No Public Camping is Allowed on Ganaraska Hiking Trail

  • There are unfortunately no public camp sites along the Ganaraska Hiking Trail, other than in the Wilderness section. 
  • Here are some more details about that: “While there are camping sites within Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park (which encompasses most of the Wilderness Section of the Ganaraska Trail), please be advised that QEIIWPP is a “non-operating” park, which means park users have free access but there is no reservation system and demand far exceeds supply, especially during the summer and weekends. Through hikers will need to spend a night at Loon Lake in the centre of the park, but at least that location should be okay for capacity. Anyone requiring further information should contact the Ontario Parks office at Balsam Lake.”
  • Also note that the provincial parks along the Ganaraska Hiking Trail are day-use only, and the campground at New Lowell Conservation Area is for seasonal campers only, and is actually closed for walk through hiking during Covid-19 restrictions. Hikers will have to detour to Hoggback Road.
Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park

Frieda Baldwin

Ganaraska Hiking Trail Fastest Known Time (FKT).

I think our members may want to take a run with Chantal Demers along the Ganaraska Hiking Trail, in what is called the Fastest Known Time (FKT). She did the east west route of 387 kms in 5 days, 10 hours and 30 minutes, and was fully self-supported.

Ganaraska Self-Supported FKT

Chantal also did the Oro-Medonte and Midland sections (back and forth) on a different very windy day.

Oro-Midland Ganaraska Side Trail FKT (out & back)

What an unbelievable achievement!
Frieda Baldwin President, Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc.

Ondago updated for Oro-Medonte trail

On June 11 we announced that the Oro-Medonte trail has been moved off of Line 5N in Oro-Medonte between Peter Street and Vasey Road.

As of June 18 our Ondago mobile map app has been updated to reflect the ‘new and improved’ off road trail between these two points. If you have previously downloaded the Oro-Medonte trail you will see an update notice when you next open this trail in the app – simply click on the update icon and in a few seconds you be ready to go!

Oro-Medonte Club off-road trail between Peter Street and Vasey Road now blazed and available

2019 turned out to be a very wet spring, and caused the northern part of the Oro Medonte section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail to be closed due to flooding, and the trail was moved to roadside walking between Peter Street and Vasey Road on Line 5N. This past spring has been a lot drier and has allowed us to re-open the off-road section between Peter Street and Vasey Road, and trail maintenance has been done so that that section is now open again. 
Please note that currently that our Ondago mapping app still shows the detour along Oro-Medonte Line 5, but the app is currently being updated, and should show the corrected route shortly.

New Lowell Conservation Area/Campground is Closed

Due to COVID-19, the Mad River Ganaraska Hiking Trail section through the New Lowell Conservation Area/campground is closed until further notice, at the request of the campground manager. Hikers will have to make their way south on Hogback Road and reconnect with the trail at the county forest.

Hi all, this is a temporary situation, and we will be allowed back on the campground as soon as social distancing and Covid 19 regulations are eased.
Frieda Baldwin

Covid-19 Protocol and Tips

Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc.

Given that we are seeing more hikers on our trail, and members are getting anxious to get out and hike, or do trail maintenance, here are some guidelines that our clubs and members may want to consider under Covid-19:

– large group outings and carpooling are still not allowed

– max. group size of 5

– maintain a physical distance of 2 m at all times

– stay home if you feel unwell or are sick

– stay local

– leash your dog

Know where and when to go.It’s best if we don’t all go to the most popular trailheads or parks at the most popular times of day. Early morning or evening tends to be less crowded. If you arrive at a parking lot and it is full, find another trail.

In planning your hike or trail maintenance, consider that since carpooling is not allowed, that individuals will be arriving in their personal car, thus requiring more parking space. In some spots, this may be problematic as there just is not enough room. Also, do not park in front of any gates, on private lawns, and make sure you leave enough space for farm equipment to pass. 

