Explore the Dufferin County Forest
March 21 marks the United Nations General Assembly’s International Day of Forests, a day to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
Forests provide so much for our health. They purify the water, clean the air, capture carbon to fight climate change, provide food and life-saving medicines, and improve our well-being. This International Day of Forests, get outside and explore the forest in your own backyard, right here in Dufferin County!
About Dufferin County Forest
The Dufferin County Forest is a 1,066 hectare (2,636 acre) multi-tract forested area owned and managed by the County. It serves important functions in terms of 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 Dufferin County Forest is made up of fourteen forest areas, or tracts, located throughout Dufferin. The largest single area is the Main Tract (607 hectares/1,501 acres) located in Mulmur Township, just north of the hamlet of Mansfield. Major tree species include red pine, white pine, white spruce, eastern white cedar, larch, red oak, sugar maple, white ash, black cherry, white birch and poplar.
A map of County Forest tracts can be found here.
Enjoying the Forest
There are many ways for residents to enjoy the Dufferin County Forest, like hiking, mountain biking, cross country skiing, and horseback riding.
Hunting is permitted between October 1 and May 31 in the south portion of Amaranth, Gara Gore, Melancthon, Randwick, Riverview, and Simmons County Forest tracts. Hunters are required to obtain a hunting forest use permit from the County to hunt in the County Forest. More information and the Hunting Permit Application form can be found here.
Snowmobiles are permitted on designated Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) trails in the Dufferin County Forest. The OFSC trail map can be found here.
County Forest do’s and don’ts
If we all do our part, share the forest trails, and respect the environment, we can enjoy the Dufferin County Forest safely and sustainably.
- When using the trails, obey all signs, including those designating trail uses.
- What you carry in, please carry out.
- Remember your emergency number! Each entrance to the County Forest is posted with a six digit "address" on a green sign. Remember this number for emergencies.
- In case of emergency, call 9-1-1.
- If you wish to hold a recreational event, please contact the County Forest Manager to find out if your date is available prior to completing a County Forest Event Permit Application.
- No motorized vehicles are permitted in the Forest, except snowmobiles on designated Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs trails.
- No campfires or camping permitted.
- Please, no littering or dumping!
Help prevent the spread of invasive plants
Using the County Forest recreational trails can be a lot of fun, but doing so also has the potential to spread invasive plants and their seeds. When using the trails, there are steps you can take to prevent the spread of invasive plants:
- Stay on the path. When you venture off the path you risk picking up plant seeds and creating disturbed areas where invasive species can easily establish.
- Clean your gear. Check all your gear at the end of your adventure for plant material, and clean it off before leaving the trailhead.
- Groom your pet. Inspect your pet after a walk and wash off any mud that might be carrying invasive plant seeds.
- Report all invaders. Take a photo and report any sightings of invasive species to the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711 or visit www.EDDMapS.org/Ontario
- Spread the word. Motivate your friends and family to take action by sharing information about invasive species and the implications they have for our environment and economy!
- Volunteer. Join the Friends of the Dufferin County Forest to help take care of the forest and remove invasive species.
“This International Day of Forests, we celebrate our local Dufferin County Forest and the many environmental, economic and social benefits it provides us with,” says Caroline Mach, County Forest Manager, Dufferin County. “As the weather continues to warm, we encourage residents to get out and explore our local Dufferin County Forest!”
More information on the Dufferin County Forest, recreational opportunities, our volunteer group, and upcoming events can be found at www.dufferincounty.ca. You can also sign up for the Dufferin County Forest newsletter for County Forest news and events!
Megan Ball, Manager of Communications