Blue Mountains Bruce Trail NEWS


Last update 2021-10-13



BMBTC Announces Hybrid Model for Group Hikes

Oct 06,2021

BMBTC has decide to go to a hybrid model for our organized hike programme. Although we prefer that you register on-line for hikes, we are accepting hikers the morning of a hike. What does this mean? Hikers that are making a last minute decision to join scheduled hikes may show up at the meeting point to sign-in on a paper copy waiver.

You must be a BTC member and you will need your membership number to sign-in! Remember to show up fifteen minutes early. Our hope is that we will be able to accommodate various hikers and have a full group for our hike leaders!

Hikers signing in the morning of a hike may be turned away if the group size(and parking) is an issue for that particular hike. Keep in mind, car pooling (wearing masks) is permitted at this time.

If you need us to print off copies of waiver for hike as you may not have a printer, let us know.

See you on the trails!!
BMBTC Hike Coordinator Team



BMBTC Newsletter September/October 2021

Oct 03,2021

The late Dave Knox is being honoured by the Bruce Trail Conservancy

Sep 25,2021

Dave Knox our Land Steward Director who died this summer is being given the Calypso Orchid Environmental Award for his over 20 years of tireless work for our Blue Mountains Section and Bruce Trail Conservancy. The award is “For significant contributions to the restoration and preservation of the Bruce Trail and/or the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve, and for enhancing the education of users of the Trail and/or the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve”.

The Award will be presented to Dave's family on September 30th. You are invited to attend the presentation. Please circulate the information below to others who might be interested.

Date: Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
Location: Kilometre 67.3 at Swiss Meadows with parking at Maple Lane.
Map 24 in Edition 30 of the BTC Trail Reference
Wear your BTC nametag.
Attendees will be invited to offer remembrances of Dave during the presentation.
If your thoughts are written, we can put them together later for Cathy and the family.

This event will go on rain or shine.

Looking forward to seeing you there.



BMBTC Announces Hiking changes for Step-3 Covid Re-opening

Jul 17,2021

In our club, we will maintain a group size of 15 (13 + leader and sweep). Car pooling is permitted. As we cannot determine the comfort level of hikers taking on passengers, parking may still be problematic. If car pooling, masks must be worn and when possible windows open.  Hikers MUST continue to register online for all hikes. Registration is ONLY for BTC members and their registered guests at this time. 
Registered members of the Bruce Trail Conservancy can book Group Hikes on the Bruce Trail Online Hike Schedule.

Click here for a Pre-Hike Talk about COVID-19 issues which should be given to Hiking Groups by the Hike Leader.
Updated 2021/10/13.



BMBTC Newsletter June 2021

Jun 23,2021


BTC Online Hike Schedule Re-opens for Bookings

Jun 10,2021

Registered members of the Bruce Trail Conservancy can once again book Group Hikes on the Bruce Trail Online Hike Schedule.



BTC Announces - COVID-19 Return to the Hiking Program Plan

May 28,2021

As Ontario moves out of lockdown and into the three-step plan to reopen the province, the Return to Hiking Program Plan has been updated. Our highest priority continues to be the safety and wellbeing of all our Staff and Volunteers.
The BTC COVID-19 Return to the Hiking Program Plan is described on the Hike Schedule tab.

Click here for a PDF document about the BTC COVID-19 Return to the Hiking Program Plan



Car Vandalism in Nottawasaga Bluffs Conservation Area

May 26,2021

Due to increased car vandalism experienced on some NVCA trails, signs have been posted to advise hikers against leaving anything of value in their cars and some parking areas have surveillance cameras installed.

Security Camera NVCA


Hiking Programme Remains Paused until all BTC Clubs are in Orange Zone!

May 17,2021

Visit the Bruce Trail Conservancy website for  guidelines on hiking responsibly & safely.



BMBTC Newsletter April 2021

Apr 30,2021

Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club Annual General Meeting 2021

Apr 30,2021

The Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club Annual General Meeting 2021 was held on SATURDAY, APRIL 24, 2021 at 3:00 pm via Zoom    A recording of the meeting is available using the following link:

  • MP4 file of 2021 AGM held via Zoom  - 89.6 MB - updated 2021/04/30


  • Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club Annual General Meeting 2021

    to be held on SATURDAY, APRIL 24, 2021 at 3:00 pm via Zoom

    Apr 10,2021



    To the members of Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club (BMBTC):

    The Board of Directors of the Blue Mountains Club look forward to sharing information about the previous year and plans for the future with our ever increasing membership at our upcoming Annual General Meeting.

    Our meeting will be held via Zoom on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 3:00 pm. Please mark your calendar to attend and register using the link provided below.

    Blue Mountains Club members who attend the meeting will be eligible for several draw prizes from the Bruce Trail Conservancy store.

    Your 2021 AGM Report Package:

    Registration:

    Members must pre-register online for the meeting using the following link:

    https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gqBSlELDQ8OENQ7xK9ql4A

    Once your registration is confirmed, you will receive a confirmation email and your link to join the Zoom call.

    You will notice on the Agenda that time for questions concerning the reports and nominations are permitted, however any questions or nominations must be submitted prior to the meeting on the registration form, to provide the Board with time to respond accordingly.

    If you have questions about the Annual General Meeting, contact Info@bmbtc.org and someone will get back to you.

    We look forward to seeing you!

