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Newly-hired ambassadors will promote responsible hiking in Beaver Valley stretch of Bruce Trail

The Bruce Trail Conservancy hired six ambassadors for three hotspot areas of the trail where human-caused impact has escalated to overwhelm the local environment
Paint on the tree marks a section of the Bruce Trail. Contributed photo

The Bruce Trail Conservancy has hired trail ambassadors to patrol and encourage responsible hiking in three hot spot areas of the trail. 

The six ambassadors are tasked with outreach and litter clean up on the Beaver Valley sections of the trail as well as spots in Hamilton/Halton, and on the Bruce Peninsula. 

According to a news release from the conservancy, an increase in the number of people hiking the trail has created some "hotspots" where there's more human-caused impact than the environment can handle. 

Litter, trespassing and other poor behaviours are impacting the trail, the environment, other trail users and landowners, according to the conservancy, which is a member-driven, volunteer-based charity working with local Bruce Trail Clubs to care for the trail and preserve land along its route. 

The Conservancy is also a land trust that acquires, protects, and restores vunlerable habitat and biodiversity of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere. 

“More people using the Bruce Trail is not a bad thing, in itself. It is wonderful that people have discovered the Bruce Trail as a way to connect with nature,” stated Adam Brylowski, Manager of Conservation and Trail in a news release.“For these trails and protected areas to continue to thrive, the Bruce Trail Conservancy, its partners, and all its supporters must work together to ensure that the cumulative impact of all our visits is minimized”.

The summer staff ambassadors will visit the busy trail destinations and promote safe trail use along with leave-no-trace practices. They'll be distributing badges with the motto "Hike it. Love it. Keep it Clean." to the people who join them in cleaning up litter and/or demonstrating low impact hiking. 

The Bruce Trail Conservancy offers the following tips for safe and responsible hiking:

  • Plan ahead 

    • Research your hike and check for trail closures or changes
    • Plan an alternate destination in case you find the trail or trailhead busy 
    • Consider visiting popular destinations mid-week, off-season, or earlier/later in the day 
    • Washrooms may be closed or unavailable, plan accordingly 
    • Pack essentials like food, water and clothing layers (day hike packing tips)
  • Park safely and legally 

    • If a trailhead parking lot is full, do not park on the road. Head to your "plan B" hike destination instead.
    • Where roadside parking is allowed, park only in designated areas.
    • Do not block driveways or farm gates.
    • See Parking & Transportation Options
  • Stay on the trail

  • Pack out your trash 

    • Pack out everything you pack in, even biodegradable items and toilet paper.
    • Take the extra step and (safely) pick up any trash you find on your hike.
    • Bring trash home if bins are full or unavailable.
  • Leave nature as you found it

    • Leave rocks, mushrooms, plants and other natural objects where you find them.
    • Avoid open fires or leaving your mark on trees or rocks.
    • Do not feed or disturb wildlife.
  • Manage your pet 

  • Be Mindful of private property

    • Many landowners graciously allow the Bruce Trail on their property. Trespassing or misuse of the trail could lead to a request to remove the trail from their land.
  • Extra guidelines for hiking during COVID-19

    • Stay home if you are unwell.
    • Practice Physical Distancing: Keep two metres (6 feet) apart from anyone not in your household. Wear a mask when you cannot maintain distancing. Move aside to allow others to pass.
    • Expect no facilities: Washrooms may be closed or not available. Plan accordingly.
    • See Guidelines for Hikers joining BTC Group Hikes