Author does The Bruce Trail one loop at a time

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Loops and Lattes author Nicola Ross has embarked on a new adventure in travel writing.

Having come to a crossroads of sorts after the publication of her sixth guide book for hikers, She considered what she wanted to do next.

“It was time for a new adventure. I let myself dream. For as long as I could remember I’d wanted to hike the Bruce Trail from end to end,” writes Ross in the introduction of her new book 40 Days and 40 Hikes: Loving the Bruce Trail One Loop at a Time.

The new book is not a hiking guide, it’s a travelogue about her experience of hiking the 900-kilometre trail between May and October of 2022, looping her way from Queenston to Tobermory.

Having hiked parts of the Bruce Trail many times, Ross said she was drawn to the idea of completing the whole trail, seeing the Niagara Escarpment as a link between two geographical areas and witnessing how the landscape changes. She did it in her own way, referring to her ‘loopy love story,’ in order to be able to hike solo, and experience the many side trails.

Averaging about 20 kilometres per day, Ross was often on the trail for more than eight hours at a time, usually walking solo but sometimes with her dog, or with her sisters. When telling the story of each loop, she writes about the local history of the area, the natural features and the people she meets, incorporating hand drawn maps and doodles.

“There’s a wonderful escapism in it,” Ross told The Echo. “But there’s also that connection.”

If at all skeptical before, she is now a true believer in all the health benefits of being out in the woods.

The popularity of hiking spiked during the pandemic and as a result Ross said the success of her sixth book about Caledon area hikes exceeded expectations.

“The books’ clear instructions convinced thousands of people to get onto local trails,” writes Ross. “People who had never signed a climate change petition or donated to an environmental cause began seeing themselves as stewards of the land. These hiking guides spoke to the converted and unconverted alike. Threats to Southern Ontario’s countryside didn’t go away, but more people were becoming engaged.”

With this new book, her mission remains true as Ross hopes to encourage conservation of places like the Niagara Escarpment, andspecifically her home community of Caledon, through hiking and sees great value in preserving the trails that allows access to nature.

The Bruce Trail traverses a network of private and public land and Ross said she has come to appreciate how much of it depends on public road allowances. She is advocating for the retention of public land in order to preserve links.

“Trails play a high role in protecting public space,” said Ross, adding that she’s convinced they would have been sold off long ago if not for the presence of a beloved local trail.

She says the Niagara Escarpment is in her DNA and the Credit River runs through her veins.

“It has become part of my being and to be on that trail every day, it was just lovely,” said Ross.

“I think it was the happiest time of my life. I look back on it now and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to replace it… It was like I skipped along the trail.”

Working with The Bruce Trail Conservancy, she is preparing a companion to the book that will serve as a passport, which is due out this spring.

Published by ECW Press, 40 Days and 40 Hikes is now available at for $26.95.

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