    Sincerely,

    Mary Jane McIntyre, Secretary
    for the Board of Directors of the Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club




    BMBTC Newsletter March 2021

    Mar 31,2021

    Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club Name Tags

    Mar 13,2021

    We have created a Blue Mountains Bruce Trail name tag for our Club members. We are asking for a minimum donation of $20. The tag will be green with white engraving and will have a strong magnetic fastener.

    If interested in ordering a tag please contact the BMBTC Hike Coordinator at HikeCoordinator@bmbtc.org for details. In your email, include your name as you would like it to appear on the tag as well as a mailing address if required. You will then be provided E-transfer information for your payment.
    Sample BMBTC Name tag

    The Bruce Trail Conservancy Reminds us of Covid Restictions

    Feb 25,2021

    Program update for our members

    The hiking program of all 9 Bruce Trail Clubs continues to be paused until all areas along the Niagara Escarpment and the Greater Toronto Area are at least in the orange zone of provincial COVID-19 public health measures.

    The Bruce Trail remains open (except for areas posted on brucetrail.org/trail_changes ).

    Hiking guidelines for personal hiking remain:

  • Stay local. Avoid travelling outside your municipality/region.
  • Plan ahead (check for closures & restrictions on our Trail Changes page)
  • Stay home if you are unwell
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Respect closures
  • Expect no facilities
  • Leave no trace

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

    End-to-Ends

    The ongoing pandemic has certainly upended many plans for 2021 and unfortunately that includes plans for hikers completing End-to-Ends. This year it is more important than ever to consider the well-being of others—both those on the trail, as well as those in communities along the trail.

  • Please postpone plans for thru-hiking the Bruce Trail, or completing sections outside your region, until it is safe to travel to other communities along the Trail.

  • Due to the changing situation surrounding COVID-19, Bruce Trail Clubs are not able to plan and offer spring End-to-End hikes of their sections. End-to-End hikes normally held in the fall may also need to be cancelled.

    Bruce Trail Conservancy office & store

    Local curbside pick-up at the BTC office & store will resume March 1. Please avoid travelling from outside the Hamilton region for curbside pick-up.

    The safety and well-being of our volunteers and staff continues to be our priority. Thank you for your continued membership support.



    Some Good News

    Jan 31,2021

    One piece of good news is that the Blue Mountains Section of the Bruce Trail Conservancy now has 884 members. With more people taking advantage of the Bruce Trail during our Covid experience we have a record number of new members.



    Dangerous parking prompts new restrictions in the Blue Mountains

    Jan 31,2021

    After numerous complaints of dangerous parking incidents around town, The Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) will be introducing several new no-parking areas. Shawn Carey, director of operations for TBM said the town has been experiencing parking and traffic issues all across the municipality. According to Carey, town staff are undertaking a broader review of parking town-wide, and a staff report and recommendations will be coming forward to council in the Spring.

    In the meantime, at a council meeting held on Wednesday Jan. 28, 2021, TBM council members voted in favour of amending the town’s parking bylaw to add several new ‘no parking’ areas, which include:

  • 12th Sideroad - both sides from Grey Road 19 to 4th line
  • 3rd line - both sides from Grey Road 119 to 12th Sideroad
  • 6th Sideroad - both sides from 3rd line for 1,420 metres east
  • 4th Line - Both sides from 21st Sideroad to Osprey-Blue Mountains Townline
  • 2nd Line - Both sides south of Grey Road 19
  • 3rd Line - Both side south of Grey Road 19
  • Northmount Crescent - Both sides north of Grey Road 19 for 150 metres
  • Osler Lane - Both sides north of Northmount Crescent
  • Pretty River Road - Both sides from Osprey-Blue Mountains Townline to Blue Mountains-Clearview Townline
  • Dawson Lane - East side for the full length of the road

  • Over the coming weeks the town will be installing no parking signs at these locations and the parking bylaw amendments will remain in effect until April 2021.
    See:   Dangerous parking prompts new restrictions in the Blue Mountains

    In a recent update, the town’s parking bylaw amendment will be added to the Monday Feb. 1st, 2021 council meeting to 'clarify some of the confusion' and 'consider issues and concerns raised by residents,' said a town councillor



    Local OPP seeing surge in calls from lost hikers, offer these tips

    Jan 31,2021

    Since the start of the year, members of the Huronia West Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have responded to several requests for assistance from hikers who have become lost while exploring on area trails.

    The OPP would like to remind those venturing out into the trails to practice safe hiking, such as:

  • Having a fully charged mobile phone.
  • Using a navigation app such as "what3words".
  • Packing water and food.
  • Telling a friend or a family member where you intend to go and how long you will be gone.
  • Equipping yourself according to weather conditions.
  • Avoiding hiking at night and in low light.
  • Staying on marked trails.


  • For more tips on hiking safety visit:
    Bruce Trail - https://brucetrail.org/pages/explore-the-trail/know-before-you-go/winter-hiking-safety-tips
    Ontario Parks - https://www.ontarioparks.com/parksblog/category/safety-regulations/



    Bruce Trail Conservancy Messages About Second Covid Lock Down

    Jan 17,2021

    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

    Dec 13,2020



    BMBTC Pauses Organized Hike Schedule

    Nov 21,2020

    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

    Nov 7,2020

    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

    Oct 28,2020


    BMBTC Featured in CollingwoodToday.ca

    Aug 8,2020
    Bruce Trail is a ribbon of wilderness to explore and preserve .


    BMBTC Revised Hike Schedule  September and October 2020

    Aug 31,2020



    Hike Programme Resumes July 1, 2020 for Blue Mountains Club

    Jun 21,2020

    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

    Jun 21,2020

    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

    Jun 2,2020


    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