Darcy’s Side Trail? What an odd name you may say. Who was Darcy? Darcy was a Jack Russell terrier who loved to run in these woods which were owned by two of our amazingly generous landowners – Ann & Jim Wilson.
“Landowners?”. Yes, the Bruce Trail is 69% secure for future generations – on land owned by the Bruce Trail Conservancy or on lands publicly protected e.g. conservation areas and parks. The remaining 31% of the Bruce Trail route is on land owned by private landowners, like the Wilsons, who have graciously given their permission for the Bruce Trail to cross their property. It does happen that, after many years of sharing their land with the Bruce Trail, landowners choose to donate or sell their property to the Bruce Trail. In fact, Darcy’s Side Trail is now on land that is owned and secured forever by the Bruce Trail Conservancy.
This is the only side trail on the entire Bruce Trail that is named after a dog. While Darcy ran on “his” trails on his owner’s land for 19 years, we ask hikers to respect the Bruce Trail signage for dogs – some landowners allow hikers but not dogs, often in consideration of the safety of the owner’s cattle. Where dogs are allowed, please keep your dogs on a leash, and pack out your dog’s waste. Not only could your pet pick up nasty viruses like rabies, giardia, distemper and parvovirus, off-leash dogs propel the spread of invasive species, (which our volunteers spend hundreds of hours each year trying to control) and can disturb vulnerable wildlife and other people. A tip of the hat to Darcy – helping us to help you, as a responsible dog owner and hiker.