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Cheltenham Badlands is reopening Tuesday, reservations required

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CALEDON, ON., Sept. 6, 2020 — The Cheltenham Badlands re-open Tuesday— The Cheltenham Badlands, one of Ontario’s magnificent geological treasures is re-opening on Tuesday, September 8 but the experience will be slightly different as visitors will have to book a viewing time.

Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) says that beginning September 8, a new reservation system is in place at the park to help manage daily visitation. Visitors must reserve their date and time to visit the incredible geological park, located at 1739 Olde Base Line Road in Caledon.

1.5-hour reservation time slots are available between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily and may be made up to two weeks in advance of your visit. If you are going with a group, the size is limited to 10 or less people who do not have to physically distance if they’re in the same social circle.

Reservation fees are $8.85 per vehicle per time slot on weekdays and $13.27 on the weekends and holidays but CVC members will still receive free entry. They must register and log in to book reservations through an new online reservation system.

If you haven’t visited the Badlands in a few years you need to know that there is an accessible boardwalk that was completed in September of 2018 in order to protect the Badlands from further erosion.

A new parking lot and additional trails were also added for viewing the Badlands landscape to allow visitors to safely enjoy the Badlands while helping to conserve its unique geological features for future generations.

The Ontario Heritage Trust says the wondrous red shale landscape of the Cheltenham Badlands is one of province’s geological treasures and one of the best examples of Badlands topography in the province. Over the years, this distinctive landscape has been attracting a large numbers of visitors from the GTA and further afield, resulting in accelerated erosion of the sensitive red shale surface and causing permanent changes to the Badlands unique appearance.

In order to protect the Badlands from further erosion, the Trust and its partners at Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) and the Bruce Trail Conservancy made the difficult decision to temporarily close the site in 2015 and started work on a long-term vision and plan for the site to improve public safety and ensure the long-term protection of the site.

Other additional enhancements to the Badlands also included educational signage to help visitors learn the history of the site, which was part of the recently completed Visitor Infrastructure Improvement project that began in 2017.

How the Cheltenham Badlands were formed

The exposed red hued bedrock at the Cheltenham Badlands is Queenston Shale. This iron-rich shale was deposited over 450 million years ago. Due to removal of vegetation during land clearing and livestock grazing in the early 1900s, the shale has eroded into a series of hummocks and gullies, producing the distinctive landscape.

The Cheltenham Badlands is owned by the Ontario Heritage Trust and managed by CVC and is part of the Traditional Territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. The Trust and CVC worked alongside a group of partners including the Bruce Trail Conservancy, the Region of Peel, the Town of Caledon, the Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club, the Niagara Escarpment Commission, the Caledon Environmental Advisory Committee, the Caledon Countryside Alliance and the University of Toronto to develop a long-term vision for the site that ensures its conservation while providing opportunities for the public to learn from and enjoy it.

Health and Safety measures in place at the Cheltenham Badlands

Visitors must follow these guidelines or use at your own risk:

  • Reservations are mandatory. No exceptions.
  • Practice physical distancing by staying two metres (six feet) apart
  • Wear a mask where physical distancing is a challenge
  • Stay on trails, stepping off only to allow others to pass
  • Obey all in-park directional signage
  • Adhere to provincial social circle guidelines. Groups of 10 or less people are permitted to be together and do not have to physically distance if from the same social circle
  • Maintain physical distancing of at least two metres apart in groups larger than 10 people
  • Keep pets on leash and clean up after them
  • Do not litter
  • Be mindful of wildlife and plant-life
  • Do not trespass on private property next to CVC trails
  • Respect the instructions provided by our dedicated staff
  • Consider bringing your own hand sanitizer as there are limited hand-washing facilities available.

Location
1739 Olde Base Line Road, Caledon, ON L7C 0K6 (map)

Reservation Fees*

Weekdays: $8.85 per vehicle, 1.5-hour timeslot
Weekends and holidays: $13.27 per vehicle, 1.5-hour timeslot
Members Free – members receive free entry to the park but are still required to reserve their date and time
* prices subject to HST

Facilities Notices:

  • Limited parking
  • Accessible parking available
  • Washrooms – OPEN with limitations
  • Accessible viewing platform
  • Trails – OPEN

Permissible Activities:

  • Hiking – Bruce Trail – one-way travel from Olde Base Line to Badlands Trail
  • Dog walking (leashed dogs only)
  • Photography (permit may be required, please contact 1-800-367-0890 for details)
  • Historic geological Badlands feature/ nature viewing

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