A Coldwater resident is being recognized for 50 years of service with the Orillia club of Ganaraska Hiking Trail.
Bob Wilson joined the club in 1973, when he was 23.
"My parents always took me hiking in Algonquin Park as a child," he said. "I have always had an interest in hiking since then."
The best part of hiking is running into like-minded people, Wilson says.
"I love the different places you can go to meet people," he said. "I love the wilderness, the fresh air, and the exercise."
Wilson, 73, was one of the founding members who built the wilderness trail from Sadowa to Devil's Lake. He has served the Orillia club as a past president and has been the leader of many hikes.
"I get a real sense of pride when I go out and see people hiking on the trail," he said. "People comment on it being a beautiful trail, which gives me a real sense of accomplishment."
Wilson, currently the club's maintenance director, says it's meaningful to be recognized for the five decades of passion he has put in.
"I'm the first one to reach 50 years with the association," he said. "I feel like this is a big honour for me."
He has no plans to take a hiatus from hiking; he vows to continue contributing to the local club for as long as he can.
"We built the trail for the public use. I want to keep it in good shape so people can enjoy it," he said.
Wilson hopes that as time goes on, more people will take advantage of the trail.
"If you don't have much experience with hiking, come out for one of our shorter hikes," he said. "Get to know the people and the trails."
More information about the club and upcoming hikes can be found here.