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Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club July 2020

Meet Brendan!

Photo Brendan Thomson seated outside with his dogs.

Beaver Valley welcomes a new Board Member to the Club, Brendan Thomson, as a Director-at-Large.

Brendon loves living, working and playing in the Thornbury-Blue Mountains area. He has a passion for the outdoors and even made a career out of it. He has a background in horticulture and ran his own landscaping companies, in Toronto, then locally, until an injury forced a rethink. With his deep understanding of construction, budgets and contracts and commitment to customer service, he transitioned into a career in real estate approximately 11 years ago.

Brendan always appreciated the efforts of the volunteers to support the Bruce Trail and felt it was a natural fit when Jill Smith-Brodie asked him to join the Board. “I jumped at the opportunity to give back to the area and Trail. I realize I am still on the learning curve but I am hoping I will bring a new perspective to the future of the Trail and its goals.”

Trail Closure through Eugenia Falls Conservation Area

Fall view of Eugenia Falls. Photo Marg Yaraskavtich 2016.
Photo credit: Marg Yaraskavitch, 2016.

The Grey Sauble Conservation Authority (GSCA) has closed Eugenia Falls Conservation Area due to people travelling out of bounds into non-permitted areas. The property will remain closed until further notice. The GSCA asks the public to respect safety signage and property closures and cautions that anyone found trespassing will be charged. See Trail Changes for details.

All other GSCA properties and trails remain open. Bruce Trail hikers can use the Temporary Reroute around the property closure using Lower Valley Road and Graham’s Hill Road and are reminded to stay on marked trails.

Leave Nothing But Footprints

Recent trash clean-up at Hogg's Falls. Photo Lilla Fodor via Instagram.
Photo credit: Lilla Fodor, via Instagram.

With the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, much of the Bruce Trail has reopened and Ontarians are once again coming out to Trail. Some popular sites in the Beaver Valley are very busy over weekends. Unfortunately a few locations have been inundated by trash. In particular, the Club has been alerted to trash issues at Hogg’s Falls and the North Street access point in Eugenia.

We are grateful for the volunteers and good Samaritans, who, on their own initiatives, have been removing the trash. But not before animals have scavenged and scattered it far and wide. We ask all hikers to please take your garbage home and “leave only footprints.” If possible, please keep a garbage bag in your car and pick up a little trash.

Thank you for your help!

New John Muir Book Penned by Local Author

Robert Burcher has authored new John Muir book. Photo Marg Yaraskavitch 2020
Photo credit: Marg Yaraskavitch, 2020.

A very popular stop along the Bruce Trail is the Epping Lookout. Many pause to read the John Muir history plaque. Muir was instrumental in fighting for the preservation of wilderness areas in the USA and was a co-founder of the Sierra Club. In the 1860s, Muir spent two years living in Canada.

Local author, Robert Burcher has written a book about Muir’s time in Ontario. Robert is a committed long-term Bruce Trail Conservancy member. As a matter of fact, he walked on some parts of the Trail as a boy before it became the Bruce Trail! As a young person, he learned about the conservancy goals of the Sierra Club. Much later, in the 1990s, he once rambled up to the Epping Lookout and found an abandoned plaque dedicated to John Muir. He was surprised. Could this be the John Muir, the revered environmentalist?

Over time, Robert was able to find information to verify that John Muir had indeed lived in Meaford for a time. During his stay in Ontario, Muir sauntered from Meaford to the Niagara Peninsula. He carried a plant press with him, sending home specimens often labelled with the location. Robert Burcher, the historian and botany enthusiast, plotted Muir’s sites and travelled the route himself. The end result is Robert Burcher’s book, My Summer of Glorious Freedom.

Robert’s a great storyteller and a careful researcher of history. His book is now available from him. His email address is He might drop off a book to your Beaver Valley home or you can connect with him in Slabtown. Congratulations on publishing an engaging and important book, Robert!