Dufferin County encouraging residents to explore forests as weather warms

March 23, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The County of Dufferin is encouraging residents to get out and explore the forests found within the region in recognition of the International Day of Forests. 

The United Nations General Assembly’s International Day of Forests (Mar. 21) is a day to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests. The day also brings to attention how forests plan a role in a community’s overall health, including water purification, cleaning the air, capturing carbon to fight climate change, and providing food and life-saving medicines. 

“This International Day of Forests, we celebrate our local Dufferin County Forest and the many environmental, economic and social benefits it provides us with,” said Caroline Mach, county forest manager. “As the weather continues to warm, we encourage residents to get out and explore our local Dufferin County Forests.” 

The Dufferin County Forest is a 1,066-hectare multi-tract forested area owned and managed by the county. It is made up of 14 forest areas or tracts located throughout Dufferin, with the single largest area in the Main Tract (607 hectares) located within Mulmur Township. Major tree species found in the forests include red pine, white pine, white spruce, eastern white cedar, larch, red oak, sugar maple, white ash, black cherry, white birch and poplar. 

“It serves an important function in terms of erosion and water control, natural heritage protection, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, support of the rural economy through timber production and employment opportunities,” explained a press release from the county. 

As part of International Day of Forests, the county has highlighted various ways residents can explore Dufferin County’s forests, such as hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and snowmobiling on designated Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) trails. 

Hunting is also permitted between October and May in forest tracts in the communities of south Amaranth, Gara Gore, Melancthon, Randwick, Riverview, and Simmons County. Hunters must obtain a hunting forest use permit from the county.

While getting out and exploring the forested areas in the region, the county has shared some of their dos and don’ts with residents to help with sustainability and safety.

  • Obeying all signs when using trails 
  • Carrying out what you carry in 
  • Remember your emergency number, which is posted at the entrance to each county Forest with a six-digit “address” 
  • No motorized vehicles are permitted in the forest except snowmobiles on designated trails
  • No campfires or camping permitted
  • Not littering or dumping 

Exploring local forestry does come with the risk of spreading invasive plants, so the county has also provided six tips on how to help prevent their spread.

  • Stay on the path – venturing off of a hiking path risks picking up plant seeds and creating disturbed areas for invasive species to grow easily
  • Clean your gear – check all equipment at the end of your adventure for plant materials
  • Groom your pet – inspect your pet after a walk and wash off any mud that might be carrying invasive plant seeds
  • Report all invaders – take a photo and report any sightings of invasive species to the Invading Species Hotline (1-800-563-7711) or visit
  • Spread the word – motivate friends and family to take action and share information 
  • Volunteer – join the Friends of the Dufferin County Forest to help take care of the forest 

More information on Dufferin County Forests, recreational opportunities, the county’s volunteer groups, and upcoming events can be found at

Residents can also sign up for the Dufferin County Forest newsletter for county forest news and events at that link. 


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