Hiking with youth
Know Before You Go - New to hiking and not sure where to begin? Check out the Bruce Trail Org. page which provides information on Rules for Trail Use, how to read a blaze, trail safety, what to pack and more.
The Young Trail Blazer Badge requires the completion of one hike (at least 3km in length) conducted on the Niagara Bruce Trail. Hikes can be completed with the club on an official scheduled hike or with family on their own.
To earn the Young Nature Blazers Badge you much complete a 90 minute hike on the Niagara Bruce Trail. Submit a write-up describing how you used one or more of your five senses on the hike - what did you see, touch, taste, smell or hear during your hike.
Badges can be earned on your own with your family or on an NBTC led hike. Check the calendar for upcoming hikes.
For youth 15 years of age and under.
Requests should be sent, together with your hike log or write-up, $4 per badge and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:
Niagara Bruce Trail Club
P.O. Box 331
Please make all cheques made payable to "Niagara Bruce Trail Club"
Please do not require a password for the transfer if your financial institution requests one. Our financial institution will only accept auto deposit.
There is an additional $2 fee for e-transfers to cover mailing costs.
Please include your full mailing address.
Bruce Trail Family Fun - Provides tools, games and activities.
Niagara Family Fun - Family friendly walking trails around Niagara.
Hike Ontario's Young Hikers Program - Provides a wealth of hiking information, cool hiking stuff, contests, activities, games and recommended reading for kids and adults.
Algonquin Park Junior Ranger Program - Contains information, games and activities for young hikers anywhere.
SUGGESTED HIKING ROUTES FOR YOUTH
Some suggested hiking routes on the Niagara Bruce Trail:
Great place to start young hikers. There are vineyard views and a variety of vegetation. Just long enough for those little legs to develop their hiking endurance.
Park at the entrance to Woodend Conservation Area, 1 Taylor Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake. This hike follows the main Bruce Trail (white blazes) and then the Wetland Ridge (Blue blazes) and back to the main (white) trail. Some hills, wetlands and vineyard vistas.
Park at the end of Wiley Rd (parking lot C of Short Hills Provincial Park. Can also access from Pelham Rd parking). Loop hike with some hills, woods and fields. Go by Terrace Creek waterfall. May spot some deer.
Park at the end of Wiley Rd (parking lot C of Short Hills Provincial Park - can also access from Pelham Rd parking). This longer loop hike includes using the Bruce Trail (white blazes) to Terrace Creek trail back to the Bruce Trail (white blazes) and Black Walnut Trail.
There are a number of shorter side trails along the Bruce Trail. These are great places to start young hikers who need to develop their hiking endurance.
Some favourite spots:
Angel's Side Trail, 0.46km. park at the back of Angel's Gate Winery, 4260 Mountainview Rd, Lincoln. Beautiful, fairly level forested area with a picnic table.
Louth Side Trail, 900m, km 48.7(map 3); park at Louth Conservation Area, Staff Rd, Lincoln. The trail follows a farm access road up the escarpment slope turns right and proceed through dolostone rocks and rubble for a short distance before rejoining the main trail at km 49.3 together with the main trail if forms a 1.6km loop.
Wetland Ridge Side Trail - 1.1km long, km14.9 (map 2); park at the entrance to Woodend Conservation Area, 135 Taylor Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Features various points of interest including Niagara's College's apiary, turtle nesting area, snake hibernaculum, various animal habitat structures, outdoor classroom, and the First Nations Metis and Inuit Garden. You could make a 2.9km loop by going around the Wetland ponds and reconnecting with the side trail back up to the entrance to Woodend.
Rockway Falls, km 44.8 (map 3): 14 m drop, dry most of the year except after heavy rain and during spring melt: during the winter freeze you'll get a spectacular view. Access from Rockway Community Centre, 2021 Pelham Rd, St Catharines.
Decew Falls, Morningstar Mills, km.33.5 km ( map 3). Historic Morningstar Mill is a working gristmill using original equipment to grind grain into flour. Picturesque heritage site with Bruce Trail side trail. Great picnic area. 2714 DeCew Rd, St Catharines. (check for closures due to Covid19)
Balls Falls Conservation Area (map 3), upper and lower falls. Original Ball Family home with an operating flour mill, a lime kiln, church, blacksmith shop and more. Twenty Mile Creek plummets over both upper and lower falls. Follow trail signs to each falls. Great picnic spot. Conservancy parking fees apply.
Swayze Falls, Short Hills, km 40.5 (map 3). Closest entrance to Swayze Falls is Roland Rd. Best time to see the water falls is in the spring and fall when there is more water.
Terrace Creek Falls, Short Hills, km 36.5 (seen on Rim of Africa Side Trail). See above Rim of Africa - Terrace Creek hiking route.
Firemans Park Side Trail -2.5kms (map 2); trail leads through Firemans Park where there is a picnic area, outdoor toilets, and parking. Access trail at the top of Dorchester Rd below the lower parking area.
Wetland Ridge Hikes (as described above)
Beamer Memorial Conservation Area : known as the best place in Niagara to view the annual spring Hawk migration every spring in April (map 4)
Swayze Falls Trail, Short hills, km 40.5 (map 3). This 400m trail goes through a quiet and scenic area. Access from Roland Rd entrance.