Along the Niagara Escarpment west of Highway 10 in Caledon, Ontario you can find the Cheltenham Badlands. With unique red colours hills, making the Cheltenham Badlands a popular tourist spot. The formation of the rolling hills were formed thousands of years ago when the location was a large river that eventually died up. The red colour and odd faint green streak came from poor farming practices in the 1930’s that eventually led to soil erosion causing the underlying shale to be exposed.
In 2000 the land was purchased by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, before then it was farmland. Now managed by the Bruce Trail Conservancy and the Credit Valley Conservation with restrictions in place against development on the land and protected by the Ontario Greenbelt .
Up until May of 2015, tourists visiting the Cheltenham Badlands were aloud to wander throughout the park and explore the trails formed with the rivers history. Concerned Conservationists said that with the increase of visitors to the Badlands, the formations were being damaged which lead to the closer in July 2015. Fences, as well as NO TRESPASSING signs were put up around the site. The designated parking areas were changed to tow away zones.
The Bruce trail connects to the Badlands which was also closed off in the area. In September 2018, The Ontario Heritage Foundations was happy to announce in the re-openings of the Cheltenham Badlands. They added in an accessible boardwalk to get a nice picturesque view of the Badlands, new MARKED trails and a visitors parking lot.
The new updates to the Bandlands hopes to persevere the area for many more years to come, help with traffic flow and allow visitors to have a safe and enjoyable trip to the Badlands. Although with these updates does come a downfall, tourists used to be able to visit the area free of charge, with the updates, tourists now have to pay a fee of $10/vehicle to park. BUT just like the Elora Parks (GRCA), keep your pay-and-display recipes and you’ll receive a discount at others CVC park locations within the area.
If you’re planning on visiting the Terra Cotta Conservation Area, you can hop on the free shuttle and visit the Badlands free of charge. The bus runs every 30 minutes from 9am-4:30pm