This October is the fourth year that the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) is running a hike-a-thon. Curious about the concept of hike-a-thons, I took a stroll through the internet to see who else was doing them. The results were interesting, in that while I got quite a few hits from clubs around North America, almost all of them were for one-day-only events. I had just two month-long hike-a-thons come up – ours and that for Washington Trails Association.
Amending my search to include the words “month-long” got me no more, and the search results list was so short that the fourth item on it was my post about last year’s hike-a-thon. From this I think we can conclude that the Bruce Trail hike-a-thon is truly a special event!
But what exactly is the BTC’s hike-a-thon about? It’s a fundraising event held every October, whereby hikers hike throughout the month and sponsors donate in support of their efforts. Growing in popularity, the event has been successful at raising funds to help establish, protect, and conserve the Bruce Trail’s conservation corridor along the Niagara Escarpment. Since 2014, Bruce Trail hike-a-thoners have raised over $68,000!
This year, the BTC has challenged hikers to raise $50,000 to commemorate the Bruce Trail turning 50. This may sound daunting considering last year’s tremendous efforts raised about $30,000. However, with the generosity of KEEN Canada, who will match all Hike-a-thon 2017 donations up to $20,000, the goal is achievable with your support.
There are two different ways you can participate in the BTC’s hike-a-thon: as a hiker (individuals or teams of 2 to 6) or as a sponsor.
If you’re a hiking participant, you’ll set a hiking goal, seek sponsorship from friends and family, and then hike the Bruce Trail throughout the month of October to achieve (or exceed!) your hiking goals. It’s a fun and easy way to give back to the Bruce Trail while setting your own goals and competing for fun prizes. There’s also no entrance fee and you’ll get your own fundraising page.
If you aren’t able to participate by hiking, you can participate by sponsoring a hiker. Don’t know any hikers participating? Why not sponsor Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club’s Social Media Co-ordinator, Christine Elliott who is working on surpassing both her kilometres (104) and fundraising ($570) accomplishments from Hike-a-thon 2016.
I think the BTC has chosen a great month for their annual hike-a-thon. What better time of year to enjoy the Bruce Trail than when it’s decked out in a vibrant and colourful coat, capped off with ideal temperatures for hiking? October is definitely the right time to challenge yourself to hike a lot of kilometres … all the more easily done when it’s for a good cause!
With content from Bruce Trail Conservancy
Please note that once again, Turnbull Side Trail will be closed for hunting from October 1 to December 31, 2017 at the request of the landowner.