At the outset of Fall 2023, Baffin’s Senior Vice President of Commercial, Mark Hubner embarked on a Real-World Testing expedition – an end-to-end hike of Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath, the Bruce Trail. Mark has worn Baffin footwear and apparel every step of the way, as he works to cover over 900 km (about 559.23 mi), from Tobermory, Ontario, through the Niagara Region by the end of the Winter season. Each week, he hikes a portion of the trail –  camping on backcountry sites where possible along the way.  

According to the Bruce Trail Conservancy, only 4,440 people have recorded a completion of the intense end-to-end hike, which would take over 30 consecutive days of hiking 30 km or more to complete. Many spread this journey over several years. Providing an even greater challenge, Mark is completing this expedition in the Winter, which offers a unique and more arduous experience due to inclement weather and conditions along the pedestrian-only trails.  

The end-to-end hike of the Bruce Trail is Baffin’s first large-scale product testing expedition since the Winter circumnavigation of Lake Ontario in 2018 and is testing various Baffin products, from current in-line boots to upcoming Fall/Winter 2024 launches as well as new products that are still in the development stage.   




“Some people arrive and make such a beautiful impact on your life, you can barely remember what life was like without them.” Anna Taylor 



On January 31st, Mark completed Phase Four of his expedition. Mainly consisting of solo adventures and experiencing the Bruce Trail in a wintry environment, Phase Four saw Mark trek an impressive 152.72 km (about 94.9 mi), bringing his total trail coverage to 645.14 km (about 400.87 mi) of main trail. Venturing into Phase Five, Mark was accompanied by an array of friends and special guests as he Real-World Tested™ Baffin prototypes, drawing nearer to the conclusion of the Bruce Trail Expedition.   

Mark Hubner, Senior Vice President of Commercial, Baffin 



Leg 18: Cheltenham Badlands – Silver Creek Conservation Area 

Dates completed: February 8th – February 9th  

Kilometers completed: 23.41 km (about 14.55 mi) 


Baffin products worn by Jake Lyons: BOREALIS and GLOVE LINER 

With friend Jake Lyons, Mark made his way from the Cheltenham Badlands, through to Silver Creek Conservation Area as they explored the Toronto Club section of the Bruce Trail and completed Leg 18 of his journey. The warmer weather resulted in muddy conditions as the snow began to melt. Additionally, as the snow melted, the creeks swelled, spilling over onto the pathway, leaving the two a wet, muddy trail to imprint. Nonetheless, Baffin’s BOREALIS protected Mark’s and Jake’s feet, keeping them warm and dry as they trekked through the day.   

(Left to right) Jake Lyons, Founder, Lyons Group Realty; Mark Hubner, Senior Vice President of Commercial, Baffin 


Along the way, Mark and Jake traversed through numerous creeks and damp patches of ground, stamping muddy imprints on uneven patches of lingering snow. The warmer temperatures led to some areas of slippery ground, with larger sections of snow compacting to create a slicker surface. The increase of dampened terrain provided a great opportunity for Mark to Real-World Test some prototypes, ensuring these products provide optimal comfort and protection.  

Baffin Softshell Prototype 2 undergoing Real-World Testing  


Side Trail: Millen Road Access Trail – Jones Road Access Trail 

Date Completed: February 13th & 26th  

Kilometers completed: 3.15 km 

Baffin product worn by Mark Hubner: PROTOTYPE 

As the temperature continued to increase and the expedition neared Baffin Headquarters, there was no better group to share the trails with than some of the Baffin team. Regardless of the muddy terrain, the serene weather provided a perfect opportunity for Baffin employees to venture out onto the Bruce Trail with Mark. Immersing themselves in a break from the office, they delved into the tranquil beauty of nature. On the short but sweet hike of 3.15 km, Mark and the Baffin crew enjoyed the spring-like air with glimpses of sunshine through the clouds.   

Mark Hubner, Senior Vice President of Commercial, Baffin with Baffin Employees 


Leg 19: Silver Creek Conservation Area – Cedar Springs 

Dates completed: February 13th – February 16th  

Kilometers completed: 53.8 km (about 33.43 mi) 

Baffin products worn by Mark Hubner: BOREALIS, PROTOTYPE 3, PROTOTYPE 2 INSOLE 

Baffin products worn by Michael MacDonald: ZONE 

Over 3 days, with the help of the CEO of the Bruce Trail Conservancy, Michael McDonald, Mark conquered an impressive 53.8 km (about 33.43 mi) of main trail. With the continuation of rising temperatures, the trail completely shed its snowy layer, inviting what felt like a fall hike. The pair made their way through Silver Creek Conservation Area to Cedar Springs. 

Mark navigated this leg in several sections, embarking through fall-coloured foliage and journeying through large escapades of rock formations along the way. When Michael joined Mark for a portion of this leg, they stopped to admire the work that Baffin and the Bruce Trail Conservancy had put in through their partnership, one of which being the integration of boot brush stations throughout the trail. Boot brush stations are vital in the prevention of spreading invasive species.  

