Donna Baker Side Trail Story

The Donna Baker Side Trail officially opened in 2018. When a reroute of the main Bruce Trail was completed in the spring of 2018 in the area of McKay Harbour, it was proposed that the McKay Harbour Side Trail could be renamed as part of the trail reconfiguration. It took little time for the board of the Peninsula Club to think of Donna Baker. 

A total length of 660m, it follows an old logging road and connects the Inland Side Trail with the Main Trail in the area of McKay Harbor. 

(Find out story of logging road???)

Donna Baker Side Trail Map

(Excerpt from Chapter in “50 to Remember”, by Ross McLean)

“As the Peninsula Club was being resurrected in the 1990’s, Donna jumped in to volunteer.  In 1996 she became Secretary-Treasurer, and then from 1998 to 2001 was President. She introduced herself in the Winter, 1998 Rattler: “Having been born and raised on a farm in west central Saskatchewan where I enjoyed wandering the wild pasture hills of the North Saskatchewan River, I was attracted to the rugged remoteness and beauty of the Bruce Trail in the Peninsula. So here I am, doing my bit for the Club.

It has been more than “a bit!” In 2001 after stepping down as President, Donna summarized the accomplishments of her Presidency: “officially opening of the Boardwalk at Cape Croker, updating our Day Hike Map, designing and printing a club brochure, hosting the BTA AGM, planting hundreds of trees, opening up several pieces of optimum route and side trail, and organizing ourselves to tackle the challenge of securing the Trail on the Peninsula.” 

But Donna did not stop there. In the past decade, she has handled club publicity, been the Landowner Relations Director, and looked after our archives.  Only in 2011 did she leave the Board. at the last meeting (which I do not attend regularly), I missed her smiling face and cheery personality!

At the 2010 Peninsula AGM, they were celebrated for their contributions to the club.  Donna was presented with a beautiful portrait of herself on the Bruce Trail, painted by Julie Heinrichs, showing Donna doing what she love best- hiking. In addition, Donna and John were awarded the John Appleton Porcupine Award for outstanding contribution to the club’s trail work. Donna was also recognized by the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula as the Peninsula Club’s nominee for Volunteer of the Year.”

Donna’s story was also featured in a Profile article in the Rattler Newsletter in Spring 2010. 

Baker land reserve donation

In 2015 the Bakers donated 2.5 acres of their land that abutted property already acquired by the BTC at Lion’s Head. 

“We are very pleased to be able to donate this tangible gift tho the BTC. The Trail has given us considerable enjoyment, mainly through friends and acquaintenances we have been so fortunate to make during our years as trail captain, work party participants and serving different roles/committees of the PBTC executive.  although we are no longer actively involved as volunteers, we have high praise for those who are taking on the roles in which we serve and trust that the Trail will be well cared for by volunteers and hikers for coming generations.  Sincerely, Donna & John Baker, Lion’s Head. (Bruce Trail Magazine, Vol. 52, #4)

Donna Baker pic