Musings from a Landowner

On a quiet evening last week, I walked to the back of my property to watch the sunset. I hiked my familiar path through the cedars and the pine trees, and as I turned a corner I came face-to-face with a group of deer grazing quietly. I watched, entranced, and soon realized I wasn’t alone. Another hiker had stopped to join me. We stood together in silence until the deer bounded away. After sharing our wonder and a few minutes of conversation, we went our separate ways.

Encountering a stranger hiking on my property does not surprise me. You see, my family have been landowners on the Bruce Trail for over 30 years. During that time we have encountered families, young couples, runners, cross-country skiers, and a myriad of others hiking our trails. Without fail people have been respectful, pleasant, and appreciative. We have never encountered anyone trespassing, damaging vegetation, or leaving garbage behind.

Within the Dufferin-Hills section, 22 private landowners permit the Bruce Trail to traverse their property. Although these sections of the trail are on private land, maintenance is taken care of by Bruce Trail staff and volunteers. In addition to clearing debris and fallen trees, the maintenance crew builds bridges, erects lookouts, and installs boardwalks over marshy areas. The trail maintenance on our property has always been completed quickly and efficiently with virtually no disruption to wildlife or vegetation.

The Bruce Trail is Ontario’s longest footpath, providing an opportunity to connect with nature and preserve our wilderness. As a landowner I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Bruce Trail in a small manner, support biodiversity, and meet some interesting hikers along the way.

Lorraine Campbell-Cholvat

3 thoughts on “Musings from a Landowner”

  1. Thank you Lorraine. I am so appreciative of landowners willing to share their properties with the Bruce Trail Conservancy and its many members. Being off-road makes a world of difference. Without landowners such as yourself, the trail would not be the gem that it is today.


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