The Dufferin County Forest is a 1,066 ha (2,636 acre) forest divided into fourteen tracts that are located across Dufferin County. It is managed by the County of Dufferin on a sustainable, multi-use basis. The forest serves many important functions including erosion and water control, natural heritage protection, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and support of the rural economy through timber production.
There are currently no open County Forest Event Permits.
Fall Hunting Seasons
- Oct. 1-Nov. 4, Nov. 10-Dec. 2 and Dec. 8-31 are the archery seasons for deer in 2018.
- Oct. 1-31 is the archery season for wild turkey in 2018.
- Nov. 5-9 and Dec. 3-7 are the shotgun/muzzle-loading gun seasons for deer in 2018.
During this time there will be a number of hunters using the Dufferin County Forest properties. Please use caution in the forest and wear bright-coloured clothing. There is no hunting allowed at any time in the following tracts: north portion of Amaranth, Hockley, Leening, Levitt, Little, Mono, Thomson, and River Road. Suspected violations of the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act should be reported to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry at 877-847-7667 (877-TIPS-MNR). Other inquiries should be directed to the County Forest Manager at 877-941-7787.
Friends of the Dufferin County Forest
The County has recently established the Friends of the Dufferin County Forest to assist in various aspects of the management of the County Forest.
We are now inviting membership in the Friends of the Dufferin County Forest. If, after reviewing the Terms of Reference, you are interested in joining, please complete the application form and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to or drop it off at (Wed-Sun 10-5) the Museum of Dufferin 936029 Airport Road, Mulmur, ON L9V 0L3.
The annual report for 2017 for the Dufferin County Forest is available by clicking here.
Dufferin County Forest Advisory Team
The Dufferin County Forest Advisory Team (DCFAT) is a group made up of five members of the general public residing in Dufferin County, along with one member of the County’s Public Works Committee. Representation is solicited to coincide with each new term of County Council, or as required to replace or add members.
The purpose of the Dufferin County Forest Advisory Team (DCFAT) is to:
• provide community input and advice to County staff regarding the Dufferin County Forest Management Plan and Dufferin County Forest Recreational Use Policy and;
• assist County staff in communicating plan and policy revisions.
Read the Terms of Reference for the DCFAT here.
Read agendas and minutes for DCFAT meetings here.
Provide feedback to the DCFAT here.
Dufferin County Forest Recreational Use By-Law and Policy
The Dufferin County Forest Recreational Use Policy was passed by County Council on May 11, 2017. You can find the full text of the policy here.
On September 14, 2017, County Council passed the by-law associated with the recreational use policy. You can find the full text of the by-law here.
Main Tract Interpretive Trail
There is a new interpretive trail starting and ending at the Main Tract parking lot. Take a walk and learn about forest management in the Dufferin County Forest. You can preview the brochure here before you set out.
Hunting in the County Forest
Please take note of the following with regard to hunting in the Dufferin County Forest:
- there is no hunting allowed on any Dufferin County Forest property between June 1 and September 30
- there is no hunting allowed at any time on the following Dufferin County Forest properties: north portion of Amaranth, Hockley, Leening, Levitt, Little, Mono, Thomson, and River Road. These are posted accordingly.
- on Dufferin County Forest properties where hunting is allowed, there may be hunters present at any time between October 1 and May 31
- on Dufferin County Forest properties where hunting is allowed between October 1 and May 31, the seasons are the same as those established by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. These can be viewed at www.ontario.ca/hunting.
- the peak periods for hunting are the two five-day shotgun hunts for white-tailed deer (first week of November and first week of December; actual dates vary from year to year) and the spring wild turkey hunt (April 25-May 31)
- suspected violations of the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act (the provincial legislation governing hunting) should be reported to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry at 877-847-7667 (877-TIPS-MNR).
If you have any questions about hunting on a County Forest property, please call the County Forest Manager at 519-941-1114 ext 4011 or email email@example.com
Oak wilt is an exotic invasive disease that kills all species of oak, preferring those in the red oak group (red oak and black oak). The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (the lead agency in dealing with exotic invasives) is working hard to keep oak wilt out of Ontario, but it is currently only 500 m from the border (on Belle Island in the Detroit River). Infected red oak trees can die in as little as 30 days. If you suspect that a tree might have oak wilt, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency at 1-800-442-2342. You can find more information about oak wilt here.
The 20 Year Dufferin County Forest Management Plan was passed by Council on March 10, 2016. A copy is available by clicking here. The Forest Operation Review Committee is now working on the recreation policy.
Be aware that poison ivy grows commonly in many areas of the County Forest. Information about identifying poison ivy and its treatment can be found on the Health Canada website by clicking here.
