This tool can be used to track the hikers as they embark on their journey. You can follow them every step of the way as they travel over 885 kilometers from Queenston to Tobermory. Track their progress as they face the challenges of the natural environment, as they encounter hills, rough terrain, or even waterfalls. Be sure to check out the photo gallery to see where they’ve been so far!
The hikers started today's journey at Inglis Falls, the site of an 18 meter high cascade created by the Sydenham River meeting the edge of the escarpment. At Inglis Falls there is a viewing platform, more than 20 species of ferns, bird watching opportunities, a series of geological potholes, historical remains of a grist mill and water filtration plant, and old millstones.
Shortly after they began it was time for a video call with St. Michaels Elementary School in Hamilton. The hikers were able to answer questions from 3 classes of students, all eager and excited to hear about their progress. All equipped with a Bruce Trail sticker and a large banner created by the students, the excitement was overwhelming and motivating for the hikers.
What a great surprise from Blessed Teresa of Calcutta! The elementary school raised $500 through its civies day event and surprised the hikers during a live video call. After some static and poor connection the hikers heard loud and clear about the great work of the students. The hikers were moved by the fact that students are working together to help fellow students in their community, using this as motivation to continue on their hike.
The hikers’ day started with an uphill stride up the escarpment, looking across grain fields and Owen Sound below. After skirting a pond and walking through a hardwood forest the hikers came across a spring that once acted as a water source for a pioneer family.
Further along the hikers came across the "Polish Tree", a large Beech tree with carvings done in 1942 by a Polish soldier while training in Owen Sound. The first line reads "Poland has not yet perished". Five kilometers up the trail the hikers passed giant Dolostone blocks with spectacular crevices that contain ice, even into the summer months. The Trail descends and passes by an Observation Tower which gives views of the Sydenham River valley and Owen Sound. The Tower was a centennial project of two of the City High Schools and is built over a former lime kiln.
The hikers started their day at the Bognor Marsh Management Area, a wet boggy area containing a wide variety of rare plants and animals. Crossing a pond on a floating boardwalk, the hikers reached an old cart path and began their ascent back up the Niagara Escarpment. Along the top of the escarpment the hikers encountered many crevices and glacial spillways, adding an element of caution with each step.
Further along the hikers encountered a "disappearing waterfall", where in the spring water thunders over the edge for about a week - but goes through crevices the rest of the time and emerges as a spring at the base of the waterfall.
Nearing the halfway point for the day, the hikers encountered an electric fence which acts as a barrier to keep sheep and yak within a private farm. Just passed the farm the hikers came across the Meaford Land Forces Training Centre. This military training centre is located on 800 square kilometers of open space and is used for reserve and regular for land training.
Day thirteens hike takes them on a lengthy descent into Pine River and the Pine River Provincial Fishing Area. They cross the river and go through a steep ravine. Later, they cross Black Bank Creek and climb back up the valley. They enter the Blue Mountains Club section of the trail and enter Noisy River Nature Preserve. They end their hike for the day at the 6/7 Nottawasaga Side Road.
The hikers enter Mono Cliffs Provincial Park, which features crevice caves, an upland limestone plain and talus slopes.
Along the Cliff Top Trail is a set of stairs that descend about 30 metres down the rock face to a wooden path that runs between the cliff face and a small outlier. The area is also known for its ancient cedars and variety of ferns.
The team will pass McCarston's Lake, a natural kettle lake formed about 13,000 years ago by the gradual melting of a huge buried piece of ice left behind by a retreating glacier. They will reach Sideroad 30 and go north to Highway 89 into the Township of Mulmur, then enter Boyne Valley Provincial Park and descend into the marshy valley of the Boyne River, traversing bridges and boardwalks.
Next up is Murphy's Pinnacle, a sand and gravel kame (a hill or mound created by glacial retreat). They will cross three steep ravines and a tributary of the Boyne, then follow Oliver Creek, cross a boardwalk and four bridges, and follow Dufferin Road to Centre Road and Whitfield Church.
