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Ardagh Bluffs Natural Area

Home to Barrie's south end, the Ardagh Bluffs Area is located between Ardagh Road and Mapleview Drive, west of Essa Road.  It boasts over 17 kilometres 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 different species.   The Ardagh Bluffs Recreational Trail System will be used for walking and hiking, and the City would like to remind users that the use of motorized vehicles within the Bluffs is prohibited and dogs must be on leash. As well, due to limited parking facilities, users are asked to be aware of municipal parking by-laws on streets including no parking in front of mailboxes and fire hydrants. 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.

Ardagh Bluffs Natural Area    Ardagh Bluffs Natural Area

Ardagh Bluffs Trails

City Staff has implemented a trail marking scheme and map system that includes four main trail systems which are 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. The City markers are being set in place for your safety and future use of the area.  Trailhead signs have been installed.

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

Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a Dog Off Leash Recreation Area (DOLRA) in Ardagh? Answer
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 Sunnidale Park where there is a designated DOLRA site.
I am concerned about Poison ivy. What does it look like and how easy is it to get walking through Ardagh? Answer
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? Answer
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? Answer
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? Answer
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? Answer
There is lot parking at the Holly Community Centre on Mapleton Ave across from the Central Creek trailhead. All other entrances are street parking only.
When are the trails open? Answer
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.
Will the trails be groomed for Cross country skiing and/or snowshoeing in the winter? Answer
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.
I am concerned about getting lost. Will maps be provided? Answer
Maps will be provided on each of the trailhead signs at the beginning and end of every trail. Maps are also available for download on the Ardagh webpage and will also be available in the Recreation Map Brochure. If you are unable to obtain a map off the web site visit City Hall or any City Facility for a Recreation Map Brochure or simply stay on the trails which will be clearly marked.
Can I drink the water from the streams in Ardagh? Answer
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? Answer
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 City’s Waterfront where a paved 3m wide walkway is available or the North Shore Trail, a hard packed 4.0 metre wide trail extending from Heritage Park easterly towards Penetanguishene Road.


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