West Nile Virus
Users of the Dufferin County Forest should be aware of the possibility of being bitten by mosquitoes while using the forest properties, particularly from dusk until dawn. Simple precautions such as wearing long sleeves, pants, and socks and using insect repellent will reduce the risk of being bitten and the possibility of contracting the mosquito-borne West Nile virus. For more information about West Nile virus, visit the Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health website at https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/?q=wnv
Ticks and Lyme Disease
While the risk of contracting Lyme disease from ticks in the Dufferin County area is low, it is nevertheless advisable to use simple precautions such as wearing shirts with tight cuffs and placing pant legs inside socks when in the forest to minimize possible exposure to the ticks that may be carrying Lyme disease. You can find more information about ticks and Lyme disease visit the Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health website at https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/?q=lyme
Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Dufferin County
Emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Dufferin County, at a location in the south end of Orangeville. Emerald ash borer was identified in North America in July, 2002. It originates from China, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia. The borer is capable of attacking and killing healthy trees, and all native ash are susceptible (white, black, green, and red ash). It is unusual for borer-type beetles to be able to attack and kill healthy trees, they usually attack only trees that are already under stress from some other condition(s). Ontario has imposed quarantines on the movement of ash nursery stock, ash lumber, and related products in the infested areas in order to reduce the risk of new areas becoming infested. For more information about the emerald ash borer, and the actions that have been taken by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in order to contain its spread, please visit their website at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/plants/plant-pests-invasive-species/insects/emerald-ash-borer/eng/1337273882117/1337273975030
The Dufferin County Forest is a 1,066 hectare (2,636 acre) area divided into 14 tracts located throughout the County. Each of the County Forest tracts has its own special features. Of particular note are:
- largest of the County Forest Tracts
- extensive system of recreational trails
- large variety of tree species, including red pine, white pine, white spruce, sugar maple, white ash, beech, red oak, ironwood, butternut and many others
- habitat for many different animals including white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys porcupine and a variety of songbirds
- provincially recognized "Area of Natural and Scientific Interest, the Oak Ridges South Slope Forest"
- interpretive trail describing forest management in the Dufferin County Forest
- second largest of the County forest tracts
- dominated by red pine plantations which are gradually succeeding to tolerant hardwoods such as sugar maple, white ash and beech
- extensive trail system for recreational activities
- has a two kilometre interpretive trail with nine stops describing general forest facts
- only a small portion has been logged since the County purchase it in 1971
- has been designated as "natural area" which means no resource extraction and only low impact recreation, allowing the existing forest to continue natural development toward "old growth"
- a sawmill existed beside the creek and the clearing near Airport Road had homes for loggers in 1870
- was donated to the County by Marjorie Leening on condition that it be used for "conservation purposes"
- in accordance with the designation, there is no resource extraction permitted in this tract and no trails have been cleared for recreational use
- third largest of the County Forest tracts
- tree cover includes red pine and white spruce plantations
- two major trails run in an east-west direction through the tract
- adjacent to Mono Cliffs Park, a provincial park located on the Niagara Escarpment
Riverview and Melancthon Tracts
- both tracts are mostly made up of provincially recognized wetlands
- some trails for recreation activities and wetland exploration
- wildlife includes beavers, raccoons, bullfrogs, muskrats, white-tailed deer, and numerous species of waterfowl
RECREATIONAL USE (INCLUDING HUNTING)
Recreational use of the Dufferin County Forest is governed by the recreational use policy and County of Dufferin by-law 2017-39. The purpose of the policy and the by-law is to protect the environmental integrity of the Dufferin County Forest and to manage public use of the Forest through the regulation of certain activities.
County Forest Do's
- non-motorized recreation such as hiking, mountain biking, cross country skiing, and horseback riding
- obey all signs, including those designating trail uses
- snowmobiling in the Dufferin County Forest is permitted only on designated and signed trails that are part of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) network. All of the rules that apply to OFSC trails anywhere in Ontario apply to the trails in the Dufferin County Forest. Check trail status here.
- 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
- enjoy your visit to the Dufferin County Forest!
County Forest Don'ts
- no motorized vehicles except snowmobiles on designated Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs trails
- no campfires
- no camping
- no littering or dumping
- no hunting from June 1 to September 30. Forest use permit required for hunting at all other times, contact the County Forest Manager.
- unless you have a valid ticket from the Mansfield Outdoor Centre, do not use groomed/track-set cross-country ski trails leased to the Centre from December 1 to March 31
FOREST MANAGEMENT PLANNING
Forest management planning for the Dufferin County Forest has three levels of increasing detail: a twenty year management plan, a five year operating plan, and an annual report and work schedule. The twenty year management plan provides a general goal and objectives for the long-term management of the Forest. The five year operating plan and the annual work schedule provide more details on the operational activities that will be conducted in each period. The annual report is a summary of the year’s activities and is distributed widely throughout the community, as well as to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
FOREST TENDERS AND CONTRACTS
To submit a quotation for tree marking contact the office of the County Forest Manager.
Documents related to the County Forest:
The office of the County Forest Manager is located in the Dufferin County Museum & Archives building at the northeast corner of Airport Road and Highway 89. You can reach us by any of the following means:
County Forest Manager
c/o Dufferin County Museum & Archives
936029 Airport Road
Mulmur, ON L9V 0L3
519-941-1114 ext. 4011 or 877-941-7787 ext. 4011