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A group of hikers snowshoe along a snowy forest trail in the Beaver Valley
Photo credit: Lilla Fodor, 2019.

Winter Hiking on the Bruce Trail

The Bruce Trail does not maintain trails over the winter, yet more and more hikers are using the Trail over the winter months. Some tips and precautions when heading out on the Trail during winter:

In rural areas, GPS directions may continue to direct motorists onto roads that are closed over the winter. Watch for signs indicating an unmaintained road and avoid roads too narrow for two lanes of traffic.

Parking safely along roadsides becomes trickier during the winter. Snowbanks reduce shoulders and obscure ditches. Take care not to impede traffic when parking on roadsides. Large farm vehicles (and snowplows!) use these roads. Do not block entrances to private properties. If using one of the BTC parking lots, do not exceed maximum capacity or block other parked vehicles. Plan for an alternate hike if a chosen location is busy.

Hiking Conditions
Check the weather forecast before heading out. Choose shorter walks as daylight hours are reduced and snow makes navigation more difficult since white blazes and snow covered footpaths don’t stand out as much. Blazes and trail signage can be covered by snow and trail and blazes get lower on the trees with each additional snowfall. Hikers can encounter everything from deep drifts to icy slopes. Depending on the amount of snow, snowshoes or icers/crampons will make hiking easier and lessen the risk of injury. Hiking poles are handy in all seasons.

Personal Comfort
Dress in layers and pace yourself to avoid overheating. Pack an extra set of gloves into a pocket. Don't forget sunglasses on those bright winter days. Hydration is still important in cold weather. A hot beverage or juice crystals added to cold water can make stopping for a drink more appealing. Exercising in cold weather burns more calories; pack a snack to help keep warm and energized.

For more information see Winter Hiking Safety Tips.

Hiking Guidelines to Keep Us All Safe and Healthy

A group of hikers snowshoe along a snowy forest trail in the Beaver Valley
Photo credit: Glenda Collings, 2020.

Stay Local

Plan Ahead

Stay Home if You are Unwell

Practice Physical Distancing

Respect Closures of any Trail or Facility

Expect No Facilities

Leave No Trace

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