Parks FAQ

ONLINE RESERVATION SYSTEM QUESTIONS GENERAL PARKS QUESTIONS

 

ONLINE RESERVATION SYSTEM QUESTIONS FOR BELFOUNTAIN CA AND CHELTENHAM BADLANDS

Why weren’t these properties open sooner?

Belfountain Conservation Area and the Cheltenham Badlands are among our smallest properties. They are tourist destination parks that consistently see high visitation, which can be a challenge to manage. COVID-19 put additional pressure on parks, conservation areas and greenspaces across Ontario. When we re-opened some of our parks earlier this year, we saw a 41 per cent increase in visitation. We made the decision to keep Belfountain Conservation Area and the Cheltenham Badlands closed to protect public health since physical distancing can be a challenge at these properties when visitation is high. With our new reservation system and enhanced protocol in place, we can ensure a manageable number of visitors at any given time so that all can safely enjoy these special places.

Why do I need a reservation?

A reservation system means we know the number of people in these parks at any given time. This allows us to create the conditions needed for safe physical distancing. This system will offer other benefits, like allowing you to choose the best time to visit before you show up. You can avoid the frustration of arriving to a park and being turned away because it is already at capacity. This system will also allow CVC to improve the visitor experience and create a more efficient, enjoyable and sustainable approach to park management.

Can I just show up at the park?

You cannot show up at the park without a reservation. You must visit CVCparks.ca or call 905-877-1120 to make a reservation before arriving at the park. The entry space to these parks is limited and cannot safely accommodate visitors without a reservation. Those that show up at the park without a reservation will be turned away. There are no exceptions to this rule.

How do I make a reservation?

You must visit CVCparks.ca or call 905-877-1120 to make a reservation before arriving at the park. You can securely use Visa, Mastercard or Visa Debit.

This video will show you how to make a reservation online.

What happens if I can’t make my reservation time or need to cancel?

You have a 15-minute grace period after your reservation time. Your end time will NOT be extended. If you are not able to make this time, please call 905-877-1120 before your reservation time to change your date and time to one that is available. Refunds will not be issued for cancellations that are within 48 hours of the reservation time.

How far in advance can I book my reservation?

Reservations can be made up to two-weeks in advance. Please limit your visits to allow others an opportunity to enjoy these parks.

How are you handling physical distancing at the park?

Once you arrive, maps and recommendations for the best way to see the park will be available. Additionally, signs will be posted on narrow structures and trails for one-way use to allow for physical distancing. Where you find physical distancing challenging, please wear a face covering. Group sizes must adhere to provincial limitations.

Can I park in the village of Belfountain and walk into the park?

No, parking in the village is limited for local business only and not permitted for park visitors. All visitors must have a reservation to enter the park. There is enough available parking onsite to accommodate everyone who has a reservation.

Can I park on the roadside at the Badlands and walk in?

No, vehicles are not permitted to stop, stand or park along Olde Base Line Road. There is an accessible parking space near the feature. This is for persons with a valid permit only. There is enough available parking onsite to accommodate everyone who has a reservation. There will be active police and by-law enforcement around the site.

Is shuttle service available to the Badlands?

There is no shuttle to the Cheltenham Badlands this year in order to limit contact with people outside your social circle and to limit the number of visitors at the park.

How many tickets can I purchase at a time?

Under our new reservation system, visitors will book their time using vehicle admission for these parks. Tickets are available for one vehicle at a time. Please purchase a ticket for your own vehicle. If you plan to arrive in two or more vehicles, a member of each additional vehicle should make their own reservation. We ask that you limit the number of visits to each park this season to allow others an opportunity to enjoy them as well.

Do I need a reservation if I’m a Conservation Parks member?

Yes, everyone needs a reservation to visit. Conservation Parks members will still be able to visit at no additional cost. Members will now have an online account on our new system. You will need to login to access your account number in order to apply your membership privileges to your purchase. View a how-to video here . If you did not receive an email about this, please call 905-877-1120 to make sure we have your most up-to-date information. Please be prepared to show your membership card when you arrive at the park.

Do I need a reservation if I’m a Conservation Ontario pass holder?

Yes, everyone needs a reservation to visit. Conservation Ontario pass holders will still be able to visit at no additional cost. Plan ahead. Simply call us at 905-877-1120 and allow us to create your online profile. This will allow you to make your own reservations for the remainder of the year. You will need to call and renew your privileges with us each year. Additionally, you MUST have your Conservation Ontario pass with you when you arrive.

If I make a reservation, can I stay all day?

Reservations are made for specific time slots during the park hours of operation. Visiting these parks all day will no longer be on option in order to keep physical distancing in place. Check your confirmation email for details at each park.

Cheltenham Badlands: 1.5-hour time slots
Belfountain Conservation Area: 2-hour time slots

If I make a reservation, can I use my receipt to get into other CVC parks?

Yes, show your receipt to receive a discount on your entry to additional Credit Valley Parks  (Ken Whillans, Island Lake and Terra Cotta only). The discount is equal to the value of your receipt and must be used for same day entry only. Entry will be allowed, if space permits, to ensure safe physical distancing. Please check our website for park status before arriving to ensure space is available.

