The Dorothy Medhurst Side Trail is named after one of the Bruce Trail’s pioneers. When Philip Gosling popped in to see Dorothy in July 1963 at her home near the Credit Forks, she was excited to hear that the Bruce Trail might cross her property. She eagerly volunteered to help with trail scouting and building and remained active with the club over nearly 50 years. This remarkably energetic woman was an inspiration. She served on the Caledon Club’s Board in various roles, her longest tenure as secretary and treasurer. She also was a trail captain (until she was 90!), led hikes, looked after end-to-end check points for CHBTCs Thanksgiving E2E weekend, maintained trail, regaled us with stories, and trimmed Christmas trees for our fund-raising project. Most importantly, Dorothy initiated mid-week hikes with her co-conspirator, Sallie Smyth in the late 1980s. The mid-week hikes (now known as Tuesday hikes) have become a very popular option for CHBTC hikers, sometimes necessitating two groups. Sallie says that Dorothy was the original heart and soul of the Tuesday Hiking Group.
Dorothy was also a child and art educator who initially worked with Group of Seven artist, Arthur Lismer, at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Not surprisingly, natural environments were her inspiration. She taught well into her late seventies, inspiring generations of young nature lovers.
Dorothy welcomed many other volunteers at her cottage near Credit Forks and became a mentor to many. She was delighted when, in 1988 at the age of 73, she completed her goal to
hike the Bruce Trail from end to end. We did say that she had remarkable energy – at the age of 80, Dorothy hiked the entire 47 km of the nearby Elora-Cataract Trailway in 1 day!! Dorothy said that one of the most important things is that one’s ordinary life is a delight and excitement. Words that serve us all and Dorothy was true to them.
Side Trail Stories – Synopses Menu