(Left to right) Michael McDonald, CEO, Bruce Trail Conservancy; Mark Hubner, Senior Vice President of Commercial, Baffin 


With Michael accompanying him for the day, Mark gained valuable insights into the Bruce Trail and the conservation efforts of the organization. The culmination of this leg marked the end of the Toronto Club Section of the Bruce Trail for Mark, as he transitioned into the Iroquois Club Section, with only two more sections remaining of the entire trail. 

Side Trail: Kelso Conservation Area 

Date Completed: February 16th 

Kilometers completed: 8 km 

Baffin product worn by Mark Hubner: BOREALIS 

Baffin Product worn by Blake Moynes: BOREALIS, KNIT TOQUE, GLOVE LINER 

On February 16th, Mark was kindly joined for a Side Trail by friend of Baffin, conservationist, and founder of the SOSA, Blake Moynes, alongside Baffin’s Brand Director, Jessica Liut and Brand and Product Coordinator, Sidney Durante. An influx of colder temperatures led to a frostier snow-covered excursion, where the group hiked just over 8 km through Kelso Conservation Area. 

Since the launch of Baffin and the Bruce Trail Conservancy’s Trail Conservancy Project last Spring, Blake has offered his support and his time to the partnership; starting with building boot brush stations at Baffin HQ which have been placed throughout the Bruce Trail to prevent the spread of harmful invasive species. Mark was excited to welcome Blake to experience his expedition along the Bruce Trail and to continue the conversation about the importance of conserving this important local ecosystem.  

The day was filled with the sounds of snow crunching beneath them, appreciating the scenery that the Bruce Trail has to offer and admiring their work of the boot brush stations dispersed along the trail. Geared up with Baffin products, Mark, Blake, Jessica, and Sidney were able to stay warm and dry despite the cold winds and snowy grounds.  

(Left to right) Blake Moynes, Founder, The SOSA; Mark Hubner, Senior Vice President of Commercial, Baffin 


Side Trail: Devil’s Punchbowl - Millen Road Access Trail 

Date Completed: February 27th 

Kilometers completed: 4.2 km 

Baffin product worn by Mark Hubner: BOREALIS 

Baffin Product worn by the Arkells: ZONE, HIKE, KNIT TOQUE, GLOVE LINER 

On this day, Mark was thrilled to be joined by friends of Baffin, Max Kerman, and Nick Dika from Hamilton native band Arkells along with their manager Ashley Poitevin for a side trail adventure. Baffin’s Brand Director, Jessica Liut and Brand and Product Coordinator, Sidney Durante also joined alongside for the hike. 

What started off as a beautiful, warm, sunny day turned into a dark, cloudy, wet day as showers of rain dampened their hike. Nonetheless, they didn’t let the rain ruin their spirits; after all, Baffin boots kept all six of their feet dry. An interesting highlight of the day involved experiencing sections of the Bruce Trail that were showcased in the band’s music video All Roads. 

After the hike, Max, Nick and Ashley made their way back to Baffin HQ for a visit. Through a tour of the warehouse and factory where Baffin products are manufactured, the group expressed great appreciation and enjoyment of the tour and seeing the behind-the-scenes process. 
(Left to right) Max Kerman, Arkells; Mark Hubner, Senior Vice President of Commercial, Baffin; Nick Dika, Arkells; Jessica Liut, Brand Director, Baffin; Ashley Poitevin, Manager, Arkells 


Side Trail: Smokey Hollow Waterfall 

Date Completed: March 1st  

Baffin product worn by Mark Hubner: BOREALIS 

Baffin Product worn by Doug and Sonya Gilmour: ZONE, HIKE 

Former Professional Canadian NHL hockey player and Hall of Famer, Doug Gilmour, along with wife Sonya, graciously joined Mark at Smokey Hollow Waterfall for a trek to start off the month of March. With a glorious, clear blue sky and the warm sun rays beaming down, Mark, Doug, Sonya and Baffin’s Brand Director, Jessica Liut cherished the incoming spring weather. Guided by the cascading sounds of the waterfall, they ventured along the trail, leaving their mark on the soft layer of snow covering the ground as they navigated through the labyrinth of bare trees.          

(Left to right) Mark Hubner, Senior Vice President of Commercial, Baffin; Doug Gilmour, Former Professional Hockey Player; Sonya Gilmour, Interior Designer 



Mark Hubner, Senior Vice President of Commercial, Baffin and Baffin Employees 


Throughout Phase Five of this expedition, Mark had the pleasure of being accompanied by many remarkable guests. Although Spring came early, Mark was able to make the most of his time on the tail. Sharing his journey with others, Mark tackled an additional 77.21 km during this phase. 

With a total of 721.96 km of the Bruce Trail completed, Mark enters the completion phase of this bold 911 km journey, where he will cross the finish line at the Southern Terminus at Queenston Heights Park in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Follow along for one last update as Mark closes out his adventures on the Bruce Trail.