Yesterday I hiked part of the Sydeham and Beaver Valley Sections of the Bruce Trail, located about 10 km south of Meaford, Ontario. You'll find a link to a Google Map showing the location below. (Did you know that John Muir, the famous naturalist, once lived in Meaford, Ontario?) The area was, of course, quite enchanting (see the photos), though I did not see as much wildlife as I usually do when I hike further south on this 850-kilometer long trail. I did not encounter the usual deer, turkeys, and vultures, just a few loud squirrels and lots of crows and redwinged blackbirds. The wet moss- and lichen-covered rocks slowed my pace. I slipped and fell on a sharp boulder -- it cut my ring finger just above the top joint. But the time I finished the hike and then drove 2 and 3/4 hours home, the (medical) window of opportunity for stitches had passed.


The moral of this story? If you are looking for an area on the Bruce Trail where you can make fast-paced progress on a 35- to 45-kilometer endurance day-hike, then stay further east in the Beaver Valley or hike further south, on the sections near Mono, Orangeville, and Milton. You will encounter larger elevation changes but better footing and less moss. Wear rugged hiking shoes or boots, with synthetic or merino wool socks. Take along a cell phone, a first aid kit, sunscreen, sun glasses, bug spray, enough food for two meals, and three liters of water. You will find that energy gels and bars are very packable.

During summer you will want to take electrolytes. During spring and fall, when the weather is quite variable, take along rain gear and extra clothing. In Canada, I never wear cotton on outdoor adventures. I buy polyester, nylon, and wool hiking clothes.

The Bruce Trail is the paramount hiking destination in Southern Ontario. It was set up during the 1960s and 1970s and is maintained by its paying members and by a number of volunteer organizations. You will find more information on

Google Map of Meaford Location