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Regional Forests


Halton's Regional Forests includes 14 tracts of wooded areas, wetlands and meadows across the region. Learn more about how Halton Region manages its forests and how you can explore them.

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.

There are over 19 kilometers of managed single-track trails and 20 kilometers of managed access roads.

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 use by-law

Regional Forest Use By-law 31-10 (PDF file) lists permitted and non-permitted uses within the Regional Forest tracts.

Organized events of a recreational nature may be permitted upon written application and approval by the Regional Forester as long as they are not explicitly excluded under the Forest Use By-law.

Hunting on Regional Forest properties

Dress for safety during hunting season. Wear bright, visible, coloured clothing when visiting Regional Forests.

Annually, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry website (external link) (MNRF) lists the dates for hunting season. Halton Region is located within Wildlife Management Units 79C and 79D.

Hunting is a permitted activity in Regional Forests as prescribed in By-law 31-10. No Permits from the Region are required to hunt the tracts.

Written permission is required for tree stands. Please contact the Regional Forester. Tree stands and blinds must be of a portable or freestanding design and must be removed within one week of the end of the specified season or hunt (Please Refer to Section 8 of Forest Use By-Law 31-10). Permanent structures are not permitted.

Hunters must:

  • Follow all proper MNRF hunting practices and regulations
  • Follow By-law 31-10, which lists permitted and prohibited activities in Halton Regional Forest Tracts
  • Only hunt the animals permitted as described below (Deer and Wild Turkey)



Hunting deer by shotgun or bow is permitted within the following regional forest tracts:

  • Acton, Britton, Conley, Currie, Elliott, Finney, Frank, Mahon, Robertson, Snyder, Turner

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).

Wild turkey

Wild turkey

Spring wild turkey hunt is permitted by bow or shotgun within the following forests tracts only from April 25 to May 31:

  • Acton
  • Conley
  • Elliott
  • Finney
  • Frank
  • Snyder

Other game animals

Other game animals

Hunting for all other game animals in the Regional Forests is not permitted.

Partners of the Regional Forest

The single track trails (22.8 km) are maintained through a Regional Forest Annual Maintenance Contract, and with volunteer assistance from HAFTA (external link) (Halton Agreement Forest Trail Association), a not-for-profit association that preserves, protects and promotes mountain bike access and diverse riding opportunities in the Halton Region lands. The single track trails are also used by hikers, x-country skiers, and snowshoeing.

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.

Planned Regional Forest thinning and conifer harvesting

Formally planted portions of the Snyder, Laking, Elliott, and Cox Regional Forest Tracts will be thinned during the winter of 2023/2024 using Good Forestry Practices and certification principles established by the Forest Stewardship Council®. These activities will help to promote tree health, diversify wildlife habitat and to assist natural regeneration of native trees and shrubs.  Scheduled selection thinning is to occur as outlined in the Halton Regional Forest Management Plan (PDF file) and 5 Year Operating Plan (PDF file).

Many of the Regional Forest Tracts contain conifer plantations of various ages, initiated as far back as 1940. Many of these conifer plantations served as an initial step toward reforestation. Since then, the plantations have matured and have had 1 or 2 thinnings in order to reduce overcrowding. The subject stands were last thinned between 2008-2011.

This conifer plantation thinning using Good Forestry Practices is a method to reduce overcrowding of the upper canopy and give native forest trees in the understory an opportunity to grow into the upper canopy.  It involves the careful selection, marking, and removal of individual trees from existing tree rows; 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 complement of native hardwood species.

Harvest operations are expected to take place during the winter of 2023/2024. Access to Snyder, Laking, Cox, and Elliott trails and parking areas will be closed during the harvest operations.

Forest certification

The forests owned and managed by the Regional Municipality of Halton have achieved Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification (FSC® C018800) through the Eastern Ontario Model Forest’s Forest Certification Program. FSC® is an international, membership-based, non-profit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests.

For more information, on the Regional forest management activities and planning please contact Halton Region Forestry. To learn more about FSC Certification and the information available to the public and affected stakeholders, please see the Eastern Ontario Model Forest’s Forest Certification Program webpage (external link).

Forest health survey report

Halton Region in support of the Forest Management Plan and Biodiversity Strategy, conducts annual Forest Health Surveys in forested properties owned by the Regional Municipality of Halton and looks at forest health and ecosystem integrity. The annual report surveys the Regional Forest tracts and a selection of Regional forested lands. Regular forest health assessments are important to determine the extent and potential impacts of forest pests, to support decision-making, and to determine steps to actively manage pest populations. If you would like more information on this yearly initiative please contact Halton Region Forestry.

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.

Woodlands Stewardship Program

Halton Region's Woodlands Stewardship Program helps to provide greater awareness of the care and management of privately-owned forested areas. Learn more about applying for funding under the program.


For more information, please contact Halton Region Forestry.

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