Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula
We acknowledge the traditional Territory of the Anishinabek Nation: The People of the Three Fires known as Objibway Odawa and Pottawatomie Nations. And further give thanks to the Chippewas of Saugeen, and the Chippewas of Nawash, now known as the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, as the traditional keepers of this land.
Building Connections To Nature
The Peninsula Hiking Festival is a two-day event that highlights the beauty, biodiversity and resilience of the natural environment of the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula, while strengthening interest and support in local conservation efforts.
Join us at the Bluewater Outdoor Education Centre on October 13 and 14 to connect with fellow outdoor enthusiasts and learn more about local culture and ecology. Focusing on the theme of Forest Ecology, festival attendees will be invited to participate in a variety of interpretive hikes and workshops, along with social opportunities to connect with one another.
Friday, October 13, 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Bluewater Outdoor Education Centre (Festival Hub)
Gather at the Festival Hub to collect your welcome package and browse the interesting variety of silent auction items. Bring your lawn chairs to gather around the campfire, share your hiking stories and experience the magic of the starry skies. Stone-fired pizza and a beverage will be provided. At dusk, drop by the E.S. Fox Observatory located on site, to experience the awe of a Deep Sky Preserve viewing and interpretation by Bluewater Astronomical Society.
5:00 pm Check in/Registration
5:45 pm Opening Remarks
6:00 pm Welcome Reception
7:00 pm Bluewater Astronomical Society Observatory
9:00 pm Closing
Saturday, October 14
During Saturday hikes and workshops, local experts will guide us in learning more about the culture, geology and ecology that deepens our relationship and understanding of this amazing UNESCO Biosphere reserve. Details on programs are below.
*Participants must preregister for Saturday morning and afternoon programs. A program selection form will be sent to your email address following ticket purchase in your confirmation email. Programs are available on a first come first served basis
Morning Program Options
You will be given the opportunity to select a morning program and an afternoon program once you’ve purchased your ticket. All times listed are approximate.
The Rocks That Build the Forest – Hope Bay
Visit Hope Bay Provincial Park with scientific illustrator and wildlife biologist Jenna McGuire and learn about how local geology shapes the forest. We will explore interesting and rare plant life, fungi, geological formations hidden under the forest floor and cultural stories
Border Hop Loop Hike – Cape Croker Park
When you visit Cape Croker Park at Neyaashiinigmiing and Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, Indian Reserve #27 you are technically stepping outside Canada. Unceded means that the Chippewas of Nawash never ceded or legally signed away Neyaashiinigmiing to the British Crown or Canada. The treaty lands that were “ceded” became part of Canada. Join us on the Boundary Bluffs Side Trail where we will “hop the border” between Canada and our First Nation.Sampling fresh, locally harvested Cedar tea will amplify your connection to these sites.
Afternoon Program Options
Location: Varies by option. Check the schedule.
A Dream and A Reality – Rural Rootz Nature Reserve
Join Tom and Dee to learn more about this unique property called, Rural Rootz Nature Reserve. You will be introduced to whimsical garden spirits peaceful labyrinths, a sound garden, and participate in a “Sniff and Taste” walk. You can finish the visit by choosing to take a short hike with Tom to the Beaver Pond or stay behind to tour Dee’s workspace and learn how things are made.
Ginebek Miikaans Snake Boardwalk – Cape Croker Park
Your Anishinaabe guide will introduce you to the natural and cultural wonders found along Ginebek Miikaans, the Snake Trail Boardwalk. This trail winds through mixed forest, to the edges of an active beaver dam and lodge, and along the shoreline of Sydney Bay. During this exploration you will learn about the traditional plants and wildlife that play a pivotal role in the traditional and contemporary lives of the Anishinaabek people. Spend some time at our two new lookouts to take in the natural beauty of Sydney Bay and a beaver pond teeming with life. Sampling fresh, locally harvested Cedar tea will amplify your connection to these sites.
An Insider’s Tour of the B.O.E.C.’s Varied Forest Habitats
This hike adventure will take you through the beautiful forests at the Bluewater Outdoor Education Centre with hike leader, Peter Allemang. Experience a variety of different forest habitats. Is a forest static or dynamic? How have they changed over time? What changes are occurring now? Are some types of forest regeneration better than others? This is a moderately to fast paced hike with several stops along the way
If the Trees Could Talk
Explore the Spirit Rock Conservation Area and Spirit Rock Side Trail with a Grey Sauble Conservation Area Forest Coordinator. A “walk and talk” portion of the hike will lead us through a lovely mixed forest habitat and the ruins of The Corran. Learn about the flora and fauna that call this forest home, and how climate change is impacting its growth and development.
Saturday Dinner Program
You won’t want to miss the fabulous 3 course dinner prepared by Bluewater Outdoor Education Centre’s Chef Rob Klunder. Chef Klunder has traveled the world and cooked in some of the world’s finest restaurants!
Following dinner, keynote speaker Jackie Randle, Vice President of Operations at Bruce Trail Conservancy, and International Chair of the World Trails Network will introduce us to the World Trails Network and the International Friendship Trail program. Be inspired to explore hiking trails around the world, build new connections, increase your cultural understanding, and experience the natural beauty of the region.
*The dinner program is not included in the ticket price and is optional. Please register for dinner ahead of time directly with the Outdoor Education Centre. Ticket purchasers will receive the link to register in the confirmation email along with the link for the program selection form.
Sunday, October 15
Extend your festival weekend!
If you are interested in exploring the fall colours and local trails further, consider the many local trail systems listed below. Or, join the Bluewater Outdoor Education Centre for its free, annual open house to discover more about the history, property and trails located on this 320 acre property.
Local Trail Systems:
- Petrel Point Nature Reserve
- Sauble Trail
- Black Creek Trail
- Boundary Bluffs
- Beth Gilhespy and John Appleton Side Trail
- Cotswold Way Friendship Trail
Explore more options using the Bruce Trail App or the Town of South Bruce Peninsula trail list
Thank You Sponsors
Interested in sponsoring the Peninsula Hiking Festival? For details, please email email@example.com
Net proceeds of the event will go towards the Peninsula Bruce Trail Club in effort to maintain, conserve and promote the stunning section of the Bruce Trail between Wiarton and Tobermory.
We are the northernmost club of the nine that make up the entire Bruce Trail which has its southern start in Niagara. Utilizing only volunteers we maintain, conserve and promote the stunningly beautiful section of the Bruce Trail between Wiarton and Tobermory.
Reaching The Cairn at the tip of the peninsula in Tobermory is the crowning achievement for hikers completing the entire Bruce Trail.