Nòpiming FIT Trail

Nòpiming FIT Trail

man in wheel chair and woman with walking poles on nopiming trail with park staff
The Nòpiming FIT Trail provides accessible hiking opportunities in a quiet woodland environment.

Translation from Anishinabemowin: an inland trail; in the woods or in the bush

Footprints In Time (FIT) Teaching

Take twelve giant steps for 12,000 years.
Cut the last step in half.
This half-step marks the short time Europeans have been on this land compared to the Algonquin People. 
~ Migwech to Algonquin Elder Dorothy Commanda for sharing this traditional teaching with us in 1997

One Community

A quiet walk in the woods is the perfect opportunity to connect with the delicate balance of nature. Depending on the season, if we take the time to look and listen with intent, such a walk can reveal much activity — some obvious, some scarcely noticed, but all reflecting the will to survive. 

Spring is often the busiest time along a woodland trail. Birds flit among the tree branches, many calling repeatedly, and in some cases almost constantly, to attract a mate or warn off intruders. Mice and shrews scurry by in the underbrush in search of food. A deer may browse in an opening in the canopy, where sunlight reaches the forest floor and flowers bloom, attracting the insects that pollinate medicinal plants.

All forest plants and animals are part of an ecological community that has existed for thousands of years. These gifts from Mother Earth sustained the Algonquin People as they lived on Turtle Island allowing them to survive solely off the land.

But in recent times, many of these species — and thus the lifestyle of the Alqonquin People — are threatened by the use of pesticides that have had a damaging effect on the populations of insect pollinators. Urban development is fragmenting and depleting natural habitats, and the careless introduction of non-native species has disturbed natural ecosystems, often beyond repair.

It’s not just the lifestyle of the Algonquin People that is at risk. We must all do our part to mitigate destructive impacts on our ecosystem, “…for the day there is no room for all creatures is the day there is no room for us.”
~Robert Whiteduck, Golden Lake First Nation 1997

illustration of skywoman descending creat turtle island by arnold jacobs
Skywoman Descending Great Turtle Island by Arnold Jacobs (Onondaga), 1981.
illustration of prophecy of the seven fires by silvia tennisco
Prophecy of the Seven Fires by Silvia Tennisco.
Credit: www.algonquinway.ca

The Algonquin People

We can all benefit from a better understanding of Indigenous perspective by acknowledging that this land belonged and still belongs to the Algonquin People. 

The Algonquin People are the original custodians of Turtle Island, because they grew familiar with the land and used its resources wisely. The oral history that sustained them was passed down through the generations by means of a wampum belt called The Prophecy of the Seven Fires.

These original people knew not to control Nature, but to be part of it — equal to the plant and animal kingdoms that sustained them. They survived solely as hunters and gatherers, eating only what they asked for from Mother Earth: fresh berries and medicinal plants, native animals, birds and fish, and clean water to drink. And always they gave thanks — migwech!

For thousands of years, this lifestyle sustained the original people. However, in the time of the Fourth Fire, the Algonquin People were warned about the coming of the light-skinned race, whose hearts would be filled with greed for the riches of the land.

In the time of the Fifth Fire, it was said that the Algonquin People were confused. The Europeans promised ‘great joy and salvation’ if the Algonquin People abandoned their sacred teachings. On the other hand, the prophet warned that if they chose to abandon their traditional ways, they would struggle for many generations to come.

By the Sixth Fire, the words of the prophet rang true. The children were taken away to be ‘civilized’ in residential schools. Elders had no reason for living — they had lost their purpose. To prevent complete loss, the traditional teachings were hidden out of sight and almost out of memory.

150 years ago, life for Algonquin People was not very good. In trying to adapt to the colonist’s way of life, they had lost their way. Struggles included food and housing insecurity, addiction and disease. Many of these challenges are still present today.

In the time of the Seventh FIre, circa 1978, a new people began to emerge. These people will retrace the steps of their ancestors to find what was left along the way.

This is a time of healing and reconciliation. If we all do our part, we will all succeed.

Learn more about the Seven Fires of the Algonquin People >


  • Land Acknowledgment
  • Medicine Wheel
  • Invasive Species
  • Plants and Pollinators
  • Hunting Practices
map of nopiming fit trail
From the accessible parking area near the gate house at the entrance to Bonnechere Park, pick up the trailhead.

Rating: Easy

Type: Out and back

Distance: 0.8 km

Time: 30 to 45 minutes

Surface: Limestone screenings

UTM: 18T 299044 E 5059322 N

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