Dufferin County Forest

The County Forest is a jewel in the crown of Dufferin’s natural heritage. Spanning fourteen tracts and totaling 1,066 ha (2,636 acres), it is managed by the County on a sustainable, multi-use basis for erosion and water control, natural heritage protection, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and support of the rural economy through timber production and employment opportunities.

The forest is home to many recreational activities, ranging from hunting to forest bathing (the Japanese practice of mindfully experiencing the forest through all your senses) – best done in the absence of electronic devices!

Of particular interest are:

1. The Little Tract (west side of Airport Road about 15 km north of Highway 89), where you can see the closest thing to old growth that the County Forest has to offer, along the approximately two kilometre long self-guided interpretive trail describing life in the forest (brochures available onsite).

2. The Main Tract (east side of Airport Road about 10 km north of Highway 89) is 607 ha (1,501 acres) – a large forested area for southern Ontario all by itself, but in combination with surrounding public and private land is an area of over 1,050 ha (2,600 acres) of continuous forest cover. Make sure to bring a compass or GPS along so you don’t get lost. While you are there, check out the interpretive trail that explains the basics of forest management in this part of Ontario (brochures available onsite).

3. The Hockley Tract (south side of Hockley Road just east of Highway 10) has a fully accessible trail with informational signs. The trail links up with the Island Lake perimeter trail.

You are welcome to enjoy the many sights and sounds of the forest on your own time and at your own pace.

For those interested in adding an educational component to their forest experience, we organize several walks annually to engage, teach and entertain outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

Tree Identification

Saturday, May 25, 10 am
Little Tract, 938130 Airport Rd (west side, about 15 km north of Highway 89)
Having trouble telling the difference between ash and maple? Are the terms coniferous and deciduous a mystery to you? Join County staff to identify local native species of trees, shrubs, and a few plants on a walk through the Little Tract of the Dufferin County Forest. Cost: $10. Pre-registration required, spaces are limited to ensure a high quality experience for all participants. Contact Caroline Mach, County Forest Manager: forestmanager@dufferinmuseum.com or 519-941-1114.

Wildflower Identification

Saturday, June 1, 10 am
Little Tract, 938130 Airport Rd (west side, about 15 km north of Highway 89)
Are trilliums the only wildflowers you can identify? And is that only because they are the provincial flower? Join local life-long (since she was five!) terrestrial and aquatic botanist Dawn Renfrew on a leisurely walk through the Little Tract of the Dufferin County Forest to identify spring wildflowers. Cost: $10. Pre-registration required, spaces are limited to ensure a high quality experience for all participants.
Contact Caroline Mach, County Forest Manager:mailto:forestmanager@dufferinmuseum.com or 519-941-1114.