Hike the Bruce Trail in Ontario, Canada
The Bruce Trail
The Bruce Trail is a 465 Mile (800km) hiking trail that follows the Niagara Escarpment from Queenston (near Niagara Falls) to Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce peninsula in Ontario, Canada. Most people hike it via day hikes, but using it as a long-distance trail is a viable option. You can stealth camp along the way, or go plush and stay in bed and breakfast inns. Either way, the scenery is awesome and it's an experience no one should be without:
-cobblestone beaches lining azure waters
-flowerpots formed by the forces of nature
-fields of wildflowers
-an array of different waterfalls
The Bruce Trail
The Niagara Escarpment is a long cliff of limestone that is responsible for Niagara Falls. Over 40 species of fern grow along it - some quite rare. Stunted cedar trees have clung to the ledges for over 500 years, escaping the wrath of forest fires, loggers, and farm plows.
The Bruce Trail follows the Niagara Escarpment for 500 miles from Niagara Falls to Georgian Bay and is an excellent way to learn about this unique environment first hand. The walk passes through three distinctly different regions. The southern segment is a narrow green corridor through a populated area of Ontario. It's a wonderland of waterfalls with panoramic views of ships on Lake Ontario. The central section becomes remote and hilly. Through the northern section, the walk is along azure waters of Georgian Bay, often high on the escarpment ledges.
Most people day-hike the Bruce Trail or hike the entire length by doing a series of day hikes. My husband and I chose to hike the full trail in one long backpacking trip, camping along the way. Our journal is published in the book Bruce Trail - An Adventure along the Niagara Escarpment (available as a print book or pdf e-book at ww.footprintpress.com). It will make you feel the blisters and savor the views.
A World Biosphere Reserve in Canada
The Serengeti Desert, the Everglades, and the Galapagos Islands were each named a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) because of their unique ecosystems. Ontario, Canada's Niagara Escarpment belongs to this prestigious group.
The Niagara Escarpment is a ledge of limestone, which runs from northern New York State, through Ontario, dips under Lake Huron, and resurfaces in Michigan. It's responsible for Niagara Falls. What makes it truly unique is the flora on the cliff tops and ledges. Over 40 species of fern grow there, including the rare hart's tongue and wall rue. Stunted, twisted cedars trees have clung to the ledges and been protected for over 500 years, escaping the wrath of forest fires, loggers, and farm plows. Although old, these trees are very small due to their hard lives.
The Bruce Trail follows the Niagara Escarpment for 500 miles from Niagara Falls to the tip of Georgian Bay and is an excellent way to learn about this unique environment first hand.
Bruce Trail Conservancy
The Bruce Trail Conservancy is the organization that builds and maintains this trail. Their web site is full of helpful information.
Bruce Trail Stuff on Amazon
Bruce Trail Links
- Footprint Press Recreation Guidebooks
Publisher of the travel narrative "Bruce Trail - An Adventure Along the Niagara Escarpment."
- Bruce Trail Association
The association that manages and oversees the Bruce Trail.
- Bruce Trail Reference Guide
The book of maps and reference material for hiking the Brude Trail.
Bruce Trail mapping software from Fugawi.
- Great Long-Distance Walks of the World
This Squidoo page covers many long-distance trails.