As discussed in an earlier blog post, there are many ways to complete your thru-hike. The style of transportation that you use changes based on your hiking partners, cheerleaders and supporters. Here are a few pointers that can help you organize your transportation.
Be mindful of the extra miles:
You must hike out on a side trail or stop by a store for food. While those are still km walked, they only count to your end-to-end once you are back on the main track and plugging away. The most efficient end-to-end is to save those km for the main trail. If you are using a car or a shuttle, make sure to end at road access, which has roadside parking or a parking lot.
Hitchhiking falls into a murky area with the law. In Ontario, it is illegal to hitchhike while standing on the roadway. Some people may still pick you up, but I don’t endorse this as you must consider the driver’s safety and you as a passenger. Here is a link to a website that will better explain the law as it is understood. Section 177(1) of the Highway Traffic Act
Park bus is a non-Bruce trail affiliated shuttle service leaving from Toronto. Depending on the schedule, you can book a seat on the Park Bus for a round trip or one-way stop. At the time of this post, four points on the Bruce Trail are accessible via park bus: Rattlesnake Point, Albion Hills/Glen Haffy, Lion’s Head, and Cyprus Lake. Rattlesnake Point/Kelso and Albion Hills/Glen Haffy can only offer return trips, while The Bruce Peninsula National Park/ Tobermory and Lion’s Head routes can be booked one way. These are two separate bus routes; one leading to Lion’s Head will not continue onto Tobermory. Nor will the bus going to Tobermory return via Lion’s Head. Please look for more information on their website. Parkbus
Shuttle with stay:
Particular Bed and Breakfast locations or smaller establishments may offer shuttle service, including pick up and drop off to the trail. Please confirm with your host if this service is available.
A Trail Angel is a volunteer who will drive you from the start or end of your hike. Each Trail Angel may have a cost for their time and gas or be willing to support you. Some may ask for a donation to the Bruce Trail Conservancy. Here are some pointers to make your ride smooth.
- Schedule your ride in advance. People prefer to avoid having their routines upended if they can help it.
- If they have a preference as to how they like to be contacted, please use that method first (Text, email, phone call)
- If you are hiking with only one car, consider having the driver drop you off at the furthest location from your car. Then, walk back to your vehicle at the trailhead. Doing this in reverse may mean you will spend more time waiting for your ride than you would like.
- Mention how many people they will be driving; it will ensure that there are seat belts for everyone.
- Add an identifying physical characteristic so that they know who they will be driving (“we are a couple who will be wearing a sun hat and a red jacket”)
- If the driver cannot get to you, they can give you the contact information of another driver who may have availability.
- Be kind, and do not haggle with the driver; they are here to help you achieve your goals! That has to be worth the five extra dollars that it might cost.
Aaron “Talus” Holden
Missed a post in the END-TO-ENDER Advice Series? Check out other posts here:
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