The Bruce Trail hikers begin their day crossing Highway 9 and then traverse the Humber River, passing a private reservoir. Soon they make a steep climb up the Niagara Escarpment and take in beautiful views and a Christmas tree farm. Further along the trail they will see outcrops of sandstone and later cross Airport Road, hiking past pine plantations, and take in spectacular views of Hockley Valley, before climbing to the provincial nature reserve.
The topography of the area here is distinguished by glacial processes and fluvial erosion. The nature reserve is characterized by a till moraine and other glacial features such as kames and kettles; a deeply-cut tributary valley to the Nottawasaga River bisects the reserve through its centre. The escarpment’s dolostone caprock can be seen in the upper parts of the gorge. After crossing a series of three bridges, the team climbs again to a deep hollow beside the trail that is a “dry kettle” formed by a melting ice block left in a glacial moraine. The hike ends at the boundary between the Caledon Hills and Dufferin Hi-Land sections of the Bruce Trail in Mono Cliffs Provincial Park.
On Day 10, the team of hikers crosses the Dominion Street Bridge, where the West Credit and Credit rivers join and enter Credit Provincial Park. A viewing platform overlooks Cataract Falls and the ruins of a hydro station. Later, they pass through a pedestrian tunnel under Highway 10 and come out near Devil's Pulpit Golf Course, then past a pine plantation where they'll see the intersection of Escarpment Sideroad and Kennedy Road and go on to Heart Lake Road.
Throughout this section, they will be following the Paris Moraine, a massive ridge of glacial till deposited by a lobe of the Wisconsin Glacier. Large gravel pits both east and west of Highway 10 at the top of Caledon Mountain are visible. The hikers will climb the moraine through a forest and reach Mountainview Road before descending gradually to Airport Road with views to the east over Oak Ridges Moraine. Then, they enter Toronto Region Conservation Authority land and into the "Dingle" — a narrow wooded valley — and climb to the Glen Haffy Conservation Area.
Day 8 of the end-to-end Bruce Trail hike starts at the Halton Museum, then continues on to Appleby Line and passes under Highway 401. The team crosses Campbellville Road and then through Hilton Falls Conservation Area and climbs the escarpment where a mill once operated. There are 500-year-old eastern white cedars clinging to the cliff here.
The hikers cross Dufferin Quarry Bridge, which spans a 40-metre gap cut out of the cliff face. They will pass Pear Tree Park and enter Speyside Forest, before arriving at Limehouse Conservation Area, which was once a major source for lime for early settlers. They will go through a series of fissures and the "Hole-in-the-Wall" on two ladders.
They cross Black Creek near the remains of an old mill, and lime kilns dating back to the 1800s, then follow the Guelph Radial Line Trail and cross Hwy. 7. The team enters Scotsdale Farm and the Silver Creek Conservation Area, a 220-hectare piece of land donated to the Ontario Heritage Trust in 1982. They then cross Snow’s Creek and reach the 27th Sideroad
On Day 7, the team passes into the Bronte Creek Valley, heading across a steel bridge and over Bronte Creek. The route passes Crawford Lake and a reconstructed native village and then the Nassagaweya Canyon, a deep valley that was a discharge channel for torrents of debris-laden glacier water released by melting ice. They continue to Appleby Line and enter Kelso
Day six of the end-to-end Bruce Trail hike has the team continuing across Borer's Creek and then descending wooden stairs and going underneath Highway 6 through a tunnel built by the city for hikers. On the other side, they pass the ruins of an old homestead, cross Snake Road and go into the Grindstone Creek Valley and the lookout over Great Falls.
They cross Mill Street, walk through a developed area and cross Mountain Brow Road to enter Conservation Halton's Waterdown Woods.
They cross Highway 5 and Cedar Springs Road, pass through woods and Fisher's Pond to Guelph Line before heading to Mount Nemo Conservation Area, where fissures lead to vertical caves and several breathtaking lookouts can be enjoyed.
Day Five of the end-to-end Bruce Trail hike offers a new perspective on Hamilton. The hikers cross the Kenilworth Mountain Access Road on the old railway bridge, and the trail continues along the Escarpment Rail Trail on an abandoned CN line. They climb the Wentworth Street steps to the Sherman Access and then to the Jolley Cut.
