeth Harrington, Director Communications and Engagement
Bruce Trail Conservancy

Bruce Trail Conservancy

Bruce Trail Conservancy is one of Ontario’s largest land trusts that acquires, protects and restores the vulnerable habitat and biodiversity of the UNESCO Niagara Escarpment Biosphere. For more than 50 years, we have responsibly connected people to nature through the Bruce Trail. We are a member-driven, volunteer-based, charitable organization, governed by a 19-member Board of Directors. Working with each of the nine Bruce Trail Clubs, we are committed to caring for the Bruce Trail and to preserving land along its route.

Bruce Trail Conservancy encourages responsible hiking this May long weekend


As we approach this May long weekend, Bruce Trail Conservancy’s CEO, Michael McDonald would like to remind everyone who will visit the Bruce Trail that with every step and choice made, there is an impact on the sensitive environments around the Trail.

STAY ON THE MARKED TRAIL

Hiking along the marked (“blazed”) routes, avoiding ‘off-trail’ use, will ensure that sensitive vegetation is not damaged, and relationships with our private landowners are not strained. The Trail ensures the impact on the environment you’re visiting is minimal. Learn how to read the blazes, and when in doubt, follow the blazes. If the blazes don’t match your map, the blazes always take precedence. If you lose the Trail, go back to the place where a blaze was last seen.

BE MINDFUL OF LANDOWNER PROPERTY

Private landowners are critical conservation partners of the Bruce Trail Conservancy. Landowners graciously allow the Bruce Trail on their property, while simultaneously contributing to healthier and more biodiverse Niagara Escarpment ecosystems. Trespassing on their properties can strain valuable relationships and could lead to a request to remove the Trail from their land. When this access to the Trail has been revoked the entire continuity of the Bruce Trail is threatened.

PARK SAFELY AND LEGALLY

Parking lots fill up quickly. Because of the increase in visitors and our limited parking availability, there has been an increase in illegal parking. The Bruce Trail Conservancy has plans to install a number of new parking lots along the length of the Trail in areas where they are most needed. In the meantime, consider planning your visit to the Bruce Trail during off-peak times (early morning or weekdays) and avoid parking on roadways. If a parking area is full, please consider another location, perhaps one you can walk to.

TAKE ONLY PICTURES, AND LEAVE WITH MEMORIES

Perhaps the most well-known rule is to leave no trace. This means that no one should be able to know you were exploring the Niagara Escarpment. Whatever you brought in, you need to bring out. Leave flowers and plants for others to enjoy, and avoid acts of vandalism, such as carving your initials in a tree or a rock face. These simple deeds protect the sensitive species and habitats along the Niagara Escarpment.


“It’s our mission to protect natural places and encourage people to explore nature’s wonders by way of the Bruce Trail.  Spending time in nature is critical for exercise and optimal mental health.  Please act responsibly, with care and kindness for others, and for the environment.”

— Michael McDonald, CEO of the Bruce Trail Conservancy

Bruce Trail Conservancy Contact:

Elizabeth Harrington, Director Communications and Engagement
Bruce Trail Conservancy

Bruce Trail Conservancy

Bruce Trail Conservancy is one of Ontario’s largest land trusts that acquires, protects and restores the vulnerable habitat and biodiversity of the UNESCO Niagara Escarpment Biosphere. For more than 50 years, we have responsibly connected people to nature through the Bruce Trail. We are a member-driven, volunteer-based, charitable organization, governed by a 19-member Board of Directors. Working with each of the nine Bruce Trail Clubs, we are committed to caring for the Bruce Trail and to preserving land along its route

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