As of September 30th, 2022, limited trails have been opened within the West and East Forests to individuals with existing / extended Ganaraska Forest Memberships — new memberships and day passes are not available at this time.
Additional trails will only be opened for use once the following conditions are met:
Trails and areas are cleared of known hazards.
Trails are no longer impacted by ongoing logging operations, both harvesting and salvage.
Cleared trails connect to a complete looped trail system from a designated parking lot.
Trails have not been identified for closure as a result of other rationale.
When evaluating existing Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) road and trail systems, the following criteria have been used to inform existing trails and future trail placement:
Ecological considerations will be given priority when considering existing trail management and new trail creation.
Considerations will be given to emergency entrances and exits from the Ganaraska Forest.
Parking infrastructure will be placed to access trails on GRCA property only.
GRCA recreational trails will not use Municipal Right Of Ways (ROW), unless there is an agreement between the GRCA and the respective municipality allowing such use.
Formal crossing locations and signage will be installed where recreation trails cross a ROW. Ganaraska Forest rules will be modified to continually adhere to municipal, provincial and federal laws / regulations.
Recreational trails will not end at a property line, unless there is a signed agreement between the GRCA and the property owner.
New trails will be no closer than 100 meters to a residence. Existing trails will be evaluated based on this distance.
Public safety concerns between logging, salvage operations and users, as well as trail hazards, are the primary reason for implementing the current recreational trail closures. When ecological attributes of the Forest are being significantly impacted by continued trail use or where trails conflict with neighbouring municipal / private properties, permanent trail closures may be necessary.
Increased and improved signage is planned throughout the Forest and trails to make users aware of their responsibilities and obligations.