Looking for something to do this weekend? You can pay a visit to one of Ontario’s most spectacular geological sights, The Cheltenham Badlands. The badlands open for the season on Saturday, April 30 and believe us when we say the visit is well worth it.

You’ll find this incredible sight right in the GTA in Caledon. According to Ontario Heritage Trust, the badlands were first formed at the base of an ancient sea over 450 million years ago.

It’s known as “one of the most recognizable and visited natural heritage landmarks in southern Ontario,” and for good reason. There’s nothing else quite like it anywhere in the province and the history is equally as fascinating.

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Spanning 36 acres, the badlands were first occupied by Ancestors of the Mississaugas of the Credit for hunting, fishing, and foraging.

Then from around 1850 to 1950, the land was used by European settlers to grow crops and raise cattle.

However,  since the early 1900s, the “removal of trees and early farming practices caused the shallow topsoil to erode away, in turn exposing the underlying Queenston shale,” says the Heritage Trust.

The erosion of the shale over time is what led to the badlands transforming into the desert-like landscape it is today, made up of rolling red rock with ridges and gullies.


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Because The Cheltenham Badlands are at high risk of damage due to frequent public use, conservation work was recently performed to preserve the site and upgrade the surrounding trails.

The Badlands trail takes you along the viewing platform and boardwalk overlooking the red rocks, and then through a slow-growing forest.

The site is open to the public by reservation, which you can book in advance online.

With the warm weather finally here, this is the perfect spot for some outdoor exploration.


Where: 1739 Olde Base Line Rd, Caledon
When: Opens April 30, 2022