Safety on the Trail

Hiking is a safe, healthful form of outdoor recreation which can be enjoyed by virtually everyone. It knows few restrictions of age or physical condition. There are no standards of physical strength or endurance. The good hiker knows his capabilities and acts accordingly. Health is not promoted by occasionally driving yourself beyond endurance, but by developing your capabilities systematically and intelligently. Both hikers and trail conditions vary, but for an average hiker, 10 km would represent a good day’s hike.

The Voyageur Trail is a primitive, wildland trail in rugged country. Before setting out on a section of trail, leave an indication of your intended route and expected time of arrival at your destination with a responsible person (it could be the local OPP office). For safety reasons, it is not advisable to hike alone.

Hiking During Hunting Season

Hiking during the hunting season involves special hazards. The Voyageur Trail Association does request that hunters refrain from hunting on the Trail, but, as evidenced by the annual toll of shot-up signs, a minority of shooters appear to ignore this request. Hikers can increase their safety by some common-sense measures:

1. Apprise yourself of open seasons, especially for moose, deer and bear, in the particular locality in which you wish to hike (information available from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources).
2. Do not assume safety in game bird season. Shotguns and small bore rifles can kill people too.
3. Wear brightly coloured clothing. Bright blue is useful in the fall when autumn leaf colouration diminishes the effectiveness of the traditional red, yellow and orange.
4. When in the bush, do not show white clothing, especially in deer season. NEVER wear fur or deerskin jackets, coonskin caps, etc.
5. If you don’t have a loud voice, it might be useful to carry a loud whistle or horn.
6. It might be wise to avoid certain areas of particularly high hunting pressure during open seasons.