El Camino Maitland


2024 El Camino Maitland will be held on September 21 & 22.

NEW FOR 2024! Kids 17 & under hike for FREE and FREE PARKING!

Registration will GO LIVE on Saturday, May 18, 2024.  Check back here and follow us on social media for regular updates. 

Cost to Register: 2-day hike $45         1-day hike $35

All About The EL CAMINO Maitland

 El Camino Maitland (El Camino del Sinuoso Rio Maitland) is a 2-day hike along the entire Maitland Trail (with some minor detours). It’s modelled after the somewhat-more- famous Camino de Santiago, the pilgrimage from southern France through the north of Spain to the Atlantic Ocean.


 The hike Is a 2-day hike along the entire Maitland Trail on a weekend in September every year.

The Camino will mostly follow the whole Maitland Trail from the trail head near Auburn to Goderich. With the Camino detours, the trail is almost 50.6 km. At registration time, there are options to hike shorter distances (Saturday – 16 km or 11 km; Sunday – 13 km).

The Trail follows the beautiful, winding route of the lower Maitland River, and includes areas of ecological significance. You’ll traverse narrow trails, wide rambling trails, hills both up and down, through forests, past farmland, river vistas, autumn meadows, and towering forests. You may see wildlife – toads, salamanders, snakes, ravens, robins, and eagles. Our trail is beautifully natural. That means that you’re also likely to encounter bees, wasps, spiders, and other prickly stingy things, and possibly rain. Be prepared for a fun adventure.

Hikers under 18 years of age are welcome, but they must be accompanied on the hike by an adult.

Whichever length you choose, your days will look like this: 

On Saturday morning, check in at the Benmiller Community Hall, then be shuttled to the start point. When you’re finished hiking for the day, you will check out from where you started from, so we know you’re safely off the trail. 

On Sunday morning, check in at the beach pavilion in Goderich, then be shuttled to your start point to begin your hike back to Goderich.

Along the route there will be check points where water and snacks will be provided. The snacks available won’t provide enough fuel for your hike, so make sure you bring enough food to meet your needs for the day. Check points will also have basic first aid equipment.

If you must cut your hike short, you will be shuttled back to your car. The best part about the check points are the friendly faces who provide sincere encouragement and have a genuine interest in how the hike is going for you. They’re all volunteers who make this event possible. Awesome!

Under no circumstances will hikers be allowed to start the longest hike after 8:30 am.

The Saturday hike finishes at 5 pm, and the Sunday hike finishing at 4pm.

For safety reasons, all hikers must be off the trail by those times. If it looks like you won’t make the cut-off, you’ll be invited to hopscotch to the next check point.

 Cancellations / Refunds:

There will be no refunds after September 1st. After September 1st, fees paid will be considered a donation to MTA and a charitable income tax receipt will be mailed.


 How long will the full hike take?

 It depends on your pace but based on completion times in previous years:

Saturday, 30.5 km: 5-10 hours
Sunday, 20 km: 4-8 hours

Is it a difficult hike?

 This is important: This is a challenging hike with many steep hills and stairs up and down through the valley. Even experienced hikers find it challenging and some people are not able to complete it. Our best advice is this: Prepare for the event and know how long it will take YOU to walk 30.5 km on uneven terrain.

The best strategy is to pay attention to the tools provided:

  • Blazes. Make sure you know how to use them. We don’t always follow the standard of a subsequent blaze being within sight of the current one.
  • Signage. Watch for a variety of MTA signs at significant turn points. There may also be orange traffic cones, blue flags, chalk or paint on the ground, Km markers.

What should I bring?

  • At least 1 water bottle. Some hikers simply require more hydration, and warm temperatures can increase everyone’s needs.
  • A cell phone. This is for safety reasons.
  • A small food container. For the snacks that you’ll get at the check points, we ask that you bring a small, reusable food container.
  • A sun hat, sunscreen, bug repellent, after-bite, band-aids suitable for blisters, EpiPen, puffers, etc.
  • Other recommendations: hiking shoes or good supportive footwear. No sandals. Hiking poles or walking sticks for the uneven terrain may be advisable but are not mandatory.

All about Goderich including accommodations, dining, shopping, etc.

Visit: https://www.goderich.ca/en/index.aspx