Bruce Trail Expedition

Bruce Trail Expedition

On Friday Oct 26th 2012 at 1 p.m. Fred Losani, Peter Turkstra and Mark Maclennan successfully completed a 30-day, 855 km trek of the Bruce Trail to raise funds and awareness for Hamilton kids charities. Joined by Finnish international explorer Teemu Lakkasuo, this fundraising mission, called Bruce Trail Expedition for Kids, raised $500,000 for Hamilton-based children’s in-school nutrition programs.

The fundraising mission also brought attention to the eco-significant Bruce Trail. The Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest and longest footpath that provides the only continuous public access to the magnificent Niagara Escarpment, and a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

The Bruce Trail Expedition for Kids team set out on Sept 24th from Queenston, on the Niagara River, with a goal to trek to the Trail’s natural conclusion, the northern terminus in Tobermory within 30 days. Along the way the four hikers communicated with local students via live webcam and satellite phone transmissions.

Through youtube, blog and website, each hiker contributed with insightful and engaging commentary to the students and donors. Students were even given the opportunity to walk with the hikers at certain milestones along the trail, allowing them to experience first-hand the physical challenges and personal rewards of the expedition.

The Bruce Trail Expedition for Kids team also demonstrated to the students’ qualities such as perseverance, teamwork, the importance of proper nutrition and leading an active healthy lifestyle.

While many think of the Bruce as a spot for day hikes, the trail represented a significant challenge for the foursome. Hiking over multilayered rock formations, traversing narrow, cliffside outcroppings, climbing over rugged terrain embedded with sharp Dolomite rock, encountering rain, fog and slippery autumn leaves made each ascending and descending step a careful, focused effort.

The team was so motivated by the support of their sponsors and the students along the way that they arrived 2 days ahead of schedule. Joining them at the “finish line”, the famed Cairn at Tobermory, were cheering students from Tobermory Public School, Bruce Trail Conservancy, family and friends.

For their efforts and on-going contributions to the City of Hamilton’s youth, Mayor Bob Bratina honoured the fundraising foursome at an October 30th city hall ceremony. The team was also awarded the Bruce Trail Conservancy’s highest environmental award, the Calypso Orchid Environmental Award.