John Appleton Side Trail
The John Appleton side trail officially opened in July 2015. It was named in honor of John Appleton, the Peninsula club’s Trail Director from 1998 to 2009.
It also now forms a segment of one of the Bruce Trail’s International Friendship Trails. In June 2023 the John Appleton side trail, along with the Beth Gilhespy side trail and part of the main Bruce Trail, was twinned to a section of the Cotswold Way, a hiking trail in England. This is especially relevant to this trail, as John Appleton was born and brought up in England, in East Yorkshire, a countryside of hills, valleys and moors where hiking was simply part of a boy's life.
John was instrumental in increasing the number of side trails so that loop hikes were more numerous. “It’s not everyone that wants or is capable of doing many of the PBTC linear sections.”, he said.
In 2001 he started the Porcupine Award using a metal sign that had been almost completely chewed up by a porcupine as the base of the award. In John’s words, “The tenacity of this animal inspired me to create an award in its honor.” John and Judy Appleton were presented with this award themselves in 2009 on his retirement, in recognition of his long service and for “Judy’s equally long patience and help along the way.” The name was then changed to the “John Appleton Porcupine Award”.
John recognized the importance of strengthening local community relations. He once said: “Probably my greatest sense of achievement is in being part of the team that brought the local community closer to the Bruce Trail”.
Upon John’s retirement as Trail Director in 2009 he was named an Honorary Director of the Peninsula Bruce Trail Club, only the second time that this award has been bestowed.