Consider a Healthy Hike in One of Your Local Conservation Areas or the Ganaraska Forest

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) is committed to working with our partners to ensure that the special spaces and places that make the Ganaraska Region so unique remain intact for others to enjoy. Since the GRCA’s inception in 1946 as one of Ontario’s earliest Conservation Authorities, staff have been working with watershed municipalities, government partners, community members, organized stakeholders and individual landowners to protect people and property from flooding and erosion, improve water quality, provide advice and guidance on municipal planning matters and provide educational and recreational opportunities across local watersheds.

The Ganaraska Region watershed covers an area of 935 square kilometers, extending from Wilmot Creek to Cobourg Creek; and from the crest of the Oak Ridges Moraine and Rice Lake to Lake Ontario. Included in the Ganaraska Region Watershed are 9 conservation areas: Ganaraska Millennium, Port Hope, Ball’s Mill, Rice Lake, Cobourg, Garden Hill, Richardson’s Lookout, Thurne Parks, and Sylvan Glen. Ganaraska’s conservation areas offer serene green spaces to enjoy picnicking, hiking, fishing, bird-watching and other passive-use activities. The GRCA encourages you to visit conservation areas to boost your health by stepping into nature and participating in the Ontario-wide Healthy Hikes initiative on until the end of October. Visit for more information.

Also included in the Ganaraska Region watershed is the Ganarska Forest, southern Ontario’s largest contiguous forest, offering the best in outdoor recreation. It is a living example of how the principles of integrated resource management can be used to balance many different uses of forested lands in a sustainable and ecologically sound basis. You can find the GRCA’s Ganaraska Forest Centre, a multi-use outdoor education facility, in the heart of the 11,000 acre Forest, which is a hub of activity enjoyed year-round.

With hundreds of kilometres of trails, the Ganaraska Forest provides opportunities for a variety of activities. Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and nature appreciation are popular activities throughout the Forest. Motorized activities such as off-road motorcycle riding, ATVing and snowmobiling are also offered in the Forest, and are permitted in the West Forest and East Forest only.

So why not tie on those hiking shoes, grab a group of family and friends, and visit the Forest or one of GRCA’s conservation areas today! And please remember… Leave only footprints, take only pictures and memories.

For information about Ganaraska’s conservation areas or the Ganaraska Forest, please visit or Happy Trails!