With hundreds of kilometres of trails, the Ganaraska Forest provides year-round 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 permitted in the West Forest and East Forest only. The Central section of the Forest is maintained as a passive use area.
The Ganaraska Forest is an extremely popular destination for horseback riding. The Ganaraska Forest Horse Club - www.gfhc.ca - often organizes local rides and events. With over 11,000 acres of forest to explore itís 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.
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. Don't forget your camera. If your dog is joining you, please note that it must be on-leash in the central section of the forest.
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 Paul'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. Paulís 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.
Paulís Dirty Enduro Annual Mountain Bike Festival
Paulís Dirty Enduro EPIC Trail is named for Paul Rush, who was an avid mountain biker who loved to ride in the Ganaraska Forest. Sadly, Paul took his own life in 1995 and since then, his friends and family have run the annual Dirty Enduro as a memorial to Paul and to raise funds and awareness about the tragedy of suicide. An army of volunteers from the Bloomfield Bicycle Company, the North Shore Amateur Radio Club and the Canadian Mental Health Association play host to a one-day mountain bike festival at the Ganaraska Forest Centre each September. The 100-kilometre course is marked, marshalled and swept only on race day, while the other courses are permanently marked. To find out more information, to register or volunteer, contact the Bloomfield Bicycling Company at http://www.bloomfieldbicycle.ca/
If youíre looking for a great place to ski, 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.
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 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 Resourcesí Hunting Regulations Summary should be consulted for a complete listing of seasons and regulations that pertain to hunting.
For a copy of the Hunting Regulations Summary, contact the Ministry of Natural Resources at 705-755-2001.
OFF-ROAD VEHICLE RIDING
Take a ride and explore the many kilometres of trails and logging roads in the Ganaraska Forest. Easy parking and multiple entry points ensure a number of exciting adventuresome routes are 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 if basic safety precautions are adhered to. Follow this link to the Durham Region ATV Safety Coalition information.
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.