Best of The Bruce – High Dump

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Bruce Peninsula National Park was busy, even in September.

Still Canada 150. All National Parks free in 2017.

Having driven up from Toronto it was 3:30pm before I went to book a backcountry campsite.

Stormhaven was full. I could book High Dump … but it there was a chance I couldn’t hike in by dark. The Ranger recommended I access by Crane Lake trailhead.

Instead I drove to Bartley Lake trailhead, a much more scenic approach.

The trailhead sign said 6.7 km to the campground turnoff. But this is considered the “most challenging hiking along the entire length of the Bruce Trail”.

I was immediately confused by these gold on white signs. They appear to be km markers. But are not.

Though rushed I couldn’t resist side tripping over to the first half dozen or so cliff edge viewpoints.

The Bruce follows the top of the Niagara Escarpment.

Though the waters look tropical, they are freezing.

The first sign of humanity. A woman collecting water from Georgian Bay. I was nearly there.

It was still light by the time I lowered myself (on a comfort rope) down to High Dump camp. (It’s rarely easy to climb or descend these cliffs.)

Though I’d paid for (CAD$21.50) a dark inland site I set up my tent instead close to the beach.

What a gorgeous evening.

Next morning was foggy. But soon cleared.

Here’s a properly cooked bagel.

Backtracking to my rent-a-van I was in no rush. The light was better, too, for enjoying the unique scenery.

All in all, a great adventure.

See my photos on Flickr.

The Bruce Trail is more than 890 km (550 mi) long and there are over 400 km (250 mi) of associated side trails. I spent a week hiking some of the best sections.


• 10 Best Hikes of the Bruce Trail

• Bruce Trail app | Bruce Trail Reference Guide – 29th Ed



2018 Inca Trail permits available Oct 1, 2017

… for the first time the Ministry of Culture is releasing all permits for 2018 on 1 October 2017.

With only 500 permits available per day, tour operators are urging travellers to book the trek, which ends at the 550-year old Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, as soon as they can. “Tickets usually sell out almost immediately for the peak trekking months of April, May and August,” …

Travellers who miss out on Inca Trail permits can still trek to Machu Picchu on an alternative route – the Salkantay trek for which no permit is needed. “On the Salkantay trek, you pass through small communities and farmsteads, and approach Machu Picchu from the other side. …

Inca Trail permits to be released four months early

No panic. We like the Salkantay (Salcantay) better in any case. And you can do the Salkantay independently if you prefer. The over-popular Inca Trek must be guided.

Best of The Bruce – Georgian Bay Trail

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

To research the best sections of the Bruce Trail I drove to the northern end – Bruce Peninsula National Park (established 1987).

My first visit.

Very popular. Well run. Rangers gave me good information on hiking.

There’s a tall viewing platform just outside the Visitor Centre.

“A sea of forest.”

I come from western Canada. The wild west is the best. The east … is not. More often than not I refer to this Province as On-terrible.

Still, I was excited to finally get on to the most famous hiking trail in the most populous Province.

Pretty much every visitor heads directly to the Cyprus Lake trailhead.

I did one of the standard short loops – Georgian Bay Trail out, Mar Lake Trail back.

It’s pretty. But pretty crowded. I didn’t stop long at any of the recommended stops.

See my photos on Flickr.

The Bruce Trail is more than 890 km (550 mi) long and there are over 400 km (250 mi) of associated side trails. I spent a week hiking some of the best sections.


• 10 Best Hikes of the Bruce Trail

• Bruce Trail app | Bruce Trail Reference Guide – 29th Ed


hiking Mt Assiniboine, Canada

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

One of our top 10 hikes in the world is Sunshine to Mt Assiniboine in the Canadian Rockies.

Nine of us made it to the top of Nub peak for the solar eclipse.


Our trip was nearly cancelled due to forest fire. Assiniboine opened up on the Wednesday before our Sunday start.

Three hiked up on the Assiniboine trail because Sunshine Meadows was still under closure.

Six took the helicopter in from Shark trailhead.

When you chopper in you can bring heavy food. And too much alcohol.

Happy hour at Assiniboine Lodge was 4-5pm.

Click PLAY or watch some highlights on YouTube.

Great trip. The big downside was the hike out.

I told the group we’d be 8-9 hours on the 26 km hike out via Wonder Pass & Bryant Creek. I’d forgotten about the extra 2.5 km to the campground. Due to missing signage at the Wonder Pass turn-off we got lost for another hour or more. In the end it was 32.2 km for the day.

Everyone except for myself suffered a lot of foot pain.

In retrospect I wished I’d scheduled one night in a campground on the descent.

Details on our 3 day hike.



Maah Daah Hey trail system, North Dakota

I’d not heard of Maah Daah until recently. It was designated a National Recreation Trail in December 2016.

The Trail winds through the Little Missouri National Grasslands in North Dakota‘s Badlands. 

This North Dakota Bike Trail Is Stunning. Just Hope You Survive It.

The Maah Daah Hey Trail is the longest and arguably most grueling single-track mountain biking route in the United States.

These trails can be hiked.

more photos

The Maah Daah Hey trail system is comprised of nine trail units of varying size and difficulty. From north to south, they are the Long X (5.8 miles), Summit (3.8 miles), Overlook (0.3 miles), Maah Daah Hey (144 miles), Bennett (3.2 miles), Cottonwood (6.9 miles), Ice Cave (1.5 miles), Buffalo Gap (18.9 miles) and Wolf (8.8 miles). …

There are eleven developed campgrounds on the Maah Daah Hey Trail System: CCCBennettBuffalo GapBurning Coal VeinCoal CreekCottonwoodElkhornMagpieSully CreekSummit, and Wannagan. …

There are twelve trailheads connecting access roads to our beautiful trail system: CCCBear CreekBennettBully PulpitBurning Coal VeinCoal CreekIce CavePlumely DrawSully CreekThird CreekTom’s Wash, and Wannagan.

Mountain bikes account for roughly 70% of the use with horse use in the 25% range with the remaining 5% as hikers or back packers. …