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Greetings from Hike Ontario!

THIS ISSUE: We announce The Avon Trail's 40th Anniversary along with the Elgin Hiking Trail Club's 40th Anniversary and invite you to join the celebrations. We declare the start of nominations for our 2015 "Volunteer of the Year" awards and encourage applications for the Long Distance Hike Awards. We also provide an update on this year's Annual Summit and encourage interested parties to join Hike Ontario Executive as a Committee Chair or committee member.We report on the current training opportunities available with the 'Seniors' Hike Initiative' for adults 55 years and older and announce the return of Mood Walks.  

As always, stay happy and healthy in the great outdoors, hikers. We wish you Happy Trails!

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Only 1 month 'til our Summit! (Sept 25-27)

In partnership with the "Camino de Rio Maitland"

The Maitland Trail’s Camino de Rio Maitland will take place on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27 preceded by a Hiker’s Pub Night on Friday, September 25th. Our Hike Ontario Summit will precede the dinner on Saturday, September 26. We hope you plan to join us for this milestone event!

For more information, please visit the Maitland Trail Association event page HERE.

To register for this event, click HERE.

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2015 Volunteer Awards

Hike Ontario will give out three Volunteer of the Year Awards at our Annual meeting on September 26 in Goderich.

For more information or to nominate a trail volunteer from your organization, see our website HERE.

NOTE: All nominations must be received by AUGUST 31st, 2015.

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Hiking Clubs/Trail Associations: REPORTS

Hike Ontario's Annual General Meeting has been scheduled significantly earlier this year than in the past. We are requesting Hiking Clubs and Trail Associations submit their Annual Report NO LATER THAN September 1st, 2015

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Executive and Committee Renewal

2015 - 2016 Hike Ontario Executive

If you would like to assist hikers and trail associations from across the province, engage with
other positive activists and make a difference with Volunteer-based Pedestrian Trail
Organizations, please consider serving on the Hike Ontario Executive as a Committee Chair or committee member.

If you are interested in finding out what is available, please contact Tom Friesen (tomfriesen@hotmail.com), Raymond Soucy (raymond.soucy@live.com) or Mike Curtis (mikecurtiserin@yahoo.ca).

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40th Anniversary of The Avon Trail!

This year also represents the 40th Anniversary of The Avon Trail. It is a linear hiking trail running from St. Marys to Conestogo - established and maintained entirely by volunteers. Also, it exists due to the generosity of landowners. It provides a link between the Thames Valley Trail and the Grand Valley Trail.

Hike Ontario would like to congratulate The Avon Trail for 40 great years of supporting hiking, trail development, and healthy living!

We encourage you to join them and help celebrate this amazing milestone event. For more information, please see their website: www.avontrail.ca

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Elgin Hiking Trail celebrates 40 Years!

Forty years ago this fall, the ribbon was cut to officially open the Elgin Hiking Trail.

The trail ran 5 km south from St. Thomas to John Wise Line.  The 30 member club planned to expand it south to Port Stanley and north to Paynes Mills.  Those objectives were met over a few years.

On October 1, 1995, a link was officially opened connecting the Elgin Hiking Trail to the Thames Valley Trail, thus extending the legacy of Ontario Hiking Trails to Lake Erie.

On Saturday, October 3, 2015, The Elgin Hiking Trail Club will celebrate these events with a return train ride from Port Stanley and with a walk along the harbour to Mackie's on the Beach for an indoor celebration. Celebrations will take place at 1:30 pm.

The train ride leaves Port Stanley at 10:30 am.  Participants will depart the train at Union Station and hike back 7.9 km to Mackie’s to complete their 40th anniversary end-to-end.  Others are welcome to join the hike or take the train back to Port Stanley and walk the new reroute to the beach along the west side of the harbour.

The 90 minute train ride will also include a commemorative 40th Anniversary badge, all for only $10! To qualify for this $10 half price occasion, please register by September 23, 2015. 

Please join The Elgin Hiking Trail Club in commemorating their 40th Anniversary this October, 2015! 

Send cheques by mail, written out to the "Elgin Hiking Trail Club", addressed to Brian King, 28 Taylor Crescent, St. Thomas, ON, N5R 5J4.

For more info call Brian King 519-631-3527.  

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Long Distance Hiker Awards

Hike Ontario has a mandate to encourage hiking for all ages and all athletic levels throughout this great province. The Long Distance Hiker Awards celebrate dedicated hikers who have logged long distances (550, 950 and 1500 kilometers) on Pedestrian Walking Paths and Hiking Trails across Ontario.

These high-quality, embroidered patches are a great way of showing your accomplishments as well as supporting Hike Ontario's mission to continually promote healthy living, hiking, and trail development in this great province.

To apply for an award: complete a log of your hikes and apply HERE.

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Seniors’ Hike Initiative

Some Safe Hiker courses and Certified Hike Leader training courses have taken place but there is more capacity to hold many additional introductory courses for of these courses for participants who are 55 years of age or older.

A generous grant from the Ontario Sports and Recreation Communities Fund allows Hike Ontario to further reduce the prices of these courses (normally $50 or $75 to $15 or $40).

Please contact Tom Friesen (tomfriesen@hotmail.com) for additional assistance.

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Mood Walks: Part 2!

The Canadian Mental Health Association has been successful in obtaining a grant to operate the 'Mood Walks for At-Risk Youth' initiative. As a partner of the CMHA, Hike Ontario will be training their clients in our Safe Hiker Program and leading hikes with a goal of creating new Certified Hike Leaders and Course Instructors. This project will continue until March 31 of 2017.

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