Blue Mountains Bruce Trail NEWS


Last update 2021-01-17


Bruce Trail Conservancy Messages About Second Covid Lock Down


As you are aware, there are some new regulations in place as we enter this next round of the ‘lockdown'.  The Province has expanded enforcement personnel for the COVID-19 Stay at Home Order, whereby law enforcement, OPP, Bylaw Officers and more can ticket people in violation or the Order.


KEY MESSAGES 

Changes during Provincial Stay-at-Home Order

[ Ontario announced province-wide stay-at-home order  effective Jan. 14, 2021]

Bruce Trail Conservancy office & store closed to the public.
  • The Bruce Trail Conservancy office at 55 Head St., Dundas is closed to any visitors during the provincial stay-at-home order. BTC staff continue to be available by phone and email. Curbside pick-up of products is on hold while the provincial stay-at-home order is in effect. Product orders can be shipped.

  • Hiking Program remains paused.
  • The hiking program of all 9 Bruce Trail Clubs is on hold.

  • Most of the Bruce Trail remains open to local foot traffic.
  • We are counting on people to be responsible and stay local when exploring the Bruce Trail for exercise during the provincial stay-at-home order. For details visit: Hiking Responsibly & Safely in the time of COVID-19.

  • Hiking Responsibly & Safely in the time of COVID-19

    To keep yourself and others safe and healthy, please heed these guidelines:

    Stay local
  • Avoid travelling outside your municipality/region. Hike close to home.
  • Most of the Bruce Trail remains open to local foot traffic.
    We are counting on people to be responsible and stay local when exploring the Bruce Trail for exercise during the provincial stay-at-home order.


  • Plan Ahead
  • Check what is open by visiting our Trail changes page and the websites of parks and other public landowners.
  • Be prepared to make parking reservations at popular parks and conservation areas.
  • Be prepared to change your destination if you find the trail or trailhead busy.


  • Stay home if you are unwell
  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, stay home.


  • Practice Physical Distancing
  • Keep 2 metres / 6 feet apart from anyone not in your household.
  • Wear a mask when you cannot maintain 2 metres/6 feet apart.
  • Limit groups to 5 people or less.
  • Move aside to allow others to pass.


  • Respect Closures
  • Respect any trail or facility closures.


  • Expect No Facilities
  • Do not expect public washrooms to be open.
  • Walk or hike for shorter spans of time.


  • Leave No Trace
  • Pack out everything you bring on your hike - including disposable face masks, food waste, and dog poop. Garbage cans are overflowing at many popular sites.




  • Bruce Trail Conservancy Advice for Safe Winter Hiking





    BMBTC Pauses Organized Hike Schedule

    In response to recent changes in the COVID-19 zones of various communities, on November 20, 2020 the Bruce Trail Conservancy has updated guidelines for our organized hiking programme.

    Changes to Hiking Program: Group limit of 10 and mask requirement

    Group size for hikes with a Bruce Trail Club is limited to 10 people, and the wearing of masks on group hikes is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED

    At this time, due to these new protocols and the need to keep both leaders and hikers safe, the BMBTC has made the decision to place our organized hike programme on pause.

    The BTC will continue to monitor regulations and will adapt protocols accordingly.  As protocols change, the BMBTC will re-assess and make informed decisions in the safety of returning to an organized hike programme.

    ALL November and December hikes have been cancelled at this time. 

    Thank you for your support and here is hoping we will be hiking together again soon,


    - Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club Hike Coordinator Team


    Changes to our Hike Registration Procedures

    The Covid limit of 10 hikers to a group has resulted in our hikes being fully booked months in advance. If hikers don't show up for the hike or cancel at the last minute then other hikers have missed out on a hike and get together. We are introducing a Hike Cancellation Policy to deal with this situation.

    The Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club is making changes to how we handle hike registration cancellations and no-shows in order to accommodate the many members who wish to participate in our organized hike programme while keeping group sizes within the limits for outdoor gatherings.

