|dc.description||The Bruce trail is Canada’s longest and oldest continuous footpath. The trail runs along the Niagara Escarpment from Niagara to Tobermory through private and public land. The main trail is 890 km long and the side trails measure 400 km.
In 1961, a “Save the Escarpment” conference was held in Hamilton. Gerry Wolfram, a writer for the St. Catharines Standard proposed that a committee be formed to develop a hiking trail. The Peninsula Field Naturalists Club formed a committee and President Bert Lowe contacted landowners along the proposed route to gain permission to cross their properties. Through Bert Lowe’s effort and dedication, the trail was completed in October 1963. The trail was officially opened on May 24th, 1964 in a ceremony at Queenston. The Niagara group joined the Bruce Trail Association in 1968 at which time the Niagara Bruce Trail Club was formed.
The Bruce Trail Association is a charitable, membership-based volunteer organization. Their goal is to preserve public access to the Niagara Escarpment while restoring its natural habitat. The head office of the Bruce Trail Association is located in Hamilton, Ontario.
The Niagara Bruce Trail Club’s goal is to secure and preserve a natural corridor along the Niagara Escarpment while providing education, awareness, and access for the public and the future. The club has organized many hikes including special hikes such as the one to commemorate the St. Catharines Centennial. The club has also hosted children’s hikes, cross country skiing hikes, wildflower hikes, jogging hikes, snowshoe hikes and bike outings. They hold annual events such as the End to End hike which is a 3 day walk from Grimsby to Queenston and the 30 km Laura Secord hike to commemorate Laura Secord’s famous walk. Charity hikes have also been held for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Lung Association as well as other causes.
Major changes have taken place along the trail throughout the years, some of these include: a reroute which eliminated the tunnel passage (1976) and a bridge which eliminated the need to walk to Mountain Road to cross the Queen Elizabeth Way (2008). Other major changes and clean-up projects have been undertaken by the club.
The Bruce Trail Conservancy (formerly Association) is made up of 9 clubs including: Niagara Bruce Trail Club (Queenston to Grimsby), Iroquia Bruce Trail Club (Grimsby to Kelso), Toronto Bruce Trail Club (Kelso to Cheltenham), Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club (Cheltenham to Mono Centre), Dufferin Hi-Land Bruce Trail Club (Mono Centre to Lavender), Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club (Lavender to Craigleath), Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club (Craigleath to Blantyre), Sydenham Bruce Trail Club (Blantyre to Wiarton) and Peninsula Bruce Trail Club (Wiarton to Tobermory).
Sources: http://www.niagarabrucetrail.org/index.html and http://brucetrail.org/||en_US