Recreational Uses

Horseback Riding

The Ganaraska Forest is an extremely popular destination for horseback riding. With over 11,000 acres of forest to explore it’s no wonder that both local residents and riders from across the province come to the Ganaraska Forest for their trail riding experience. A large parking area designated specifically for horse trailers is located just east of the Ganaraska Forest Centre on the 10th Line of the Municipality of Port Hope and provides direct access to the Central Forest trials. Horse trailers are not permitted to be unloaded at the Forest Centre. Ganaraska Forest Equestrian Use FAQ - developed in partnership with the Ganaraska Forest Horse Club.

Hiking

If a quiet stroll in the forest to commune with nature is what you enjoy, the Ganaraska Forest has plenty to offer. Our walking trails are designed to appeal to all abilities of hikers and pass through a scenic landscape of rolling hills and mixed forest. A variety of wildlife can be seen while hiking in the forest including white tailed deer, wild turkey, birds of prey and songbirds.

If you're into Geocaching, this is the place to be! Lots of caches hidden in the Ganaraska Forest. 

Mountain Biking

Grab your bike, load up with plenty of water, hit the trails in the Ganaraska Forest and be prepared for a few challenges. We offer hundreds of kilometres of twisting, turning, hill-climbing single track trails and logging roads. You will need a whole summer to explore the forest.
The CMHA's Dirty Enduro EPIC Tail is a 60 km mountain bike trail that winds its way through some of the most beautiful woodlands of the majestic Ganaraska Forest. The route retains its prestigious EPIC Trail designation from the International Mountain Bike Association by meeting or exceeding all minimum standards, including being a demanding, mostly single track adventure through a natural setting. CMHA's Dirty Enduro EPIC Trail is one of only three of its kinds in Canada and celebrates a true backcountry riding experience that is technically and physically challenging; often defined as the best of the best mountain bike trails.

Cross-Country Skiing

If you’re looking for a great place to ski or snowshoe, look no further. Come and enjoy some of the most picturesque, groomed cross-country ski trails in Ontario. At the Ganaraska Forest Centre, you can get lost in the beauty of nature, while the clearly marked trail signs keep you right on track. The Forest Centre has over 35 kilometres of groomed and track-set trails for classic skiing. The trails meander through pine and hardwood forest, offering a challenge to skiers of varying ability levels.

Hunting

Hunters from across Ontario venture into the Ganaraska Forest throughout the year. Ganaraska Forest users should be aware that hunting is permitted in the West and East Forest areas as well as part of the Central Forest area. Forest maps indicate the no hunting zone within the Central Forest.
Wild turkeys, deer and game birds are among the more common pursuits. The shotgun season for deer generally runs during the first two weeks of November. The spring wild turkey season runs from late April until the end of May. These two seasons are the most popular times of year for hunting in the forest.
The discharge of firearms is prohibited except for the purpose of hunting. Construction of tree stands is prohibited.
Hunters must abide by all provincial hunting regulations including obtaining valid permits and licenses. All hunters must comply with the provisions of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and all applicable municipal laws. The Ministry of Natural Resources’ Hunting Regulations Summary should be consulted for a complete listing of seasons and regulations that pertain to hunting.
2016-17 MNRF Hunting Regulations Summary 

Snowmobiling

The Ganaraska Forest boasts one of the most extensive networks of snowmobiling trails in southern Ontario.  The Ontario Federation of Snowmobiling Clubs (OFSC) is responsible for grooming and maintaining all snowmobile trails. An OFSC permit is required for all snowmobiling within the forest, however a forest membership or day pass is not required. Snowmobiles may not be unloaded at the Ganaraska Forest Centre. Local trail information is also available through the Ganaraska Snowmobile Club.

Off-Road Vehicle Riding

Take a ride and explore the many kilometres of trails and logging roads in the Ganaraska Forest. A number of parking areas located at popular entry points provide a variety of routes waiting to be explored. Be sure to pick up a copy of our detailed forest trail map. (Note: Some portions of the forest restrict motorized use.)
ATV's and off-road motorcycles can provide hours of recreational enjoyment if the rules are followed and riders adhere to basic safety precautions. Follow this link to the Durham Region ATV Safety Coalition information. Ganaraska Forest Motorized Use FAQ