steps to a forest

Some innovative thinking! You could even do better by taking a bag to collect litter and clean up the trails while you are there. But congrats to Conservation Halton for the concept!
Nature hike: 10,000 steps and a tree will be planted

The Hamilton Spectator, (May 3, 2008)

Conservation Halton has a way for you to enjoy the outdoors in spring, lose a few pounds before swimsuit season and help increase forest cover in the region.

It's a guide to 50 local hiking trails that comes with a pedometer so you can participate in the Footsteps for Trees program.

When you reach 10,000 steps -- about three hours of walking -- and register online, the conservation authority will plant a tree to improve watershed health. Money from book sales pays for the trees.

Hassaan Basit, director of communications for the authority, says Halton Hikes: 50 Great Hiking Trails "is more than a hiking book. It offers a way to improve your own health, help the watershed and enjoy the beauty of Hamilton, Halton and beyond."

Painter Robert and Birgit Bateman, who used to live along the Bruce Trail in Halton, say in a foreword to the book that: "Hiking in nature must be the supreme human activity for body, mind and spirit. An added benefit is that hiking stimulates serotonin, the feel-good hormone."

For each trail, there is a colour map, directions and data on length, difficulty and ground surface. You'll find information about wildlife you might see and -- just for fun -- the name of the most famous person to use the trail -- before you.

Copies are available in many bookstores and from Conservation Halton for $19.95. For more information on the Footsteps for Trees program, visit