Bruce County Trail Network

Organization Sponsor: Bruce County Trail Network

Organization Partner: Grey Bruce Partners in Health


Program Description

Trails go far beyond beautifying our cities, towns and rural lands. They reach into the very fabric of each community and culture, and touch every single person living in Ontario. How can something so beautiful provide so much: economic benefits, health and environmental benefits, and social and heritage benefits?

Bruce County has a multitude of trail experiences available, from snowmobile trails, bike paths and walking trails along the Lake Huron and Georgian Bay shorelines, through unique habitats of the Bruce Peninsula, to inland forests and waterways of Saugeen Country. The rich natural diversity has been imprinted by a a variety of human activities on the landscape, creating a tapestry of trail experiences ranging from community trail systems all the way to the world re-nowned Bruce Trail along the Niagara Escarpment. Tap into our Trails Database for your favourite activity or find something new!

Development of a four-season regional trail system in Bruce County with links to trails beyond County borders.

Every year more than 400,000 visits are made to the Trail as people walk, snowshoe, watch wildlife, take photographs and admire the glorious scenery of the Escarpment.The Bruce Trail was instrumental in the Escarpment being named a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations in 1990 - one of only twelve such reserves in all of Canada.

Program Approximate Cost: 

Each year the BTC spends from $1 to $2 million on land purchases, preserving hundreds of acres of Es

Funding Sources: 

Bruce County Tourism , Grey Bruce Health Unit, Ontario Trilliun Foundation.

Strategies For Sustainability: 

The Bruce-Grey Trail Network Master Plan was created to identify a long-term vision, options for routes and linkages between existing trails, recommendations for new trail development, and priorities for action to develop a regional trail network in Bruce and Grey Counties with links to trails beyond the two counties.

Impact Of Program: 

Current use of trails in Bruce & Grey Counties generates over $24.5 million annually by local residents and tourist.Bruce County worships trails; it has over 500 km worth! Its most prized possession is the Bruce Trail, running atop of the grand ridge of the Niagara Escarpment.

Evaluation Tools: 

The Bruce Trail Conservancy is a charitable organization committed to establishing a conservation corridor containing a public footpath along the Niagara Escarpment, in order to protect its natural ecosystems and to promote environmentally responsible public access to this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.A Board of Directors governs the BTC and volunteers from 9 Bruce Trail Clubs are responsible for maintaining, stewarding and promoting the Trail.

The BTC is supported by more than 1000 volunteers and 8500 members.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

Through the hard work of some very dedicated people, the dream of connecting communities through a system of trails for all seasons is now closer to reality than ever before. The implementation of the Master Plan represents the new and rewarding period of trail design, construction and enjoyment.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

1,250 volunteers commit their time and skill to furthering the Bruce Trail Conservancy's mission of a secure conservation corridor containing the Bruce Trail. Their efforts exceed 63 full time jobs and contribute $3 million in volunteer labour.

Length and Stage of Project: 

The Bruce Trail is the oldest and longest marked hiking trail in Canada. In 1962 a small group of naturalists came together under the premise that to protect the wonders of the Niagara Escarpment, the best idea would be to build a hiking trail for people to use to explore the Escarpment's wonders.

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