    Cancellations:

    To cancel a hike registration, email the hike leader.
    If you are feeling unwell and need to cancel on the day of the hike, please phone or text the hike leader.
    You'll find the email address and phone number for the hike leader in the hike listings online and in your Blue Print newsletter.

    Waitlist:

    To get on the waitlist for a full hike, email the hike leader. Include your phone number, member number, and emergency contact name and phone number, so that the Hike Coordinator Team can add you to the hike waiver list. You will get an email confirming your registration if space becomes available.

    Multiple No-Shows:

    Hikers who no-show (i.e. do not attend a hike but did not cancel) more than twice will be removed from all other hikes for which they have registered and will need to request to be put on a waitlist. The Hike Coordinator Team will notify individuals by email who reach this limit.

    Thank you for your cooperation in helping us maintain a respectful hiking environment!

    - Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club Hike Coordinator Team


    BMBTC Newsletter 2021 Winter Spring



    BMBTC Featured in CollingwoodToday.ca


    Bruce Trail is a ribbon of wilderness to explore and preserve .


    BMBTC Revised Hike Schedule  September and October 2020





    Hike Programme Resumes July 1, 2020 for Blue Mountains Club


    Now that we are able to gather in groups of 10, our Club is resuming our organized hike programme beginning July 1. During this time, hikes are for BTC members only and pre-registration is required.
    Group size is limited to 10.

    To register for a hike:

    1. Head to the online Hike Schedule Calendar at hikes.brucetrail.org.
      (You'll see Blue Mountains Club hikes in light blue.)
    2. Make sure the Hike Schedule Calendar is on July 2020 (by default it shows the current month).
    3. Click on a hike you are interested in.
    4. Follow the link in the hike description to register.
    5. Complete the online form.
    6. Check your email inbox for your confirmation.
    7. Review the Guidelines for Hikers joining Group Hikes. on the BTC website ( brucetrail.org > Hike Schedule)



    Covid-19 Information Updates - Blue Mountain Bruce Trail Club

    As of July 1st 2020 the Province of Ontario will allow groups of up to 10 people to gather to hike together. We have prepared a Revised Hike Schedule (see below) for the month of July 2020 which conforms to these regulations. Visit the Bruce Trail Conservancy website for  guidelines on hiking responsibly & safely.

    Bruce Trail - Re-opens for Hiking


    In an E-mail sent Monday June 1, 2020 Michael McDonald the CEO, Bruce Trail Conservancy said:

    Dear Bruce Trail Conservancy Members,

    The Bruce Trail Conservancy is taking the next step in the phased re-opening of the Bruce Trail.

    We are happy to announce that as of tomorrow, Tuesday June 2, most of the Bruce Trail will be open.

    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.  Visit our website for  guidelines on hiking responsibly & safely.

    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 to all for your patience as we work with our conservation partners and landowners in re-opening the Bruce Trail.

    Have a safe and happy hike.


    Covid-19 Information Updates - Blue Mountain Bruce Trail Club

    As of 2020-05-27, all organized hiking will remain on hold until the Provincial guidelines change from allowing gatherings of five people to gatherings of ten people.


    Its Peak Season for Another Infectious Disease in Canada

    Although Covid-19 is top of mind for all of us now, ticks and Lyme disease are still waiting on the hiking trails. Here is a recent article from the Globe and Mail about these dangers.



    Cancellation of Peninsula Hiking Trips

    Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 restrictions we are cancelling both Peninsula Hiking trips this fall.
    Trip 1 - September 23-25 -Cancelled
    Trip 2 - September 29-October 1 -Cancelled



    Cancelled - Blue Mountain Bruce Trail Club End-To-End Event

    Considering the current Covid-19 pandemic situation and requirements to maintain physical distance, the Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club End to End Event scheduled for Saturday, May 23rd and Sunday, May 24th 2020 has been cancelled. We have 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.

    Assuming the current situation is resolved, the 2021 End to End will be held on Saturday, May 29th and Sunday, May 30th, 2021. Details regarding the 2021 event will be posted at an appropriate time on our website at bmbtc.org.



