Category Archives: Ontario

Enjoy the vast opportunity to Camp, Hike, Fish, and trek throughout the province of Ontario!

Wolf Man - a bare foot hiker

How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?

I grew up on a farm in Niagara-on-the-lake and spent most of my time outdoors. My grandfather was a World War II vet and believed that young people needed to learn about the outdoors and how to survive.

What has been your favourite hiking trail or outdoor area?

I love the desolation of the mountains. I spent Halloween in the Adirondack Mountains near Mt. Marcy last year and it was spectacular. There is a certain awe that I feel in the presence of mountains that makes you feel very spiritual and close to nature.

Please share an outdoor story related to one of the above areas.

I spent June and July of 2009 hiking the entire Bruce trail barefoot from Niagara to Tobermory. In Boyne Valley there is a place called Murphy’s Pinnacle. I arrived there late one evening and made the short trip to the summit. Although being only 500m tall, it was so beautiful and moving. I sat there and watched the sun set with my dog.

Have you ever been lost in the wilderness? If so please describe this adventure and any lessons learned.

I have learned good directions and have never been lost for more than an hour or so in wilderness. It’s surprising how when you step off trail to camp or relax how quickly the trail disappears into the woods and is difficult to find. Always use landmarks or temporary marking tape to not get lost.

Can you share any unique encounters with wild animals?

During my Bruce Trail Hike, I awoke to hear a noise outside my tent. I gently unzipped the tent to find a huge buck staring at me. He breathed out and I saw the mist from his nose. It was a mind blowingly beautiful reminder of the wild place I was visiting.

If not previously mentioned, have you ever completed a thru-hike or multi-day backpacking trip and what nuggets of wisdom did you glean from it?

I’ve spent most of my life in the outdoors. Each year I spend most of my free time in the wilderness. I’ve hiked through Algonquin park, Killarney park, and Frontenac park as well as travelled through the United States and walked barefoot on the Salt Flats of Utah, and the floor of Death Valley. From all those trips I’ve learned how beautiful Canada and the United States really is. I also learned that shoes are not as necessary as people may belive if you are tough enough to handle it. I’ve also learned that if nothing goes wrong, it’s not an adventure

What is your favourite outdoor website?

What is your favourite outdoor hiking gear store?

I always love military surplus stores, gears designed for our troops who are often called professional campers and of course Mountain Equipment Co-Op

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Trans Canada Trail - Ontario - GPS Track

Trans Canada Trail – Ontario – GPS Track. The Trans Canada Trail can be downloaded to your GPS via the link located at the bottom right of the map.

View Rideau Canal Gate locations for Canoeing in a larger map

Bush Tea

I have spent months at a time in the middle of the forest. No one for miles around. The only sounds are that of nature. It is usually cold in the mornings and at night so I always make tea. I have been making tea from plants and trees for as far back as I can remember. Now it is the only tea I will drink. The secret to making a great bush tea is to never boil the water with the ingredients in it! Boil the water first. Then add a small handfull of whatever it is you will be steeping. My favorites are white pine, balsam fir and wintergreen. The best needles to use from the tree are the light colored new growth but any will do. Not only are they refreshing they are agreat source of Vitamin C. Wintergreen contains many of the same chemicals as aspirin so it can also be used to relieve pain or headaches. You can also make tea from raspberry leaves just be sure to use very fresh or very dry leaves. Do not use wilted leaves. Sweet fern also makes a great spicy tea. Alsike clover (pinkish purple) flowers also makes a tea but I find it a bit too mellow tasting but feel free to add it to the other teas to give them a sweeter taste.
If you are looking for an cold bush drink try steeping wood sorrel (commonly called shamrock) and then letting it cool. You now have a natural lemon flavored drink. The leaves are also great to eat fresh.
I have all kinds of ways to enjoy nature in my book. “How to camp for free and enjoy the Wilderness”. To get a preview you can go to my website.
I would love to hear everyones favorite bush recipe.

Bruce Trail - 2 months and 850 km Barefoot!!!!!!

Bruce Trail Expedition 2009 – Week 1

Bruce Trail in Ontario, Canada runs along the Niagara Escarpment for over 800 km between Niagara Falls and Tobermory.  See Bruce Trail topo map. It has never been thru-hiked in Barefoot.  Not until the summer of 2009 that is.  View Bruce Trail Pictures.

