1. When and why did you decide to become a Hike Leader:
I became a hike leader in 2007. I'm a nature nut and love it when my enthusiasm for our wild places rubs off on others. As an ecologist, I want to protect unique natural areas like the Niagara Escarpment. I believe that personal connections to wild species and spaces are essential for conservation. Helping people discover the joy of hiking and the beauty of nature is one of the ways I like to promote good environmental stewardship.
2. What's your favourite part of the Bruce Trail:
I love the Peninsula, particularly Lion's Head and Hope Bay, with its rugged terrain and magnificent views of Georgian Bay. The Loree Forest and the Pretty River Valley are some of my favourites too.
3. What's your favourite Toronto-section Trail area:
The Hole in the Wall and the Black Creek Side Trail. The rock formations are really neat and look different in every season.
4. What do you love about volunteering with BTC:
I am a hike leader and the coordinator of the Club's ski and snowshoe program. As a certified x-country ski instructor I provide lessons to new skiers on our winter trips. I also plan and lead weekend excursions on the Bruce Trail and beyond. All my trips are bus trips so our carbon footprints on trail days are as light as possible. I love being outdoors and am always in motion, no matter what season. In my day job, I'm an ecologist with the Natural Heritage Information Centre; we are Ontario's conservation data centre and I support the Bruce Trail Conservancy's work by providing data, information, and expertise whenever it's needed.
5. Why should GTA residents get outside and enjoy the Bruce Trail:
It's nearby, there are great views from many spots, and it supports an incredible variety of plants, animals, and ecosystems. There is so much to discover - from ancient cliff-faced forests dominated by Eastern White Cedar, to showy orchids like lady's slippers, to rare reptiles like the Eastern Foxsnake, to amazing wetland birds like the Great Blue Heron. Plus, fresh air and exercise are good for body, mind, and soul.
6. Do you have any special hikes on your bucket list:
There are so many places to discover I don't know where to start. The La Cloche Silhouette Trail, Tour du Mont Blanc, Laugavegur Trail, discovering Canada's Far North, and climbing Piz Palü.
My love for hiking, nature, and outdoor adventures was born in the Swiss Alps (thanks Mom!). Summer after summer I am drawn back to my favourite alpine paradises. This photo was taken on top of the Mönch (4,107 m), overlooking the Lauterbrunnen Valley (Switzerland) in July 2016.