Kevin Callan
Credit: Kevin Callan

Hike Haliburton Festival is Canada’s largest gathering of hikes and hikers.

Close to 100 hikes were organized for the 2017 event, more than 2,800 people participated and 90 guides offered hikes ranging from a “walk in the clouds” (a high-ropes trek over old-growth forest) to a wander through one of the new microbreweries in the Highlands.

This definitely goes beyond just “traditional hiking.” A good number of walks combine the arts, culture, heritage and foodie experiences to truly showcase the area.

I’ve participated for a number of years now, offering hikes that also educate about camp cooking and novice photography. However, this is the second year I’ve offered an overnight backpacking trip that covers tips and tricks on skills needed for a multi-night backpacking trip: gear, keeping your pack light, how to stay warm and dry, navigation, preparing good meals…

Tina Jackson, another well-known volunteer for the festival, helped me last year and she was foolish enough to join me again this year. We organized the first-ever overnight hike offered since the festival began 15 years ago. And boy, did it fill up quick. Minutes into posting it, the group was set.

A few days after this year’s event and Barrie Martin, project manager of Hike Haliburton Festival and owner of Yours Outdoors, a company that specializes in experiential tourism, was right back at it planning for next year.

And yes, Tina and I are on the list again for the overnight backpacking venture. Two years running it and we haven’t lost anyone yet—and only took the first-aid kit out of storage twice.

Watch the Video Here: