The Trails Way

Each year Trails welcomes new youth to embark on their four-year journey. In addition, an optional fifth year is offered with the Leadership-in-Training (LIT) programme, where participants have the opportunity to further develop leadership and life skills. 

The result:

  • Up to 3 secondary school credits in Health and Physical Education
  • 40 hours of community service
  • 30+ days of wilderness tripping experiences
  • 30+ hours of yoga
  • 10 hours of training in Non-Violent Communication
  • Emergency First Aid (CPR) Certification
  • Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award
  • 20+ Hours Peer Mentoring/Teaching
  • Mentorships through Grade 11 - 12
  • Access to bursaries to attend post-secondary education

Over 90% of our youth complete high school and go on to attend post-secondary education.

High School Credits

Students who remain in the programme for the full 5 years can earn up to 3 credits in outdoor education. Trails has permission from the Ministry of Education to grant these credits as a Privately Inspected School:


  • PAD 1O
  • PAD 2O
  • PLF 4M

Curriculum Topics of Instruction

  • Fitness plans, nutrition and wellness
  • Wilderness Trip Planning
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Outdoor Competencies (canoeing, kayaking, skiing, snowshoeing)
  • Non-violent communication
  • Yoga and Mindfulness
  • Healthy Boundaries
  • Group Dynamics and Leadership Theories
  • Sexuality and Human Development
  • Social Justice Education
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Stress Management and coping Strategies
  • Resume Writing
  • Interviewing Skills
  • Future Planning: Career Portfolio’s
  • Teaching/facilitating group discussion
  • Feedback and evaluation
  • Problem solving/decision making
  • Conflict Resolution

The strategies used are varied to meet the needs and the range of learning styles encountered in a group of students and include the following:

  • Guest Speakers
  • Journaling
  • Small group cooperative learning
  • Role playing
  • Oral Presentations
  • One to one mentoring
  • Field Trips
  • Group Expedition
  • Workshops
  • Socratic discussions
  • Peer Feedback
  • Experiential Learning

Limberlost Northern Campus

Limberlost Wildlife and Nature Reserve, near Huntsville, is Trails’ Northern site for special purpose trips. This campus provides exposure to nature and builds confidence, the ability to adapt, and development long-standing values.

Outreach Programme

Students who are vulnerable have a variety of risk factors in their lives, and lack the necessary skills to navigate through the school system. Trails supports students by teaching them the skills needed to become functioning members of their communities.

Through the Outreach programme at Trails, we create an equitable and personally challenging environment that fosters healing, growth, and academic engagement. Our goal is to nurture healthy individuals through intervention and healing practices in nature. Critical thinking skills, leadership, and resiliency, as well as mental, physical, and emotional health are promoted to support a strong student voice.

Trails works with various schools to create a curriculum that is based on the Trails model. Students will travel to Trails Youth Initiatives a minimum of five times throughout the school year. They will have the opportunity to engage in seasonal outdoor activities and other workshops that promote well-being.

Sample Programme Activies

  • Ropes Course (low and high)
  • Hiking
  • Canoeing
  • Outdoor Team Building
  • Snowshoeing
  • Yoga/Mindfulness
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Healthy Boundaries
  • Fire Building and primitive skills
  • Solo and nature activities

Current Partners

York Catholic District School Board: St. Thomas Aquinas, Father Henri Nouwen St. Clare, Blessed Trinity and St. John Chrysostom

York Region District School Board: Fairwood PS, Jersey PS, and Lakeview