Visitor Safety

Northumberland County strives to ensure that all visitors to the Forest have a safe and enjoyable experience. Help us make the Forest a welcoming recreational space where natural habitats are respected and preserved by observing the below guidelines.

Guidelines for visiting the Northumberland County Forest

  • Respect the Forest and its natural habitats by obeying signage, gates and barriers.
  • Park at authorized trailheads only.
  • Refrain from disturbing or feeding wildlife.
  • Dispose of waste properly - do not litter (including cigarettes and tissues).
  • Respect private property that borders the Forest.
  • Respect other users by sharing the trails and using trails only as designated.
  • Ensure pets are leashed and remove their waste from trails and parking areas.
  • There is no camping in the Forest.
  • Campfires are prohibited and please take care when smoking.
  • Respect enforcement personnel - they are there to clarify guidelines and help ensure the Forest remains a safe space for visitors and natural inhabitants.

The importance of observing signage in the Forest

Please help us conserve and protect the County Forest and its natural habitats – respect and follow all signage.

Signage throughout the forest indicates which trails are open for use. If you do not see a sign at the entrance to a trail, it is not a designated trail. Users are responsible for knowing which trails they can use. Maps of the designated trails are available on each recreational use category page.

County by-law officers, O.P.P., Conservation Officers and volunteer patrols perform enforcement regularly throughout the year.

Restricted access to Hydro One corridor in the Forest

The Hydro One corridor in the County Forest is a dedicated service corridor for maintenance of area hydro towers. While it may look like a maintained trail, this corridor is not for recreational use. The terrain along this corridor, along with the fact that it is not maintained as a recreational trail, makes this area unsafe for use by the general public.   

Fencing, gates and signage are in place where this corridor intersects with Forest trails to clarify that access to this area is restricted to authorized personnel only.

Safety gates

To enhance visitor safety, gates are installed at all five trailheads in the Northumberland County Forest.

Gate at the Woodland trailhead in the County Forest Gate at the Beagle Club trailhead in the County Forest

These gates are for use by Forest Services in the event of an emergency; they remain open at all other times. When closed, these gates signal unsafe conditions in the Forest, such as trail damage due to significant weather events, active timber harvest operations, a fire or a declared emergency.

For your safety, if you notice the gates to a trail are closed when visiting the Forest, please visit an alternate trailhead. The County makes every effort to notify the public of trail closures via our website and social media.