For those looking to get some miles in for NOTL’s Step Challenge, there will be a great opportunity June 23, when the Laura Second Walk returns to raise awareness about one of the region’s most celebrated women.
There will be two route options, the first being the entire distance Laura Secord walked on June 22, 1813 from her home in Queenston to the DeCew House in Thorold, where she delivered her fateful message in the defence of Canada.
This year marks the 205th anniversary of her journey.
The route will stop along the way at various way-stations where people can learn a bit about Laura Secord and the history of the area.
The second walk, for those who prefer a shorter distance, will still provide a Laura Secord experience, though participants can choose how much they’d like to walk. A shuttle bus will stop at the various stations several times a day so that people can hop on and skip a section or get a ride back to their cars in Queenston.
Caroline McCormick, president of Friends of Laura Secord, said it's the perfect way to rack up some steps for the Town's Step Challenge, which runs until the end of June and sees prizes awarded to those with the most steps.
As well, those who complete either walk will receive a badge of honour.
There will be various things to do along the way. At Laura Secord Homestead there will be historic cooking (and samples), musket demos and live music by folk singer Jim Dyer.
Walker Family Farms is providing delicious local strawberries, Niagara College will provide a free wine tasting to the walkers, and the Starbuck's at the Outlet Mall will provide hot coffee in the morning, and cold coffee for walkers at the half way point.
Registration is $25 per person and supports Friends of Laura Secord, which aims to promote awareness and keep her name in the minds of Canadians.
Caroline McCormick, said the with all the costs for the walk — medals, insurance, portable washrooms along 32 km and shuttle bussing throughout the day — the group doesn't really make money on the Laura Secord Walk.
“We just do it for Laura Secord enthusiasts who come from all over Ontario to 'walk into history' with us every year.”
McCormick thanked locals Mike and Judy Fox, along with John Convoy and Pamela Ward of NOTL Niagara Nomads, who walk the trail every year to help get it ready for participants.
To register, visit, friendsoflaurasecond.com
For those interested, average walking time for the full route is six to eight hours.
Event runners advise to pack a lunch, bring water and a cell phone in case of emergencies. Washrooms will be available at some waypoints but will be limited.
If you start the walk and get tired, head to the nearest way-station and wait for the shuttle, which will run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and stop at stations approximately every hour. The shuttle is not permitted to pick walkers up on the street.
Parking is available on the street in Queenston, and will be marked with signs. Participants are asked not to park at the Laura Second Homestead.
The event is rain or shine.
Participants are asked to meet at the Laura Secord Homestead at 7 a.m., especially those planning on walking the full route.
Here’s a step guide, provided by Friends of Laura Secord:
Laura Secord Homestead to DeCew House Park (32 km): 43,500 steps
Laura Secord Homestead to Firemens Park: 9,600 steps
Firemens Park to Niagara College: 8,800 steps
Niagara College to Rodman Hall: 13,000 steps
Rodman Hall to Rotary Park: 5,900 steps
Rotary Park to DeCew House Park: 6,200 steps