Skip to main content

Ontario hikers will be able to camp overnight along Bruce Trail by 2030

Hikers are seen walking the Bruce Trail. (Brooke Henry) Hikers are seen walking the Bruce Trail. (Brooke Henry)

Ontario hikers will soon be able to camp overnight along Canada’s oldest and longest walking trail by 2030.

The Bruce Trail contains about 900 kilometres of footpaths travelling from the Niagara Escarpment all the way to the Bruce Peninsula near Georgian Bay, in addition to connecting side trails.

Camping along this long stretch is not allowed, except in about 22 campgrounds or designated areas found near the trail.

As part of its 2030 strategy, the Bruce Trail Conservancy wants to change that and create what’s called a thru-hike experience, where residents can walk the trail in its entirety while camping along the way.

“We are calling these overnight rest areas,” Adam Brylowski, Manager of Conservation and Trail with the Bruce Trail Conservancy, told CTV News Toronto.

“Essentially what we're doing is we provide an opening for one or two tents, and also what we call a thunder box, it's sort of like open air latrine that we build for that location. And that’s it. There’s no fire.”

Hikers will also have to bring their own water.

“It's a very bare bones, rugged back-country type experience that would allow thru-hikers to spend the night and then sort of continue on their hike the next day,” Brylowski said, adding that a thru-hike experience helps create a deep connection with the land.

Despite the lack of amenities, it is still not an easy task to set up overnight rest areas along the trail. Campsites would have to be at least 10 kilometres apart, and at least 500 metres away from a major road due to restrictions in the Niagara Escarpment Plan.

The sites also have to be on land owned by the conservancy, while prioritizing the environmental impacts.

“In some cases, there's larger stretches beyond 10 kilometers that we'd have to sort of have hikers hike before they got to the next overnight rest area,” Brylowski added.

He estimates they will likely create between 40 and 60 of these rest areas by the year 2030. Top Stories

Stay Connected