Keeping a social distance on single use trails can also be problematic, especially on bridges, boardwalks, or a trail on a cliff side, where there is just no way to step off the trail to let others pass. It is therefore recommended to wear a mask (have it handy!) or pass each other back to back. 

When stopping for a snack or picnic, please move far enough off the trail, so that social distance can be maintained when other hikers (or cyclists if you happen to be on a mountain bike or shared use trail) need to pass. 

Slow down, step back, and let people know when you’re approaching. Yield to oncoming trail users. A friendly “Hello!” will alert anyone walking in front of you. If you find yourself coming up behind a slower walker and you don’t have 2 m to pass safely, slow down instead. If somebody is getting too close to you, step back to allow enough space.

Keep single file (even on wide trails). Do not spread out all over the trail. When you let someone pass, step off to the side and stay put — don’t walk alongside the path.

Consider pre-registration with a pre-set maximum, to make sure you are not exceeding the allowable max group size and there is sufficient parking.

When signing waivers, consider having a bottle of hand sanitizer available so participants can clean their hands after holding the clipboard and using the pen. 

Be considerate of other hikers: put your cell phones on vibrate, or silence the ringer, and unless it is an emergency, refrain from talking on the phone while hiking, so that others can enjoy the sounds of the forest. 

Frieda Baldwin (705) 245-1005 – email:

The GHTA Announces The Appointment of Karen Bernardo as Public Relations Officer

Karen is very enthousiastic about the position, and brings the following experience. 

* Has owned a fitness Business since 2005 

* Hosts Fitness Retreats 

* Cottaged in Penetanguishene for over 20 yrs and now spends time in Wasaga Beach

* Avid hiker, road cyclist and skier

* Company has raised over 1.2 m for Sick Kids Hospital leukemia research

* Runs all the PR/ media relations, platforms & charitable events for her company for 15 years.

The sustainability of our 500 km long trail is one of my main priorities, and attracting more and younger members is – in my opinion – key to ensuring the continuity of the trail and our organization. Karen’s focus will therefore be on attracting members, and especially the younger hikers.

Karen can be reached at
Thank you, Karen, for stepping up to this important role. 

Frieda Baldwin President Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. 

Ph 705-245-1005

Karen Bernardo

Mad River Ganaraska Section Re-Opens

The Mad River section of the Ganaraska Trail, between Utopia and the westerly cairn of  the trail in Glen Huron was in dire need of some TLC.  This year, starting in March and working until end of May, and thanks to a very small group of dedicated and hardworking volunteers, we managed to bring the trail back into shape.  As it stands right now, the entire 50 km Mad River section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail is open for hiking. 

The entire trail has been re-blazed and had much of the dead-fall of trees and brush removed along with cutting back of overgrown branches, vines and small shrubs/trees, etc.  The section that requires the most ongoing maintenance is the abandoned rail line between Utopia and New Lowell.  As the summer season progresses, plant growth will continue and, therefore, another rail line clean up will be organized later in the year. 

Thanks to everyone who worked on this project to finally have this trail reopened!  Happy Hiking!

2020.05.15 Update – Barrie Trail Temporarily Closed Between Baldwick Land and County Road 90

May 15, 2020

There is still a section of the trail that remains closed even with the opening of some parks in Ontario. The section of trail immediately south of Baldwick Lane is still closed. It is now possible to hike north from County Road 90 until you get through the forest to the open meadow. The situation is being closely monitored – please watch for future updates,

Announcement on May 8, 2020

The west end of the Ganarasaka Barrie Hiking Club trail, from Baldwick Lane to County Road 90, goes through property owned by Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, Nature Conservancy of Canada, and private landowners. Regardless of ownership, all of this section of the trail is in the area designated as Minesing Wetlands. These organizations have all recently designated their properties as closed to the public due the pandemic restrictions.

Until these restrictions are lifted, the Ganaraska trail between Baldwick Land and County Road 90 is to be considered ‘off limits’ to comply with the wishes of the land owners that support our trail system. Thanks for your understanding, and stay safe.