Hiking enthusiast and writer, Nicola Ross, has some great ideas on how best to endure the oppressing times we live through now. Go outdoors and hike.

She shares these thoughts in her recent Newsletter. You can sign up for  the Newsletter HERE.

With Nicola’s permission, I am sharing some of her newsletter directly with Avon Trail members.


Stay Home Means Go for a Walk

2021 in Ontario might not feel like much of an improvement, but think again — says Dodie, her highness the duchess of hiking. Our athletic and cultural pursuits may be reduced to prehistoric times, but we can go for a walk. And is there a finer way of getting exercise? The time for getting out into that big ‘ol gym with an enormous, sometimes blue ceiling is upon us. So let’s make the best of it.

Hiking during covid has a few peculiarities: In addition to the standard stay 2 metres apart, etc, it can be a challenge to find trails that don’t feel like you are walking down Yonge Street on a Saturday night.


Here are a few tips to deal with covid conditions:

  • Hike early in the morning. The crowds seldom show up much before 10am and those who are on the trails early are usually seasoned hikers.
  • Avoid weekends if you can. Though many people are working from home, they are still working. This means trails on weekdays are busier than normal, but not Yonge-Street-like.
  • Avoid the Bruce Trail, rail trails, conservation areas and provincial parks when possible. Spread out the wealth. Here I have to put in a plug for my hiking guides. Seek out hikes along less-well known routes.
  • There are a lot of inexperienced hikers on the trails these days. Sometimes, they don’t know hiking etiquette. If you come across such hikers, be gentle. If you have to point out that littering is unacceptable, as is walking side-by-side on a narrow trail making it difficult for oncoming hikers to pass by, allowing dogs to deposit on the trail and, my pet peeve, picking up dog poop in a plastic bag and leaving the bag on the trail, be kind.

These are just a few etiquette issues, there are others for sure. Try to be generous out there on our great trails. We all have to cope with the reality of 2021.

 Great Canadian Trail Quiz

Despite being saddened with efforts to change the name of the Trans Canada Trail to The Great Trail, I do have fun answering their quizzes. Sign up for their newsletter if you want news about this Canadian gem. In the meantime, try your hand at their latest quiz by visiting Trans Canada Trail.

Local Trails Quiz

And, here are a few questions to test your knowledge about local trails. The answers are contained below:

What is  the section of the Bruce Trail between the Blue Mountains section and the Sydenham section?

  1. Beaver Valley section.
  2. Dufferin Highlands section.
  3. Owen Sound section.

Where is the first pavilion built on the Trans Canada Trail (aka The Great Trail)?

  1. Ottawa.
  2. Montreal.
  3. Caledon East.

What are the towns at each terminus of the 121-km Avon Trail?

  1. Stratford and St. Marys.
  2. Shakespeare and Stratford.
  3. St. Marys and Conestogo.

How did Rattlesnake Point get its name?

  1. It used to be  home to rattlesnakes.
  2. Sailors who jumped ship in Hamilton Harbour and claimed there were rattlesnakes, came to this point to watch their ships leave without them.
  3. Both, maybe.

Who or what was the Island Lake Conservation Area in Orangeville named for?

  1. The Island family who once owned the land.
  2. All the islands present in the reservoir.
  3. Vicki Island who once headed up Credit Valley Conservation.

To find more writings by Nicola Ross, click Loops & Lattes Hiking.

For the answers to the Local Trails Quiz, look below.

Quiz Answers

  1. Beaver Valley section.
  2. Caledon East.
  3. St. Marys and Conestogo.
  4. Both, maybe.
  5. The Island family who once owned the land.