The Ganaraska Hiking Trail originated with the idea of the Willow Beach Field Naturalists of Northumberland County in the early 1960s for a trail to allow naturalists access to the unspoiled countryside. The Ganaraska Hiking Trail from Port Hope to Lindsay was officially opened on April 21, 1968.

Additional sections were established from the Bruce Trail at Glen Huron to Midhurst and from the Wye Marsh to the Copeland Forest after 1969. In the early 1980s, it was decided to extend the east and west sections of the trail further north and to connect them by a trail across the wilderness of what is now Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park. Blazing and marking this section of the trail was a major challenge and it was finally completed in the winter by snowmobile. This wilderness section of the trail remains a challenge to hikers today.

In 2000, the name of the association was changed from The Ganaraska Trail Association Inc. to Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. to distinguish it from equestrian and multi-use trails.

(Charity Registration # 847447414 RR0001)