Coming this Fall


The Art of Writing & Guided Hike

Date               10am to 3pm, Sunday, October 16, 2016

Location:     Alton Mill Arts Centre, 1402 Queen St W, Caledon, ON L7K 0C3


Join local author and freelance writer Nicola Ross for a day of writing and exploring. A short hike will be followed by the writing workshop described below.

The Art of Writing

With the proliferation of blogs, travel websites and on-demand printing, there has never been a better time to describe your travel in print. Nor, unfortunately, have there been more opportunities to present poorly constructed prose. If you want your stories to sparkle, please attend this writing workshop. Under the guidance of award-winning writer and In the Hills contributor Nicola Ross, you will learn some tricks of the trade.

Meant for writers of all levels, this mini-workshop provides a soupçon of insights into how to bring your stories alive so they delight your friends, family and complete strangers.

Wear running shoes and hiking gear.

For more information and to register, visit

Cost: $50 + HST




Halton Hikes: Coming in November

More than a year in the making, Halton Hikes: Loops & Lattes is at the printers and expected to be delivered at the end of October, 2016.

Want to reduce stress, spend time with friends and family, feel healthier, lower your blood pressure and have fun? Then lace up a pair of running shoes and hit the trails.Building on the success of Caledon Hikes: Loops & Lattes, my new hiking guide Halton Hikes: Loops & Lattes, explores new hiking territory.

It describes 37 loop routes that will appeal to casual walkers as well as seasoned hikers. Once again, the loops all begin and conveniently end at the same location so no need to drop a car or retrace one’s footsteps.
Ranging in length from 3.6 to 24.8 kilometres, each is accompanied by a detailed map, precise directions, loads of colour photos and a smattering of local lore.

Halton Region stretches north from Oakville and Burlington, up the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment near Campbellville, Milton, Acton, Georgetown and Glen Williams and into the rural areas just across the border near Eden Mills, Rockwood, Erin, Cheltenham and Terra Cotta. If you live in or visit the Greater Toronto Area and the Golden Horseshoe, Halton Hikes: Loops & Lattes will provide you with days of enjoyment.

Order your copy today for delivery in November.

$24.95 + 5% tax + $6.30 for shipping and handling: Total $32.50

Mockup cover

Home to the Niagara Escarpment’s cliffs, the Oak Ridges Moraine’s rolling kames and kettles, fine farmland and several of southern Ontario’s most picturesque rivers, Caledon is a rural gem located within Toronto’s urban shadow. In Caledon Hikes: Loops & Lattes, Nicola provides detailed descriptions of 37 hiking loops that are a perfect way to spend an hour, an afternoon or even an entire day. Nicola’s carefully thought-out routes demonstrate her familiarity with the landscape and knowledge of what makes a good hike great. All of the routes described in this thoughtfully organized guide start and end at the same location. Sprinkled within her instructions is fascinating information about Caledon’s plants and animals, tidbits about its industrial past, and suggestions about where to top off your walk with a frothy café latte or an irresistible ice cream cone.

If you live in the Greater Toronto Area or plan to visit, Caledon Hikes: Loops & Lattes will provide you with hours of hiking enjoyment.

$24.95 + $6.30 shipping & handling

For the Caledon Hikes love story check out my new video created by Mick Partlett.


About the Author

NicolaRosscroppedA hometown girl, NICOLA ROSS is part of Caledon’s landscape. Years spent hiking local trails, wandering down country roads and exploring villages prompted her to start the Caledon Countryside Alliance to help protect the area from urban sprawl. A columnist with In The Hills magazine for almost two decades and the award-winning author of five books including Caledon and Dufferin County, Nicola lends her knowledge of Caledon’s past and present to her familiarity with the trails that crisscross its dramatic landscape.

Snip20160617_1Reverse Geo-Cache Challenge

Want to win prizes? Have a handheld GPS?

Is your cellphone equipped with GPS? 

Do you hike with kids with energy to spare?

Then this is your chance to have some fun and be entered to win some great prizes.

You may have noticed that each of the loop routes described in Caledon Hikes: Loops & Lattes, has a GPS Trail Marker. (See the image from Hike #17 shown here.)

I happen to have the GPS coordinates for each of these trail markers.


The contest:


If you send me the GPS coordinates for any 3 of the 37 loops in Caledon HIkes by July 31, 2016 then you will be entered to win one of 3 prizes that will include a Caledon Hikes cap. (See above)

It’s simple, it’s fun and it’s great exercise.

Just hike at least 3 loops, keep your eye open for the trail marker, record its GPS coordinates and send the name and number of the loop, and the GPS coordinates to me at

The winners will be drawn on August 5, 2016 so get your entries in now.

Good luck,


PS The trail marker for Hike # 13 (Devil’s Pulpit/Paua Coats Loop) is no longer there.




I offer a variety of communication services including freelance writing and editing for magazines, newspapers and books as well as coaching and instruction. I am a seasoned non-fiction writer with particular expertise and experience in the environmental, travel and sport sectors. The winner of several writing awards including a National Magazine Award, and author of five books, I taught freelance writing at Humber College for several years. In a quick, efficient manner, I turn technical facts, figures and details into well-organized and concise prose that captures and holds the reader’s attention.
Crazy about sport and travel, I often combine these endeavours in an effort to learn about myself and the people around me. My most recent adventure was a two-month-long trek on horseback across Patagonia. (See Dusty Travels)This was on the tail of a mad 11-day canoe trip down the Northwest Territories’ Mountain River where I encountered seven-foot standing waves, six deep canyons and kilometres of churning whitewater. (See A Paddling Chick is Born) I add these adventures to cycling trips in Mexico, Cuba, Europe, Canada and the United States, hiking trips the world over, kayaking in Mexico and Canada, and time spent simply living among lovely folk in faraway places.
A biologist and accomplished environmental/science writer, I am particularly adept in working with information that deals with climate change, urban sprawl, green economics and corporate environmental performance.
After years working in the environment sector as a climate change consultant, writer and editor of Canada’s national environmental magazine Alternatives Journal, I recently switched careers. I now spend my summers running a small adventure company French River Adventures at The Lodge at Pine Cove. And during Canada’s long, cold winter? You can find me in some warm part of the world – for the last three years it’s been Patagonia – discovering what I can about nature, culture, travel and sport.
If you require someone to research and write magazine- or newspaper- or book-length projects, please contact me at

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