Anyone entering the Ganaraska Forest will need to purchase a daily or yearly pass.
These can be purchased at Sandaraska Park. Passes can be paid by cash, credit card or debit.
Sandaraska Park no longer accepts cheques on behalf of the Ganaraska Forest.
For more information please visit: ganaraskaforestcentre.ca
Membership & Day Use
For your convenience, forest memberships and day passes can be purchased online and printed out here: https://shop.ganaraskaconservation.ca/
Memberships and day passes can also be purchased at various locations listed below:
Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority
8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday
2216 County Road 28
Port Hope ON L1A 3V8
Phone: 905.885.8173 Fax: 905.885.9824
Closed Thanksgiving to April 30th
156 Sandaraska Road
Ganaraska Forest Centre
8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday
Gatehouse 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday
10585 Cold Springs Camp Road
Campbellcroft ON L0A 1B0
Phone: 905-885-8173 Fax: 905.797.2545
Noone’s Petro Canada Service Centre
Hwy 35/115 N of Kirby
Due to restrictions put in place to help combat the spread of COVID-19, access to the Ganaraska Forest Centre is limited. If you plan to visit one of the forest centres, it is a good idea to call ahead or check their website as they may not be accepting visitors.
A pass is required in the Ganaraska Forest. Annual memberships are good for 365 days after purchase.
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Useful Information & FAQs
GANARASKA FOREST CONDITIONS OF USE AND TRAIL ETIQUETTE
Forest membership or day passes are required by all users.
- All memberships permit use of the forest for lesser fee activities.
- Purchase of a membership or day pass permits the use of the Ganaraska Forest lands only. Use of private lands requires the permission of the landowner.
- All open fires and camping are prohibited.
- Littering is prohibited. Please pack out your litter.
- Consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the Ganaraska Forest.
- Users of the forest accompanied by dogs or horses must be capable of restraining their animals and should ensure they have up-to-date health vaccinations and parasite control. Dogs must be leashed while in the Central Forest. Owners are responsible for collecting all pet waste.
- Hiking, biking, dogs, and horses are not permitted on cross-country ski trails during the ski season.
- Organized and/or advertised events of 10 or more people require the purchase of a permit. Call 905.885.8173 for information.
- All users must comply with the permitted uses and location of permitted uses as approved by the GRCA and the Ganaraska Forest Recreational Users Committee, as well as forest signs posted under the provisions of the Occupier’s Liability Act and the Trespass to Property Act.
- Use only trails and roads that are open to use. Do not create new trails.
- Make safety your primary consideration in all recreational activities. Be aware that all trails are multi-use and that you may encounter another forest user at any time.
- Make other forest users aware of your presence when approaching from behind by calling out or ringing a bell. This is particularly important when mountain bikers are intending to pass horseback riders.
- Try to stay in the middle of the trails to avoid widening them.
- Stay off soft, wet roads and trails that can be easily damaged.
- Avoid wetlands, water courses, steep slopes, and other environmentally sensitive areas.
- Yield to passing groups or those travelling uphill.
- Always be courteous to other users and respect the forest environment that enables you to enjoy your recreational activities.
PENALTY FOR VIOLATION OF PERMITTED USE
All persons using the Ganaraska Forest are subject to the Trespass to Property Act, R.S.O. 1980. Under this Act, a person is guilty of an offence where, without the express permission of the GRCA as the property owner he/she:
- Enters the forest where entry is prohibited by the GRCA;
- Engages in an activity in the forest when that activity is prohibited by the GRCA, or;
- Does not leave the premises immediately after he/she is directed to do so by the GRCA or its agent.
In addition, certain offences under the Criminal Code and Highway Traffic Act apply to use of forest lands.
Locations of permitted uses and conditions of use as indicated on this map, as well as signs posted in the forest, constitute permission of entry and notice of prohibited entry or activity under the Trespass to Property Act.
The Ganaraska Forest is closed to non-motorized use, with the exception of hiking and cross-country skiing, from March 1 to April 30 of each year.
The Ganaraska Forest is closed to motorized use, with the exception of snowmobiles, from December 1 to April 30 of each year.
Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority administrative office, Ganaraska Forest Centre and gatehouse, and all ski trails are closed each year from December 24 through January 1.
Visit www.grca.on.ca or www.ganaraskaforestcentre.ca for trail conditions. Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority staff may make changes to winter closure dates based on trail conditions and weather patterns experienced each year.
MOTORIZED VEHICLE OPERATION
Operation of motorized vehicles must comply with the provisions of the Highway Act, the Motorized Snow Vehicle Act and the Off-Road Vehicle Act, and the following regulations when operating on forest property:
- Motorized vehicles must be registered with the Ministry of Transportation and display licence plates as issued by a Motor Vehicle Licence office.
- Motorized vehicles must be covered by liability insurance. The driver of the vehicle must carry proof of insurance as well as registration for the vehicle.
- Use only existing trails authorized for motorized use. The Central Forest is a non-motorized zone.
- Keep the noise created by your vehicle to a minimum. Keep your speed and engine RPM’s low especially when near homes or when approaching other forest users.
- Motorcycles and off-road vehicles (any two or more wheeled vehicle designed primarily for recreational use) must comply with noise limits (94 decibels) and standards as set by the Canadian Motorcycle Association.
- No ORV exhaust system shall be modified in such a manner that would result in increased noise emissions.
When meeting a horseback rider, pull off to the side of the trail, shut your engine off, and let the horse pass. Look and listen for instructions from the rider.
- ATVs are prohibited on single-track trails.
- The Off-Road Vehicle Act states that off-road vehicles may not be driven along a highway which includes, but is not limited to, all maintained municipal roads.
- Children under 12 years of age who are operating offroad vehicles must be supervised by an adult at all times.
- Operators of off-road vehicles require the permission of land owners to ride on all trails located on private land, including those shown as snowmobile trails on the forest map.
- Motorized snow vehicles must not exceed 50 km/hour. Other motorized vehicles must not exceed 40 km/hour.
- All off-road vehicles are required to have spark arrestors.
- While at the GFC, motorized vehicles are required to park in the designated parking area, located in the north-west corner of the Ganaraska Forest Centre property. Unloading and loading of motorized vehicles is not permitted in the Forest Centre parking area.
HUNTING AND FIREARMS USE
- All hunters must comply with the provisions of the Fish and Game Act and all applicable municipal bylaws.
- The discharge of firearms is prohibited except for the purpose of hunting.
- Permanent tree stands are not permitted.
Forest fires and other emergencies should be reported immediately to 911. The nearest forest reference marker (white letter and number symbols on a green background) should be reported when possible, to aid in locating the site of an emergency.
The Ganaraska Forest is owned and managed by the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA). Management of the forest is based on a number of objectives, including the conservation and protection of the headwaters of the Ganaraska River, the protection of heritage resources in the forest, the maintenance of the wildlife habitat, and the provision for outdoor recreation and education.
The production of wood products through the implementation of ecologically based resource management practices will continue to be an important component of the multi-use nature of the forest. Pine plantations, which make up approximately 50% of the Ganaraska Forest, are being converted back to natural forests through the process of selective thinning and harvesting.
Directions to the Ganaraska Forest Centre
From the West:
Exit from Hwy 115 at Kirby and travel east approximately 10km on County Road 9.
Turn left (north) on Cold Springs Camp Road and proceed 4km to the Forest Centre.
From the East:
Exit County Road 28 onto County Road 9. Travel approximately 16km (2km west of Elizabethville).
Turn right (north) on Cold Springs Camp Road and proceed 4 km to the Forest Centre.