What’s the deal with hiking?
When you hear the verb ‘hiking,’ what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it a rolling title card of previous hikes you’ve accomplished? Maybe it’s a montage of moments from different portions of your life where you were, in fact, out hiking. Possibly you’re transported to different countries or places you’ve only ever seen photos of and dreamed of visiting – the West Highland Way in Scotland or the breathtaking scenery of the mountainous Tongariro National Park in New Zealand. Perhaps it’s not so much the destination or the memories but more so the feeling that the word evokes.
Hiking presents a world of possibilities and an endless array of decisions to be made, each with its own important presence of adventure. Choose an intense hike through one of the most difficult portions of a well-known camping trail, choose to hike through the night, or opt to hike a familiar loop and return to your work by the afternoon. Whatever it is for you, when you decide to go hiking, you are opening yourself to the positive transformation that only nature can provide in your day, week, or year.
Ontario’s (not so) Hidden Gem
There is a place unmatched in its position at the forefront of my mind when I hear the words “hiking trails in Canada.” The Bruce Trail, specifically a section of the Bruce Trail that lives in an area between Tobermory and Lion’s Head in Ontario. This specific area is home to some of the greatest hiking locations that I have ever experienced. Between the views and the features like waterfalls, rocky trails, and massive escarpment drop-offs, there is a vastness that exists in this portion of Canada, sure to please anyone.
I’ve always felt this way about the area, but over time there is one thing I’ve noticed; I haven’t strayed much from my usual routes. Sticking to what I’ve known and explored for years, and though I’ve always had it in my mind that I will one day dig deeper to learn more about this land and experience new features of the area, I haven’t. I haven’t because I don’t know where to look.
Who is Caley Doran?
Take-A-Hike trail guide Caley Patrick Doran has been exploring and hiking the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula since he was five years old. He is an experienced Indigenous trail and adventure guide and has a passion for ecology, nature, sustainability, and the conservation of the beautiful areas where he operates. In other words – he knows where to look and what there is to showcase and teach about some of the best hiking trails in Canada.
Here is an excerpt about Caley found on his website that illustrates the type of passion and enthusiasm that he exudes, “As a professional Indigenous Hiking Guide, I’m here to introduce you to the sights, sounds, and incredible experiences that await you on your travels as we follow the footsteps of our ancestors. I come from a long line of Indigenous storytellers, and I feel led to seek the knowledge, history, stories, legends and old way of life throughout our territory”.
The recent winner of the Spark Tourism Innovation and Skode Tourism Grant worked as a general manager in fast-paced restaurants for years until recently, when he made a choice to follow his heart and pursue his passion for hiking, guiding and sharing of knowledge. He aims to encourage hikers to get out and experience nature year-round while guiding them through the paths less travelled and educating them about things like Indigenous history, plant identification, and the importance of the human connection to nature. Caley focuses on uniquely curated hikes that promote well-being for the hikers through actions such as meditation while sharing Ojibway stories that relate to contemporary life.
Having travelled and explored the Bruce Trail, the SON territory and much more, Caley is the person you want to have with you, leading you through some of the most incredible locations that the area has to offer. To those seeking exploration in and around this neck of the woods, Caley is the adventure guide you want to travel with, with unique options for guided hikes such as the “Take-A-Cave-Challenge”, where he shows you some of the unique cave systems that the area’s hiking trails have to offer. These are the kinds of amazing natural attractions we, as hikers, often miss or overlook.
Booking an Adventure Guide: Hiking Elevated
If you are someone who enjoys every aspect of hiking, from the drive to the start point, to the break mid-way, to the triumphant feeling that comes over you once you are finally finished. But feels in some way that there is more, you are searching for in your exploration, taking a guided hike might very well be something that could elevate your hiking experience. With the looming pressure of planning a hike with friends coming in from out of town, finding a good hiking location can be a daunting task.
We search online for reviews, and we cycle through online map after map of confusing routes without certainty as to how enjoyable these hikes will be – not to mention the ever-elusive information as to where you can park your car. On top of this, even once you find an area to hike in, how many times have you been unable to find the monuments spoken of so highly online or the nesting places of the wild birds native to the area, let alone the stories, the legends or the real history of the area.
These are some of the many positive aspects of booking a guided hike with an experienced guide. Every hiking area has a story to tell, a deeply rich history to share, and an experience for us to keep with us in our memories once we’ve completed the journey. A guided tour with someone as experienced and knowledgeable as Caley becomes not only an immersive adventure for hikers to enjoy but something they can take with them in their lives and share with their friends and loved ones.
Imagine learning something brand new about an area you’ve been to countless times, being shown a hidden gem, or learning why a certain species now resides there. This kind of shared knowledge is something to be passed on from person to person, changing countless experiences for many as the years continue to pass. A guide is your door into a world that you may have otherwise never stepped into, with the added assurance that your hiking experience will be both memorable and enjoyable.
Caley is one of GuidED’s Founding Guides, and we couldn’t be more excited for him to be involved. Head to his website to learn more about him and the amazing guided hikes that he offers. To learn about how you can become one of GuidED Adventure app’s Founding Guides like Caley, visit our BE A GUIDE page. GuidED has you covered with all the tools to become a guide from advertising to bookings, payments, and a star rating system.
ADVENTURE AWAITS! GET GuidED AND GET OUTSIDE!!!