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Spring is around the corner!

THIS ISSUE: We provide an update to the recent Landowners Relations "101" Workshop, hosted jointly by Hike Ontario and the Bruce Trail Conservancy. We reveal the highly anticipated Young Hikers Project 'Leadership Training' Workshop, held in conjunction with the Hamilton Burlington Trails Council. Also included is an announcement by Urban Poling on their '150 Great Canadian Hikes contest', as well as NEW dates for our upcoming Training Courses. Lastly, we announce our newsletter's first Trail Photo Contest Winner!.

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

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Landowner Relations “101” Workshop

On March 9, an all day workshop was attended by some 25 volunteers responsible for landowner relations across the province. Hosted jointly by Hike Ontario and the Bruce Trail Conservancy, this most successful event was held in the boardroom of the new BTC offices in the west end of Dundas. Clubs participating (aside from BT clubs) included the Thames, Grand, Maitland, Avon, Oak Ridges, Rideau, Guelph, and Ganaraska.

BTC and HO worked collaboratively on a wide ranging but fast-paced slide presentation, punctuated throughout with numerous opportunities for input on each topic from those present, who had wealth of experience in dealing first hand with landowners on the subject of trails.

For the BTC, some 1000 properties, nearly half with houses on them, remain to be secured along the “optimum route” of the BT.   Handshake agreements permit the trail through many of these lands, while other landowners remain offside.  For the other Hike Ontario clubs, not being land trusts and therefore not securing the trail through acquisitions, handshakes are by far the dominant means of “securing” a trail along approximately 3,000 kilometers of club trails.

Particular focus was taken on how volunteer landowner relations directors can counter landowners’ perceptions of nuisances that a trail might bring by trail design and attentive management of the issues that might be encountered, such as litter and motorized vehicles. At the same time, a list of benefits of a trail that could be cited to a landowner were outlined.

Also covered in depth was the various means of developing accurate maps and lists of landowner contact information.  (Land Registry Offices have excellent maps of property boundaries; LRO’s and local municipalities have large scale maps with Assessment Roll Numbers…the latter are then used to find landowner names and addresses in the Assessment Roll.)

Other topics included the (rare) use of easements, the new Trails Act that was proclaimed in October 2016, liability insurance coverage, types of landowners…both private and public, and means of showing appreciation to landowners for allowing a trail on their land.

Hike Ontario and the BTC both anticipate hosting follow-on sessions of this kind in the future.

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Introduction to Young Hikers Resource Kit

Brought to you by: Hamilton Burlington Trails Council and Hike Ontario

Looking for strategies to engage youth in your group or school with hiking?  This workshop is for you!

Date:  Monday, April 3 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00pm
Location: Mountainside Recreation Centre, Burlington ON
Workshop Fee: $50 (includes 'Young Hikers Project' Resource Manual)

Workshop Outline
Getting our Youth on the Trails
Presentation and discussion on the topics of  youth engagement, the promotion and implementation of  hiking activities for families, children and youth, and Young Hiker Project resources.

Overview of Activity Resource Kit
A look at the variety of activities, games and lessons in the resource kit.

The Resource Kit in Action
We will target and participate in some of the activities as a start to understand the possibilities.

Learn more about the 'Young Hikers Project' Resource Kit HERE.

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Canadians love hiking...and what’s not to love? Fresh air, exercise, beautiful scenery, a budget-friendly workout in every season. Hiking makes sense!

In celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday and our country’s love of hiking, Urban Poling is running a contest from February 15 – April 15. Their 150 Great Canadian Hikes contest asks Canadians to submit their favorite places to hike (within Canada).

To learn more or submit your entry, please click HERE

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Upcoming Training Courses

Did you know you can view all of Hike Ontario’s public training courses on our online Course Calendar? Whether you’re interested in the introductory ‘Safe Hiker Program’, aspire to guide others as a ‘Certified Hike Leader’, or wish to expand your skills to ‘Wilderness Hike Leader’ – we have you covered.

Here are just a few of our upcoming training courses:

• Safe Hiker Program (Apr 9, Oakville)
• Wilderness Day Hike Leader (Apr 22, Oshawa)
• Certified Hike Leader (Apr 22, Stouffville)

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

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Trail Photo Contest Winner!

Congratulations to @JENNNYYYC on Twitter, the winner of our monthly Trail Photo Contest. She submitted this great photo from beautiful Rattlesnake Point in Milton, Ontario. Thank you Jenny and Happy Trails!

Learn more about Rattlesnake Point HERE

If you want to submit a photo of your trail adventures, just tweet us @HikeOntario with the image and the hashtag #TakeAHike and you'll qualify to have your hike featured in our Newsletter.

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