Halton Regional forests are now open to visitors. Please continue to practice physical distancing when visiting these spaces to help protect yourself and others.
About Halton's Regional Forests
Halton Region has managed its Regional Forests for more than 75 years. It owns 703 hectares (1,739 acres) of forests in 14 separate tracts, which include wooded areas, wetlands and meadows. Regional Forests provide rich and varied habitats for wildlife and are home to several rare species.
Regional Forest tract maps
Halton Region's forests are open to the public for passive recreational use. The maps below highlight forest locations, access information and geological features.
Most forests have small parking lots. Locations marked with an asterisk (*) do not have parking lots.
Forest management plan
In 2005, Regional Council adopted a 20-year Forest Management Plan to guide forest uses. The plan includes a 10-year Capital Plan and a five-year Operating Plan.
Forest use by-law
Regional Forest Use By-law 31-10 (PDF file) lists permitted and non-permitted uses within the Regional Forest tracts.
Biodiversity strategy for Regional Forests
In 2014, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Regional Forests and in support of the Regional Natural Heritage System, Halton Regional Council approved a 10-year Biodiversity Strategy for the Halton Regional Forests (PDF file). Halton Region is the first regional government with a biodiversity strategy, making it a leader in enhancing, maintaining and promoting biodiversity in Ontario.
On February 8, 2015, Halton's Regional Forests achieved certification with the Forest Stewardship Council international system, through the Eastern Ontario Model Forest group certificate FSC No.CO18800.
Forest health report card
Halton Region prepared a 2016 Forest Health Report Card in support of the Forest Management Plan and Biodiversity Strategy. The report card (prepared every five years) looks at forest health and ecosystem integrity from forestry, ecology and hydrology perspectives.
Hunting on Regional Forest properties
Annually, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry website (external link) lists the dates for hunting season. Halton Region is located within Wildlife Management Units 79C and 79D.
Dress for safety during hunting season. Wear bright, visible, coloured clothing when visiting Regional Forests.
Hunting deer by shotgun or bow is permitted in 12 of the 14 regional forest tracts if:
- It takes place during the Controlled Deer Hunt season (first Monday to Friday in November) OR during Bows-Only Season (October 1 to December 31, except during Controlled Deer Hunt)
- It does not occur at any time within the Cox and Coulson tracts
- Hunters follow all proper Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) hunting practices and regulations
- All Regional forests are currently closed to visitors due to COVID-19.
- The spring wild turkey hunt is cancelled for 2020.
Other game animals
Other game animals
Hunting for all other game animals in the Regional Forests is not permitted.
Planned conifer tree harvesting
Portions of the Acton, Conley, Elliot, Robertson, and Turner Regional Forest Tracts will undergo Good Forestry Practices (GFP) row and selection thinning during the fall and winter of 2018 and 2019. This will help to maintain and/or improve health, wildlife habitat and to promote natural regeneration of native trees and shrubs. Scheduled selection thinning is to occur as outlined in the Halton Regional Forest Management Plan.
Many of the Regional Forest Tracts contain conifer plantations of various ages. These plantations began as far back as 1940 and many served as an initial step toward reforestation. These plantations have matured and have reached an appropriate size and age to be thinned, in order to reduce overcrowding and produce a timber product.
Thinning under GFP is a method by which natural forest regeneration can be promoted. It involves the careful selection, marking and removal of individual trees; allowing sunlight to penetrate the canopy and reach the forest floor. This sunlight will stimulate the development of native trees and plants that would otherwise be suppressed by the shade of the plantation species. The newly established species are also able to grow under the shelter of the remaining trees, reducing the environmental pressures they face and ensuring their establishment. Slowly, as the native species grow and mature, more of the plantation will be removed allowing the forest to ‘fill in’ with a more robust collection of native hardwood species.
Funds received from the harvest and sale of the timber are used to maintain forest infrastructure, informational material, administrative costs and forestry programs.
Harvest operations are expected to take place during the fall of 2018 and winter of 2019. Access to some tracts and parking areas may be limited or restricted during the harvest operations.
For more information please do not hesitate to contact Halton Region Forestry:
Ron Reinholt R.P.F. Regional Forester
Planning Tel: 905-825-6000 Ext. 7279
Planning Fax: 905-825-8822
Toll-free Tel: 1-866-4HALTON (1-866-442-5866)