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'Tis the Season to Hike!

THIS ISSUE: We announce an upcoming Hiking Seminar presented by the Toronto Bruce Trail Club and provide information about opportunities in the Ontario Ministry of Education's Specialist High Skills Majors program. Also included is a great article titled "Beginner Hikes on the Blue Mountain" and the winner of this month's Photo Contest.

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

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Hiking 101 + Club Discount Night

@ Mountain Equipment Co-Op (North York)

Want to get into hiking but don't know where to start? Join the Hiking 101 + Club Discount Night presented by the Toronto Bruce Trail Club and MEC (North York).

There are two parts going on:

Part I: 5:00pm -9:00pm, the Club Discount (10% off) Night

Volunteers will hand out the discount cards to participants at the Toronto Bruce Trail Club table at the front entrance of the store. The discount applies to all items in the store except Intense Bikes and Blundstone footwear, and for only the MEC North York store between 5pm-9pm on the 6th.

Be noted that MEC is membership based co-op and you need to be a member to make purchase ( membership fee is $5 for life time).

Part II: 6:30 pm- 8:00pm, Hiking 101 Program ( in the Community Room located at the back of ground floor)

• The experienced hike leader from Toronto Bruce Trail Club will introduce the trails in southern Ontario, the different types of organized hiking programs, and the essentials of hiking on the Bruce Trail;
• The knowledgeable MEC staff will talk about how to choose hiking gear for different seasons.

Space in the Community Room is limited. Sign up HERE

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The Ontario Ministry of Education's Specialist High Skills Majors program allows students to focus on a future career through a bundle of classroom courses, workplace experiences and sector certifications.

Hike Ontario is a provincially endorsed supplier for training and certification to support the SHSM Program goals. We offer the Safe Hiker and Certified Hike Leader programs to SHSM schools and welcome the chance to work with you and your students.

For more information, please visit our website HERE

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Beginner Hikes on the Blue Mountain

By Shannon Roode

My partner recently assisted at the Blue Mountains Resort’s Bruce Trail Days’ booth in October (2017). He reported that he had many inquiries about beginner hikes. I thought I would share some of my favourite hikes for beginners. These are the ones I often take first time hikers to and have great success hooking them into hiking regularly. I suggest you refer to Bruce Trail Reference Guide, or Bruce Trail App for trail maps and hiking tips. You can also access the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) website (http://brucetrail.org) for links to all clubs that make up the Bruce trail, including the Blue Mountain section (BMBTC at bmbtc.org). When looking at the maps, you can tell the elevation of a hike by the topography lines on the map; the closer the lines, the steeper the incline. I often try to pick very scenic and not too hilly areas to bring first time hikers.  
 
Petun Conservation Area: Located on 2nd line in Gibraltor area, just south of Pretty River Conservation area. This conservation area has lovely beginner trails that are fairly flat, but may be rocky in some sections. Page 23 of the Bruce Trail (BT) Reference Guide —Edition # 29
 
Lorree Forest: Located on Side Rd 21 off 4th line in Banks area. Parking is along the side of the road. (this is in the Beaver Valley section of the Bruce Trail).  You can combine Bruce and Lorrie Forest trails to make a very easy and mostly flat hike or you can create a more challenging hike with steeper inclines if desired. There are some great views of Georgian Bay from the top of the ski hills. Page 24 of the BT Reference Guide —Edition # 29
 
Nottawasaga Bluffs: This conservation area, located in Singhampton, on Concession Rd 10 has an awesome lookout, some crevices to look down and side trails that can be used for shorter hikes.  If you follow the white blaze main trail to the right of the sign in the parking area, you will see great rock cliffs. The footing on this trail is a bit rocky, so watch your step. The Keyhole Side Trail can be fun with a bit more challenge if your hikers are not too timid. You do have to clamber over some rock faces, and don’t forget to duck through the keyhole. It looks small, but I have faith you can do it. Page 22 of the BT Reference Guide — Edition # 29
 
Nottawasaga Lookout: Also located near Singhampton with parking at Eagle Crescent off the Osprey Clearview Townline. There is a short loop that takes you around the edges of the Singhampton caves using Bruce main trail (white blaze) and the Singhampton side trail (blue blaze). Again, if you have a more adventurous crew with you, that don’t mind hills and climbing over rocks, check out the Singhampton cave. You can reach it by taking the main trail to the Singhampton Caves side trail. If the weather has been rainy, I suggest avoiding this trail, as the rocks become very slippery. Page 23 of the BT Reference Guide — Edition # 29
 
The Top of Blue Mountain’s Resort: Location: several parking areas are located on Scenic Cave Drive. The Bruce main trail follows along well maintained trails at the top of the resort. It has great views and has very easy footing. If you want more challenge, try the Cascade trail (parking is in the south side parking area of Blue Mountain Resort, just off the rotary taking the middle exit). Warning: lots of stairs on the Cascade, but it is worth the effort to see and hear the falling waters flow. Just take your time and stop frequently as needed. Page  24 of the BT Reference Guide —Edition # 29
 
Pretty River Provincial Park: This is my favorite place on the Blue Mountains Bruce Trail section. With its babbling, cascading waters, varied terrains and forest, it makes for a great hike. The lower part of this area has a moderate incline that runs along the water. It is located on the Pretty River Rd (also known as Nottawasaga 33/34 side road). You can park alongside of the road (which is the third parking area in this section). This trail allows for frequent stops to enjoy the beauty of the river and can be used as an in/out hike (meaning you walk a ways in, and then back out on the same trail). If your hikers are capable, there is a short 1-1.5 hour loop that incorporates Bruce main trail, some of the Pretty River side trail and conservation/snowmobile trails. The top part of this conservation area (located on 6th sideroad and 2nd line in Gibraltor) has a loop that includes John Haigh side trail, Bruce main trail and the access trail to the parking area. There are hills on this loop, but just take your time and you will be able to manage them. Page 23 of the BT Reference Guide —Edition # 29.
 
If you want some company on the Bruce, The Blue Mountain Bruce Trail group meets for planned hikes on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.  See the hike schedule in the Blue Mountain Bruce Trail (BMBTC) newsletter (http://www.bmbtc.org/NL.html) for more details about times and locations. We carpool from the parking lot behind the Tim Horton’s and MacDonald’s restaurants on First Street, Collingwood, ON to the hike destinations.  Feel free to contact the Hike Leader for additional information concerning the planned hike for that day.  Happy hiking!!

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Trail Photo Contest Winner!

Congratulations to @CampKit_ on Twitter, the winner of our monthly Trail Photo Contest. They submitted this great photo from the area of Sixth Line Nassagaweya in Halton, Ontario. Thank you @CampKit_ and Happy Trails!

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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