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Autumn is in the Air!

THIS ISSUE: We update you on our recent Annual Summit, held in conjunction with the Maitland Trail’s 40th Anniversary. We reveal the winners of our 2015 Volunteer Awards. Learn more about our Mood Walks II program, as well as the new opportunities available with the Seniors' Hike Initiative (for adults 55 years and older). There's also an update on our Executive Committee, as well as exciting news about our upcoming Wilderness-based certification programs! 

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

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Annual Summit News

A different kind of Summit was enjoyed by over 250 people from September 25 to 27th. The Camino de Rio Maitand opened with our Hiker’s Pub night on Friday and good friends from across the province had a chance to chat and mingle.

Saturday saw a capacity horde of 250 hikers walk 29, 16 or 11 kilometers from Auburn or points closer to Benmiller on a scenic but demanding trail. A banquet featuring local produce followed at the Knights of Colombus Hall. The Hike Ontario Annual meeting was held then followed by the main event of food, pictures of trails from across the province and photos of the hikers who participated in the hikes. Awards were given out to the 2015 Volunteers of the Year (See below for more details).

Sunday completed the event as the hikers took to the trails for 20 or 11 km hikes that saw them arrive at the Goderich waterfront. Many celebrated at the old Railway station which had opened as a restaurant recently.

There was a strong sense of appreciation for the trail and its maintainers as well as the dedication and coordination to put on such a successful event in great weather.

Our next Summit will be held in Perth, during the first weekend of October in 2016 as we help celebrate the 45th Anniversary of the Rideau Trail Association!

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2015 Volunteer Awards

At our recent Annual Summit's Harvest Dinner, we honoured the 2015 Volunteers of the Year.

• David Francis (Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association)

• Helen Varekamp (Bayfield River Valley Trail Association)

• David Martin (The Avon Trail)

These awards were well appreciated and highly deserved.

Additionally, the 2015 Virginia Johnson Award was bestowed upon Tom Friesen for his countless contributions as a volunteer for Hike Ontario.

Congratulations to all 2015 Volunteer Award recipients!

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Mood Walks II

A coordinator has been hired for the Mood Walks II project in which Hike Ontario is a full partner along with Conservation Ontario. Jasmine Ferreira has been hired for the almost two year term of the project. A social worker with a strong project management background, her skills and enthusiasm will be used as we hold an Advisory Committee meeting on October 28.

Look for further details here as they develop. Hike Ontario instructors should expect to be training youth in transition starting in the coming spring.

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Seniors’ Hike Initiative

Dozens of new hikers over 55 have been trained as Safe Hikers and Certified Hiker Leaders by the Hike Ontario instructors! This project runs into 2016 so there is still time to run classes and maximize the power of the grant from the Sport and Recreation Communities Fund.

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

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UPDATE: Executive Committee 

There are only a couple of changes to the 2015- 2016 Hike Ontario executive. Sharen Yaworski from the Rideau Trail Association will replace Stacey Hodder, who is stepping into her new role as a mother in early 2016.

Glenda Collins who has hiked across much of Ontario, will step in as the Chair of the Public Education Committee. We welcome and look forward to her contribution as part of the Hike Ontario Executive Committee. As a recently retired teacher, her interests in young people and outdoor education should assist us in implementing the Young Hiker’s Program more effectively.

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It's time to get "Wild"!

Due to overwhelming demand, Hike Ontario is now increasing the number of Wilderness Day Hike Leader (1-Day) and Wilderness Trip Hike Leader (Multi-Day) courses to be offered throughout the entire year! You can expect many more courses throughout the entire province, multiple times a year.

We are also in the process of certifying new "Wilderness" instructors, so if you already have your Certified Hike Leader certification and are interested in becoming a "Wilderness" instructor, please let us know!

To see all the future training courses that will be offered in the next 3 months, be sure to check out our website HERE.

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