Ganaraska Forest

Come and experience southern Ontario's largest forest. Located within an hour's drive of Toronto, straddling the Counties of Northumberland, Peterborough, Victoria and the Region of Durham, the Ganaraska Forest offers the best in outdoor recreation.

Today the forest is a living example of how the principles of integrated resource management can be used to balance many different uses of forested lands on a sustainable and ecologically sound basis. The forest is home to the Ganaraska Forest Outdoor Education Centre, which includes a public washroom and shower facilities.

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, and is where Treetop Trekking is located.

Day passes or annual memberships are required to use the forest. Office hours are 8:30 am - 4:00 pm weekdays and the Gatehouse is open for sales on weekends from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, or passes and memberships can be purchased online.


Poison Ivy is very prevalent on the Ganaraska Forest recreation trails. The oil from this three-leafed plant can get on exposed skin and cause an ugly, extremely itchy rash; a reaction that has a three-day incubation period. In order to minimize the effects of exposure, it is advisable to wash any exposed skin with detergent, and rinse well. There are showers in the washroom facilities located across from the gymnasium at the Ganaraska Forest Centre.

It is also wise to wipe bikes, shoes, tires and gear that may have come into contact with the oil. Pets can also carry the oil on their fur for a period of time after exposure. A good rule of thumb is: Leaves of Three? Let them be.

No open fires are permitted in the forest at any time and off-road vehicles must be equipped with spark arrestors. Should a fire be seen in the forest call 911 immediately and attempt to give an accurate location of the fire.


The Ganaraska Forest timber harvest season opens on August 1st. Keep your eyes out for active cut blocks and closed trails. Remember to stay clear of areas where harvesting is occurring - be cautious, be safe!

There will be 6 areas included in the 2019 harvest season, including:

Central Forest – Red & White Pine – 31.9 ha
Central Forest - Peterborough County tender
East Forest – Red & White Pine – 52.8 ha
West Forest – Spruce Row Thinning – 10.7 ha
West Forest – Hardwood – 19.9 ha
West Forest – Red & White Pine – 44.9 ha


East Forest - logging operations are fully under way and are expected to be completed by the beginning of October
West Forest - logging near Lookout Hill will begin this week
Central Forest - logging operations, road work and trail closures remain in effect
Please be mindful of trail closures and give forestry equipment the right of way. There will be a lot of action on Boundary Road, please choose a different route, if possible.

Questions? Please email GRCA's Forester, Gus Saurer at


Due to many years of off-road vehicle use on Lookout Hill, and the destruction it has had on the trail system, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) has closed all trails in that area to motorized users. The location had already been closed for many years, and despite signage, the use continued, resulting in further erosion. New signage has been erected and the area will be enforced.

The GRCA thanks you for your cooperation while they undergo the restoration of Lookout Hill.

Please be aware that trail maintenance is scheduled to commence this month in the West Forest, addressing whoops, erosion and banked corners. Signage will be put into place, but the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) urges users to be cautious on all trails, especially on hills and corners. Heavy equipment will restrict access to some trails. Please yield to all machinery and be aware that the operator may not be able to see you.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact GRCA's Forest Recreation Technician, Ed Van Osch - 905.885.8173 ext 325

Treetop Trekking Ganaraska
An aerial park in the central forest, is now open for the season. For more information, call 905-797-2000. Special rates for school groups participating in Ganaraska Forest Centre Outdoor Education programs.