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Cheltenham Badlands, Caledon

4.2
#1 of 25 in Things to do in Caledon
Witness thousands of years of geological history at Cheltenham Badlands. While the rock formations reveal the history of the river, magnificent red hills and gullies with green rocks testify to poor farming practices in 1930s. The presence of iron oxide gives the badlands a natural red color, but due to cultivation in the area, groundwater transformed the red into green iron. Years of excessive tourism have damaged the formation. Today, you can't go down the trail, but you can see the strikingly colored rocks from the viewing area, accessible by road and including a parking lot. Bring your camera to capture the Mars-like landscape. Make Cheltenham Badlands part of your personalized Alton itinerary using our Alton trip itinerary maker.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
199 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • August 12, 2017
    You were able to walk on the badlands, but this is not so anymore, I am not sure why this place is closed off now.  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    An interesting stop on the Forks of the Credit River.It is presently closed to the public but when it reopens with parking and visitor facilities I am sure its rating will soar. A unique geological ar...  more »
  • August 7, 2017
    The area is closed off by a fence, but you can Park beside the road and walk on the side and enjoy the view. If you are in Caledon, this beautiful land is a must see!  more »
Google
  • July 5, 2017
    A great geological site. So sad to see it so degraded by people lack of concern and care for the environment. (Taken from Geocaching site originally written by res2100) The area has been identified as an Earth Science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The Badlands are also part of Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment, which was designated a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Biosphere Reserve in 1990. Where you are now standing was once the edge of a warm, shallow sea. Far to the southeast, a mountain range the size of the Himalayas was building, and rivers from these mountains were sending red, iron-rich sediment from the mountains into the seas, forming a large, muddy delta. The sea was teaming with life, but on land, no plants or animals had yet developed. Formation of the Badlands Queenston Shale is a very soft rock, in comparison to the harder sandstone, limestone and dolostone that make up the rest of the Niagara Escarpment. Erosion of the shale can occur rapidly if layers of other rock or vegetation are removed, and particularly if the area is impacted by grazing and large number of people. The Badlands probably began to form in the early 1900s when the trees were cut down to allow for a cattle pasture. The protective layer of vegetation was removed and the shale began to erode; although farming at the site ended in 1931, erosion of the badlands has continued to its present-day state. The Badlands are part of Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment, which was designated a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) World Biosphere Reserve in 1990. The property contains one of the best examples of “badlands topography” development in southern Ontario, and has been identified as an Earth Science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) by the Ministry of Natural Resources. Badlands topography is rare in Ontario because in most areas the shale is protected from erosion by overlying hard rock (limestone, dolostone or sandstone), sand or gravel. The Badlands lie within the Inglewood Slope Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA), which is an important groundwater discharge area. The coldwater stream on the property at the foot of the badlands is a tributary of the Credit River. As of May 2015, a fence has been installed to keep people off of the Badlands. Over the years people continue to ignore the signage and walk all over the Badlands causing them to erode at 4 times the normal rate. Because of this abuse, access to the area has become more restricted. The Bruce Trail however still goes through the site and it may be best to park a few hundred meters north of the Bruce Trail access and hike in off of CreditvView Rd which would be a hike of about 1.3km.
  • July 6, 2017
    Looked great, but you couldn't go inside, you just had to watch badlands from the street. Also no parking.
  • March 2, 2017
    my kids love this place.. we have been to this place numerous times but unfortunately its closed now for public access. very scenic and fun place though..
  • June 18, 2017
    A beautiful nature! Nice to see an unusual place like this.
  • May 28, 2017
    Nice little stop. Unfortunately it's now fenced in.

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