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Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club masthead. Image of Old Baldy with BTC club logo
   Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club                              June 2019

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New Side Trail Honours BVBTC Trail Blazer!

Bruce Trail blue blaze side trail marker. Photo Marg Yaraskavitch 2018.
Photo credit: Marg Yaraskavitch, 2018.

A new side trail that was first proposed by Stew Hilts after his discovery of a beautiful waterfall in the upper Beaver Valley, is being named in his honour. Stew Hilts is a longstanding member of the Bruce Trail and an active volunteer with the Beaver Valley Club. Stew, along with Cathy Little, and Will Overton, had even flagged the initial route. He has served on our Board as Land Steward Director, led slowpoke hikes and shared photos and stories of his forays through the valley in Beaver Tales.

On Wednesday, June 5, the BVBTC will officially open the Stew Hilts Side Trail that takes hikers to the base of this secret waterfall. Please join us us at 11 am for the opening ceremony at the BTC parking lot on Johnston’s Sideroad, just east of Grey Rd 32.

Stew Hilts will meet us there for the first part of the opening of the trail. We will then hike about 10 minutes to the start of the side trail, to cut the ribbon and unveil the blue side trail sign to officially open the trail. The side trail itself proceeds along the top of a ridge and down a flight of stairs and then heads south traversing the valley slope on the west side of the Beaver Valley before turning west to where you can view this beautiful waterfall.

Our thanks to the Flying Squad volunteers for their work on completing the trail!

Join us for our Annual General Meeting

2019 BVBTC Annual General Meeting June 6. Beaver Valley Ski Club Markdale 4 pm optional hike. 6 pm BBQ potluck dinner. Meeting to follow.

View and/or print the Meeting Agenda and Minutes of the 2017 AGM.

BVBTC Welcomes New Hike Leader!

Photo Claire Ellenwood with her dog Rudy.
Photo Claire Ellenwood and her dog, Rudy.

For over 15 years Claire has been involved almost exclusively in working with Ontario native plants, from employment with charitable organizations on ecosystem restoration, educational and stewardship projects, to being a business owner in Toronto designing commercial and residential landscapes with wild plants. For 4 years Claire has been working to start a native plant nursery in the Beaver Valley area close to Markdale, while at the same time working in Toronto. She has had the opportunity to work with charities, schools and residential clients. It is a wonderful time of her life where she is becoming well known for the interdisciplinary way she works with native plants. The contrast between contemporary planting design and restoration work, which allows the plants to be free to evolve their own story and environment is a constant source of pleasure.

The Bruce trail has been absolutely essential in her life. Trying to learn about natural habitats and wild plants, she became a self taught botanist who spent about half the time at her cottage discovering new plants and habitats. The whole area of Lion’s Head on the Bruce Peninsula, and particularly the area around her cottage (with over 150 blooms of yellow lady’s slipper orchid right outside the cottage door) is an unbelievably fantastic area for plants. She walked independently on The Bruce Trail from Lion’s Head to Tobermory as much as she could, in order to get a better understanding of the area so that she could feel she really ‘knew it’. So, in fact it was the ability to walk the Bruce Trail that made her the plant geek, the person, that she is today.

The hikes Claire has decided to lead this year are to try to share her enthusiasm for the wonderful resource that is The Bruce Trail, and perhaps to give back a little to the organization that has helped her so much with her life’s goals. Her hope is that more people will come out to the trail to get better at ‘knowing’ their natural world, by learning about the wild plants around them.

Discovery Tour at Hogg’s Falls

Spring trillum. Photo Alan McPherson 2016.
Photo credit: Alan McPherson, 2016.

Join Claire Ellenwood on June 8 at Hogg’s Falls parking lot (km 63.2) as she leads her first hike for the Beaver Valley Club! Claire will take hikers on a 2 to 3 hour botanical walk to see some of the area’s bottomland plant species as well as spring ephemerals along the upper valley. After the hike, Claire will offer a nursery visit to Ontario Flora, a native plant nursery, to anyone who wishes to see more plants.

Membership is not required to join our hikes. New hikers are always welcome. See June Hikes for details on all of this month’s organized hikes.