Natalie Schott and Chris Wilson
You might be wondering how two fairly normal people decided to take on a challenge like this. If you asked us, Natalie would probably tell you an anecdote about an unassuming Saturday in July... A year ago, I didn't know that the Bruce Trail ran continuously from Niagara Falls to Tobermory. I learned this fact shortly after not so gracefully scrambling my way out of Devil's Glen crag up near Collingwood Ontario. Chris and I had spent the day climbing, and by climbing I mean we did 25% climbing and 75% hiking. That's another thing I've recently learned: climbing is hiking and when you spend the day climbing, you may also be unknowingly hiking the Bruce Trail. Of course Chris already knew all of this and informed me that this trail we were on, it would take us all the way up to Tobermory in one direction and all the way down to Niagara Falls in the other. And just like that, my decision was made and I replied: "we're going to do the whole thing". It didn't take much to get Chris on board, but that's probably because he thought I was joking. This idea, which Chris still thinks began as a joke, is becoming a reality and on October 7th we'll have done it, we'll have done the whole thing.
But there is more to it than that. Who are we and how did we get here? Read our bios below:
Natalie is a Senior Program Advisor with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Guelph and a Masters in Environment and Sustainability from Western University. Always an outdoorsy and competitive person, Natalie began camping at 6 months old and began playing soccer at the age of 4. After graduating university as a Guelph Gryphon soccer alumni, Natalie began expanding her athletic activities and became more and more interested in hiking and long distance trekking. She also begrudingly began climbing with her partner Chris and developed a respect for the Niagara Escarpment, home to the Bruce Trail and many climbing crags.
Chris is a Designer with Ecosystem Energy Services. He has a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queens University and is on his way to getting his Professional Engineers designation this year. Chris' infatuation with camping began a bit later in life, however his rural upbringing taught him an appreciation for the outdoors and an understanding of hard work. The Wilsons are long time patrons of the Bruce Trail, often going on family walks using their well worn guidebook. Chris began climbing in university and more seriously began outdoor climbing after graduation. He felt strongly enough about climbing that he brought Natalie to the climbing gym on their second date; it would be over a year later until Chris could convince Natalie to come climbing again and a couple more months before she accepted the fact that their Saturdays for the foreseable future would be spent at the crag.
Chris and Natalie, aged 26 and 25, have undertaken a couple long distance hikes together inlcluding the Torres del Paine W route in Patagonia, Chile and the Juan de Fuca Trail in British Columbia, Canada. In distance these hikes are not comparable to the Bruce Trail, however the terrain, remoteness and planning required have made them experienced hikers.
Please contact us:
- If you are conducting a fundraiser or event to support our campaign, let us know! We will highlight your fundraiser on our website.
- If you are interested in doing your own Bruce Trail Hike (or other) and are looking for help.
- If you are a teacher that is looking to incorporate our hike into your classroom learning. We'd love to hear from you.
- With any and all questions!