June 1, 2020 Update: The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority is continuing to monitor the latest COVID-19 developments and is taking precautions to keep our workplace safe for staff, visitors and partners across the watershed.
- All conservation areas are open to hiking as of May 22, 2020. Please note that Millennium Conservation Area is now a one-way trail: head right upon entry to the trailhead.
- Ganaraska Forest to open in phases: Hiking - May 22, 2020; Non-motorized (horseback riding/mountain biking) - May 29; Motorized and all uses - June 5. Please see: IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL VISITORS
- All GRCA buildings remain closed to the public, including the Ganaraska Forest Centre and all public washrooms.
- The Administration Office is closed to the public, while staff continue to operate through phone and email communications. Please see staff directory for a complete list of contact information.
- GRCA's Planning & Regulations team is not accepting walk-in meetings, but is able to assist with electronic planning and permit submissions.
Your patience, cooperation and support is appreciated during this time. Please continue to visit our website for updates. Stay safe.
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. The central section of the forest offers several marked loops to choose from. Explore today!
If you're into Geocaching, this is the place to be! Lots of caches hidden in the Ganaraska Forest.
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. For complete rules and regulations, please see the Ganaraska Forest Equestrian Use FAQs - developed in partnership with the Ganaraska Forest Horse Club.
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 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. The 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 and Snowshoeing
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.
Need to rent ski or snowshoe equipment? The Ganaraska Forest Centre offers rentals from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM Monday - Friday and through the GFC Gatehouse on weekends. A rental agreement is required along with rental fee, equipment deposit and day pass for use of the trails.
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 and Forestry Hunting Regulations Summary should be consulted for a complete listing of seasons and regulations that pertain to hunting.
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 or see the OFSC site for current trail conditions.
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 and the Ganaraska Forest Motorized FAQs brochure. (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. Visit the Ontario Federation of Trail Riders website for related information .