Everything you need to know before hiking in Bruce County

Looking for some quick tips for your next hiking adventure? Look no further.

Tips for your next hike!

Bruce County is a hiker’s haven, with the most scenic section of the Bruce Trail, rail trails, local woodland trails, and more. In a place with so much biodiversity and natural beauty, it’s important that you know what you’re doing before and during your hike. Here are some quick tips to ensure you have the best hike possible.

Wear Proper Footwear

Pay attention to the difficulty rating and surface of trails and always wear suitable footwear.
You want your feet to be comfortable and supported. Flip flops, sandals, and casual shoes are a definite no-no. Your best bet for a safe and enjoyable hike is to wear hiking boots, hiking shoes, or trainers with a lot of traction. The name of the game is traction-this is best for preventing slippage and accidents.

Bring Water & Snacks 

Refillable water bottles will help you stay hydrated and reduce waste. When you’re packing food, make sure you bring items that will give you energy. Think trail mix with lots of nuts, whole wheat bread sandwiches, energy bars, even some chocolate for that extra boost when you need it.
Share with your friends, not the wildlife, feeding local animals can hinder their ability to survive independently.
Make sure you bring more food than you think you need, in case something happens and you’re stuck out there for longer than you anticipated.

Pack in and Pack Out

When you bring food, most of the time that also means you’re bringing garbage with you. Food waste, wrappers, plastic water bottles, and more are bad for the environment and harm plants and wildlife.
Make sure that whatever you pack in, you pack out and dispose of or recycle once you leave the trail.

Leaves of three, let it be! 

Poison ivy is at best a pain and at worst highly dangerous. Learn how to recognize poison ivy and steer clear of it.
Poison ivy is identified by its three leaves, as the picture shows. Poison ivy can cause a rash or allergic reaction that, when in the wilderness, can become dangerous quickly. Make sure you are familiar with it before you head out on your hike.

Watch Out for Snakes 

Be mindful where you step, Massasauga Rattlesnakes have excellent camouflage, and they’re a protected species. If you’re bitten, seek immediate medical attention.

Beware of Bears 

In the rare event of a black bear encounter, make yourself as large as possible and make a lot of noise by yelling or stamping your feet.
You should NOT run away and you should NOT climb a tree. Black bears are faster and better climbers than you are, and your sudden movement could spook them.

Don’t get bit!

Mosquitoes, blackflies, and other insects can make your hike far less enjoyable. Make sure you wear light-coloured, long sleeved shirts and pants to keep these critters away. If you need it, bring some bug spray as well, just make sure it’s environmentally friendly.

Be prepared.

You never know what could happen out on the trail. You don’t want to have to use it, but if you need it you’ll be happy to have a first aid kit handy, stocked with adhesive bandages, gauze pads, polysporin, and tension bandages to help deal with any injury that might occur.
Another way to stay prepared is by bringing a flashlight in case you’re out for longer than you anticipated. In a worst-case scenario, make sure you have some sort of shelter with you in case of inclement weather or an unplanned overnight stay.

Stay Connected

Let others know where you’re planning on hiking, and bring your charged up cell phone so that you can call for help in case of an emergency.
Make sure you download the what3words app, which is an easy way to pinpoint your exact location and let people know where you are.

Map Icon

Looking to hit the trails? View and download the Trails Map Brochure to see all the best spots and how to access them.

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