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Ardagh Bluffs Natural Area

The Ardagh Bluffs are located between Ardagh Road and Mapleview Drive, west of Essa Road. It boasts over 17 km of recreational trails and has a total area of 518 acres. Most of the area is zoned Environmentally Protected (EP) and houses a variety of species.

The Ardagh Bluffs Recreational Trail System is used for walking and hiking. The use of motorized vehicles within the area is prohibited and dogs must be on leash. . Please be respectful of the Bluffs and local residents, bring litter-less lunches and snacks, and dispose of any litter in the proper waste receptors.

Parking

There is lot parking at the Holly Community Centre at 171 Mapleton Ave across from the Central Creek trailhead. All other entrances are street parking only. Due to limited parking facilities, users are asked to be aware of municipal parking by-laws and signs on streets including no parking in front of mailboxes and fire hydrants.

Map & Markers

A trail marking scheme and map system includes four main trail systems identified by coloured squares, and several secondary and tertiary trails identified by triangles and circles. If you are out enjoying the trails, please be respectful of the work and do not paint over the markers or add your own. Markers and signs are set in place for your safety and use of the area. 

Ardagh Bluffs Park Plan

A management plan for the Ardagh Bluffs was completed in 2007. Please click on the links below to view the plan and its associated appendices and figures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a Dog Off Leash Recreation Area (DOLRA) in Ardagh?
No. Ardagh has many endangered plant species and boasts a relatively untouched natural area. The area is also Environmentally Protected therefore letting dogs run free through the bush risks damaging species that are trying to be preserved. If you would like to run your dog off leash please visit one of Barrie's dog off-leash recreation areas.
I am concerned about Poison ivy. What does it look like and how easy is it to get walking through Ardagh?
Poison Ivy has three leaves and a red stem. If you look closely the tips of the leaves will have a reddish hew to them and the leaves may appear oily or "shiny". The City asks that all users remain on the path to greatly reduce poison ivy risk. Users should also not wander through unmarked trails or trails marked by residents that do not match the City Standards and/or trail map. The marking standards can be found on the Ardagh home page.
Is there a cost to use Ardagh Bluffs?
The great thing about Ardagh is that it is absolutely free to the public. There are no entrance fees and parking fees. Users are only asked to respect the natural area, by-laws and local residents backing onto the Bluffs.
Are there picnic areas and restrooms?
There are no picnic spots within the Bluffs. Users may choose to picnic at some of the larger entrance sites. The City reminds users to please bring litter-less lunches and dispose of all wastes into proper waste receptors before entering the trails. Restrooms are available at the Hollywood Community Centre located on Mapleton Ave at the Central Creek trailhead.
Are there garbage cans and waste receptacles along the trails?
No. Any waste receptacles will be located at the beginning and end of every major trail. Users are asked to bring litter-less lunches to the trails and to “leave no trace”.
Where can I park my vehicle?
There is lot parking at the Holly Community Centre at 171 Mapleton Ave across from the Central Creek trailhead. All other entrances are street parking only.
When are the trails open?
The trails are open year round, all day, seven days a week. The trails are not maintained in the winter months however, so visitors are reminded that they are to use the trails at their own risk. As well if you find maintenance being done on the trails in the spring and summer months by City Staff please be respectful and stay away from the area for your own safety, until the work is completed.
Are the trails be groomed for Cross country skiing and/or snowshoeing in the winter?
No. There will be no winter maintenance on the trails. Users are encouraged to partake in these activities but are reminded that they do so at their own risk.
Can I drink the water from the streams in Ardagh?
The City does not treat any of the water within the bluffs. The City does not advise drinking or using the water to wash food or food containers. Please bring your own water supply.
Is the Ardagh wheelchair accessible?
No. Ardagh is not considered to be wheelchair accessible due to the steep slopes and earthen trails. If you are looking for fully wheelchair accessible pathway, please visit the Waterfront Heritage Trail where a paved 3m wide walkway is available or the North Shore Trail, a hard packed 4-metre wide trail extending from Heritage Park easterly towards Penetanguishene Road.

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