    Cancelled Bruce Trail Club Events & Hikes

    All organized hikes across all 9 Clubs are being cancelled until June 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 June 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

    Trail Angels


    The BMBTC offers a volunteer-run service for hikers wanting a shuttle between start and end points of a hike. Hikers with a single vehicle can arrange a shuttle in advance of a planned hike in the area. We make every effort to accommodate all requests, however cannot guarantee there will always be a volunteer available. Please send your request at least a week or two before you intend to hike. Once confirmed, a Trail Angel meets with the hiker(s) at their car, parked at the end of the planned route and takes the hiker(s) to the start of their hike.

    Send your request to TrailAngels@bmbtc.org. Include the following details about your hike:

  • Hike date.
  • Pick up time. No earlier than 7 am please, for our volunteers.
  • Finish point of the hike. State Map # and km from The Bruce Trail Reference: Maps and Trail Guide. This becomes the pick up location where you meet the Trail Angel.


  • The BMBTC will confirm the shuttle with you.

    The Blue Mountains Trail Angels volunteer their time and gas with an expectation that their rider will make a donation to the Bruce Trail.

    Making a donation to the Bruce Trail Conservancy online is preferred.
    On the BTC website, select "Donate Now". Select a "Donation Amount', and choose "Single Donation". On the next page look for the "Comment" box. Enter "Trail Angel service by the Blue Mountains Club".

    Alternatively, write a cheque to the "Bruce Trail Conservancy". In the memo line mark "Blue Mountains Trail Angel donation". Give the cheque to your Trail Angel. Or mail it to the BTC Head Office, P.O. Box 857, Hamilton, ON L8N 3N9.

    If your donation happens to be $10 or more, a charitable donation tax receipt is available. Do include your postal address as well as your email address to receive a tax receipt.

    We prefer to avoid cash donations. Cash is difficult to track, and may not lead to a tax receipt.


    Giant Hog Weed - a Nasty Invasive Plant



    What Is It? From the Lee Valley Gardening Newsletter
    August 2013
    What Is It?
     
    Identifying this weed can be difficult, since a number of species look very similar, including cow parsnip, purplestem angelica, woodland angelica, valerian, lovage and Queen Anne's lace. This plant grows much larger than those mentioned, however. In fact, in ideal conditions a mature specimen can grow to 5.5m (18'). While its white flower clusters do resemble those of Queen Anne's lace, they tend to be more widely spaced and can form a flower head almost 1m (3.2') wide. When identifying this toxic plant, known as giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), its huge size is a key indicator.
     
     
      The flowers look similar to those of Queen Anne's lace.
    Native to central and southwest Asia, giant hogweed was likely brought over as an ornamental plant and is now naturalizing across North America. This perennial, a member of the carrot family, can thrive in many habitats and grows particularly well in areas where the soil has been disturbed (wastelands, riverbanks, roadsides, along railroads, etc.). Depending on the conditions in which it grows, it can quickly dominate an area because of its size and ability to spread rapidly.
     
    The plant is becoming renowned for its toxicity. If you encounter it, use extreme caution. Cutting the plant or even simply brushing against it can cause the sap to get on your skin. After exposure to sunlight, this will cause chemical burns. The painful blisters can appear within 48 hours after exposure and can recur for several years. Even after the blisters subside, purplish-colored scars can form. If you happen to get the sap in your eye, it can cause severe irritation and possibly blindness. If you do come into contact with the sap of this plant, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends seeking medical attention immediately.
     
    How will you know if the plant is giant hogweed and not one of its look-alikes? Aside from its massive size, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food suggests looking for two additional attributes particular to this weed — it has a thick, hollow, purple-blotched stem and very jagged, lobed leaves, both of which are covered with bristles similar to those found on the stinging nettle.
     
    Thick purple-blotched stem and jagged leaves   Thick purple-blotched stem and jagged leaves
    To identify giant hogweed, look for its thick purple-blotched stem and extremely jagged leaves.
     
    If you do spot the plant, the USDA advises not to touch it, move it, cut it or weed whack it, and to seek advice from a professional plant control specialist.
     
    Photos provided by Peter Smith, University of Guelph