During the first 7 days on the trail, bare foot adventurerWolf Starchild aka: Wolfmaan, has completed over 100km of the trail which included the 80km Niagara Club section.

Bruce Trail is an 850km long footpath from Queenston, Ontario to Tobermory, Ontario. During the first 7 days on the trail, Wolfmaan has completed over 100km of the trail which included the 80km Niagara Club section. The weather was cool with no rain. He had friends and his wife join him for “short” 20km day hikes on the trail.


When asked what the biggest complaint was about the trail, Wolfmaan promptly said “there needs to be more overnight rest areas [or campsites] available for through hikers of the trail. When asked about going barefoot over the entire 100km he stated the most difficult sections were the loose gravel paths. Wolfmaan stated “They aren’t that painful, but really slowed me down to a crawl” See for more details The Wolfman.

There are 9 individual clubs that care for the Bruce Trail;
Wofmaan is awaiting recognition for hiking the Niagara trail section barefoot from the Niagara Bruce Trail Club.

Niagara Bruce Trail Club
Queenston to Grimsby

Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club
Grimsby to Kelso

Toronto Bruce Trail Club
Kelso to Cheltenham
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Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club
Cheltenham to Mono Centre
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Dufferin Hi-Land Bruce Trail Club
Mono Centre to Lavender

Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club
Lavender to Craigleith

Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club
Craigleith to Blantyre

Sydenham Bruce Trail Club
Blantyre to Wiarton

Peninsula Bruce Trail Club
Wiarton to Tobermory

Barefoot Bruce Trail Expedition - Week 6

WEEK 6 Trip Report
Bruce Trail Expedition 2009

Week 6 on the Bruce Trail spanned from Saturday, July 4th to Friday, July 10th, 2009

A week of beautiful, cool weather with a slight breeze bestowed Wolfmaan and his companion Luka on their 6th week of the Bruce Trail.

Starting out in Glen Haffey conservation area, well over 200km from the starting point at Queenston, Ontario. Wolfmaan and Luka made their way through beautiful grassy hills to an ORA – Overnight rest area for the first night, and slept to the sound of fireworks in the distance as it was the 4th of July, a holiday in America.

The week was filled with what Wolfmaan refers to as PUD – or “Pointless Ups and Downs” which he stated a good portion of the Caledon Hills section of the Bruce Trail was comprised of. Navigating the hills and valleys around Hockley Valley slowed them down from 20km per day to ½ that for two days straight. “Slowing down was nice because it helped me appreciate the beauty of this land” Wolfmaan said.

Rolling hills, valleys, and farmland abound, Caledon Hills is in the heart of Ontario’s farm country with large parcels of land dedicated to alfalfa , wheat and corn. The trails ran through many beautiful large farms between running in and out of wooded areas. Wolfmaan comments it’s so nice to walk on unpaved stone roads without any trouble “The road walk sections of the Bruce trail which are loose gravel are no match for my tough foot hide” he laughs, still upbeat and excited after over a month on the trails, with no foot injuries. “Sure I’ve stubbed my toes on a rock once in a while, but I’ve not suffered any major injuries or punctures on the trail” Wolfmaan said.

Proving wrong the people who he calls prejudice against bare feet, he will hike until the end of July completely barefoot. “I am living proof that modern people can go barefoot in nature for extended periods and not get injured or killed.” Wolfmaan said. Going barefoot is nothing new. Buddhist monks are often seen unshod and many religions believe that going barefoot pays homage to the Earth and helps them absorb vital energies. Modern science has proven many benefits of going barefoot including improved immune system response and relief from back and knee problems.

“This trail is so beautiful, it makes me proud to be a Canadian” he says, displaying his iPod which has the “I am Canadian” theme from an old beer commercial. The song, he says he played repeatedly while sitting atop a 500m tall hill called Murphy’s Pinnacle watching the sun set Friday evening. His journal describes the scene: “I can see dozens of kilometres in each direction, almost infinitely. The beautiful azure sky meets the emerald green horizon so peacefully as clouds lazily floating by carelessly cast shadows on the valleys below. Farm houses poke through the never ending vastness of trees and behind me, tall poles like the masts of an armada of ancient sailing ships floating on velvet green waters sit wind turbines, making the world a better place.

Wolfmaan will be the first person in the history of the Bruce Trail to complete it barefoot. His trek ends at the end of July when his Leave of Absence from his employer, Sitel in St. Catharines ends. More details and photos available at