Every 3-4 km section of trail has a “captain” who inspects the section usually three times a year and completes a report that goes to the Club Trail Director. But to ensure a consistent approach along the whole Trail there is also a trail audit which is conducted by the BTC Risk Committee. Over a five-year span both main and side trails of the Trail are inspected – in 2018 the two sections that will be audited are Peninsula Bruce Trail Club and Toronto BTC. The standard for trail maintenance is set out in the “Basic Trail Maintenance Guide for Trail Captains and Trail Workers” – a document which is readily available on the BTC website.
The audit team for a particular section consists of 2 or 3 volunteers – these will be people with experience in trail maintenance or long-time trail users. Representatives from the local Club are welcome to come along as well – in many ways, the audit can be considered a joint project between the Club and the Conservancy. The auditors are looking for inadequate or misleading blazing, unstable structures or structures with missing ID numbers, “trees of concern”, or any other natural (or unnatural) hazards. The audit generally takes place in May and June. A typical day requires a hike of 10-15 km. The auditors take careful notes as they go along – recording the nature and location of any problems so the Club’s trail director can follow-up easily.
Problems are generally categorized as “A, B, or C”. In the case of an “A” type problem (for example, a very wobbly stile) the Club will be notified immediately and it is expected that the item will be rectified within two or three days. “B” problems are more routine (such as a missing “Bruce Trail Access” sign) and will be fixed as part of normal trail maintenance activity in the next few months. “C” issues are minor items (perhaps side trail blazes the wrong shade of blue), and are recorded just for the information of the Club. After review by the Audit Coordinator, the final audit report is sent to the Club Trail Director and the chair of the Trail Development & Maintenance Committee.