They follow the Chedoke Radial Trail and climb into woods above Chedoke Civic Golf Course. From the top of the Escarpment again they cross a pedestrian bridge over the 403, cross Wilson Street, pass over Tiffany Creek and reach Sherman Falls. They will pass through the Hamilton Conservation Area and Canterbury Falls, cross the Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail, eventually cross King Street, go up Sydenham Road before entering the Royal Botanical Gardens Rock Chapel Nature Sanctuary.
Day Four of the end-to-end Bruce Trail hike takes the team into their own backyard. The trail here begins below the edge of the Escarpment and then the team climbs the New Mountain Access Trail, crosses a railway bridge and continues through the forest above the railway line and passes Devil’s Punch Bowl. The bowl of the falls is about 34 metres deep and 60 metres across and was formed by erosion from glacial waters 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.
They follow Old Mountain Road and then the trail goes west and crosses Battlefield Creek and under the Centennial Parkway overpass. Eventually, the trail climbs again to the top of the Escarpment and follows the brow west through mature woodland at Felker’s Falls Conservation Area; Felker’s is a 22-metre-high ribbon-style waterfall.
The trail continues along the brow and follows Old Mount Albion Road downhill to the multi-use Red Hill Valley Trail. The hikers follow Red Hill Creek, cross a concrete bridge, and hike above the creek. The team stops at the Kimberley Drive Side Trail.
Day Three of the end-to-end Bruce Trail hike on Wednesday begins with picturesque views of vineyards near Balls Falls. The team moves on to the Cave Springs Conservation Area, which offers spectacular vistas overlooking Lake Ontario. Here the Escarpment rim and bedrock plain forests are dominated by sugar maples.
At Quarry Road, the hikers will see striking rock formations created by glaciers. They will descend deep into a gully and up a slope that locals call Jacob’s Ladder. They will pass Kinsmen Community Park and the East Dell Estate Winery and restaurant.
The trail then climbs steeply to the top of the Escarpment, through a wooded area and drops for 100 metres and crosses Thirty Mile Creek at a small waterfall, crosses several streams and climbs again to a pedestrian bridge over 40 Mile Creek — the boundary between the Niagara Bruce Trail Club and the Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club. After Woolverton Conservation Area, the team ends at Fifty Road for the day.
Day two of the end-to-end Bruce Trail hike runs in part through the campus of Brock University, named for the War of 1812 hero. The team passes Lake Moodie, a reservoir that supplies water for the DeCew hydroelectric plant. DeCew House along the trail is a historic site — the destination for Laura Secord when she set out to warn the British of an American attack in June 1813.
The hikers follow Twelve Mile Creek and take in DeCew Falls and then Morningstar Mill, which features a historic grist mill, saw mill, blacksmith shop, museum, park and interpretive centre.
After Swayze Falls comes 700-hectare Short Hills Provincial Park. Sedimentary deposits and glacial till once filled this valley, until Twelve Mile Creek sliced through, forming the “Short Hills.”
Next comes Rockway Falls, where Fifteen Mile Creek tumbles 40 metres over layers of dolostone and shale. They will pass a vineyard and enter Louth Conservation Area and end the hike soon after passing Ball’s Falls Conservation Area and Arboretum.
Day one of the end-to-end Bruce Trail hike is a 25.3 km jaunt that starts at the Bruce Trail Southern Terminus cairn at the eastern end of Queenston Heights Park. The spot is near General Brock’s Monument, a statue commemorating the War of 1812 hero. The park is situated on top of a bluff that marks the shore of Lake Iroquois, the forerunner of Lake Ontario. Today orchards and vineyards thrive on these glacial soils.
The trail in this section follows the railroad bed of the former New York Central Railroad, which is a junction of the Upper Canada Heritage Trail.
The team will cross the QEW Pedestrian Bridge and go through a concrete underpass known as the “Screaming Tunnel” to locals, and through Woodend Conservation Area, which features multilayered rock formations and picturesque views of vineyards and orchards on the flat plain below. They will cross the Welland Canal and end their hike at a former quarry that has been transformed into an environmental education park.