Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Announcements


Blue Mountains Bruce Trail 2020 Adventure Hikes


Members of the Blue Mountains Bruce Trail section also offer 'Adventure Hikes' which are not on the Bruce Trail, but are close to our section. These are planned after our regular Hike Schedule is put together and so are published under Announcements.



Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Re-Routes


Map 22 Blue Mountains Temporary Trail Re-route


There is a temporary reroute in the Devils Glen Ski Club grounds [Map 22].

Trail Reroute

Map 23 Blue Mountains Temporary Closure


There is a temporary closure on the popular Petun Side Trail [Map 23]. This Side Trail also normally closes in the winter months.

Trail Closure


Nottawasaga Bluffs Side Trail Bridge Repaired


The unsafe bridge in the popular Nottawasaga Buffs Side Trail [Map 22] was repaired by a diligent team of BMBTC volunteers in the spring of 2019. The Keyhole Side Trail is now accessible from either side.


Blue Mountains Bruce Trail - The Blues of Blue - Hiking Badge

Welcome to the "Blues of Blue" Side Trail Challenge!

We hope you enjoy the uniqueness of our over 30 km of Side trails, meshed together in manageable loops with portions of Main trail. In order to be eligible receive the badge, you will need to complete the hiking log provided here and submit it, together with $10 per hiker (cheque preferred) plus a stamped, self addressed envelope, to:
Blue Mts BTC
P.O. Box 91
Collingwood, Ont
L9Y 3Z4


Side Trail Badge

Giant Hog Weed - a Nasty Invasive Plant



What Is It? From the Lee Valley Gardening Newsletter
August 2013
What Is It?
 
Identifying this weed can be difficult, since a number of species look very similar, including cow parsnip, purplestem angelica, woodland angelica, valerian, lovage and Queen Anne's lace. This plant grows much larger than those mentioned, however. In fact, in ideal conditions a mature specimen can grow to 5.5m (18'). While its white flower clusters do resemble those of Queen Anne's lace, they tend to be more widely spaced and can form a flower head almost 1m (3.2') wide. When identifying this toxic plant, known as giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), its huge size is a key indicator.
 
 
Giant hogweed flowers
  The flowers look similar to those of Queen Anne's lace.
Native to central and southwest Asia, giant hogweed was likely brought over as an ornamental plant and is now naturalizing across North America. This perennial, a member of the carrot family, can thrive in many habitats and grows particularly well in areas where the soil has been disturbed (wastelands, riverbanks, roadsides, along railroads, etc.). Depending on the conditions in which it grows, it can quickly dominate an area because of its size and ability to spread rapidly.
 
The plant is becoming renowned for its toxicity. If you encounter it, use extreme caution. Cutting the plant or even simply brushing against it can cause the sap to get on your skin. After exposure to sunlight, this will cause chemical burns. The painful blisters can appear within 48 hours after exposure and can recur for several years. Even after the blisters subside, purplish-colored scars can form. If you happen to get the sap in your eye, it can cause severe irritation and possibly blindness. If you do come into contact with the sap of this plant, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends seeking medical attention immediately.
 
How will you know if the plant is giant hogweed and not one of its look-alikes? Aside from its massive size, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food suggests looking for two additional attributes particular to this weed — it has a thick, hollow, purple-blotched stem and very jagged, lobed leaves, both of which are covered with bristles similar to those found on the stinging nettle.
 
Thick purple-blotched stem and jagged leaves   Thick purple-blotched stem and jagged leaves
To identify giant hogweed, look for its thick purple-blotched stem and extremely jagged leaves.
 
If you do spot the plant, the USDA advises not to touch it, move it, cut it or weed whack it, and to seek advice from a professional plant control specialist.
 
Photos provided by Peter Smith, University of Guelph