How do I make a reservation for both properties? 

Separate reservations must be made for each park, however you can add them both to your online cart at once.

See this video for more information on how to book a reservation.

What about CVC’s other parks?

All other Credit Valley Parks remain open and are available on a first come–first-served basis. If you require contactless payment you can purchase admission online.

How do I know when to leave?

You will receive an email reminder to the registered email 15 minutes prior to your end time. If you arrived late, there will be no adjustment to your end time.

Why has the admission increased?

Prices reflect general conservation areas fees and include both admission and parking fees in one price.

Are your washrooms open?

Washroom facilities are open at Belfountain Conservation Area with limited capacities to reflect Regional Health guidelines.  The Cheltenham Badlands will have port-a-lets available in the main parking lot.

Is there somewhere I can refill my water bottle?

Potable water is not available at CVC parks in 2020.

Where can I buy a membership?

Memberships can be purchased online at CVCparks.ca or by calling 905-877-1120. You can also purchase a membership in-person at Island Lake Conservation Area throughout the week or at Terra Cotta Conservation Area and Ken Whillans Resource Management Area on weekends only.

What if I want to talk to someone at the parks for information?

Our park staff are receiving a high volume of calls about our new reservation system, as well as general inquiries about all our parks. Many of your questions can be answered through our online resources which include:

We recommend reviewing these resources first. If you still need assistance, please call our 905-877-1120 and our staff can assist you.

How do I make a reservation if I’m using the Conservation Parks library program?

If you are using a Conservation Parks membership card from your local library, you can make a reservation by calling 905-877-1120. Staff will reserve your time and date at the park of your choice during the hours of operation (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.). Please note, space is limited per time slot. Your reservation will only be confirmed as space permits. You should be prepared to select a new time slot to secure a reservation.

Can I use by Canoo Pass to get at Belfountain CA and Cheltenham Badlands?

No, the Canoo Pass is currently not valid at these parks.

I’m planning to come to Belfountain Conservation Area or Cheltenham Badlands using UBER or a ride sharing programs, is there anything I should know before I arrive?

Yes, your reservation includes access to a space in the parking spot. We ask that you have your driver bring you directly into the park and drop you off in the parking lot. Visitors should not have third party ride programs drop them off roadside in the village of Belfountain or the Cheltenham Badlands because this impacts local traffic and can inconvenience our neighbours.

 

GENERAL PARKS QUESTIONS

Are CVC parks and trails available? 

Access to most CVC parks and trails is available for public use. Enhanced safety measures are in place at CVC parks in accordance with public health guidelines to maintain physical distancing and comply with gathering limits. Available park amenities include trails, water access, boat launch and washrooms, where possible. Visit our Conservation Areas page for the up-to-date status on our parks and trails.

Is parking available? 

Limited parking is available at most locations. Please visit our Parks Conditions page for up-to-date status at each property.

Are washrooms available?

Washrooms are available at select locations.  Enhanced safety measures are in place to help protect visitors and staff. Washroom use is limited to ensure visitors always stay six feet apart. Please follow in-park instructions. We have increased our cleaning schedule and frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with public health guidelines.

Do you have contactless payment options?

Visitors can purchase admission online for Island Lake Conservation Area, Terra Cotta Conservation Area and Ken Whillans Resource Management Area. Receipts from online purchases can be shown to staff upon entry at each park or when asked. Tickets can be purchased at cvcparks.ca using our new booking system. This video will show you how to purchase admission through the system.

Debit and credit card purchases using tap or a Conservation Parks membership are also great ways to reduce contact points at the parks. We respectfully ask that you only use cash when necessary.

Are there restrictions or guidelines I need to be aware of when accessing CVC trails?

Visitors must follow these guidelines or use at their own risk:

  • Washrooms are open at select locations but are limited to one person at a time.
  • Practice physical distancing by staying two metres (six feet) apart
  • Stay on trails, stepping off only to allow others to pass
  • Yield to oncoming trail users when crossing bridges and boardwalks
  • Do not gather or arrange to meet family, friends or other groups
  • Visitors must limit group sizes to no more than 10 people from your COVID-19 social circle
  • Visitors in groups larger than 10 people must maintain physical distancing of at least two metres apart
  • Keep pets on leash and clean up after them
  • Do not litter
  • Take all trash with you when leaving the property
  • Be mindful of wildlife and plant-life
  • Do not trespass on private property next to CVC trails
  • Respect the instructions provided by our dedicated staff
  • Bring your own hand sanitizer as there are limited hand-washing facilities available.

CVC also asks visitors to:

  • Select the property closest to them to limit unnecessary travel. Staff will be limiting the number of visitors at each property to ensure safe physical distancing.
  • Limit their stay to ensure everyone can enjoy an experience in nature.
  • Be prepared to turn back if a property is full. Illegal parking is subject to fines and towing.

What’s the difference between provincial parks, conservation reserves and conservation areas?

Provincial conservation reserves and provincial parks are not the same as conservation areas. Your local conservation areas are owned and operated by conservation authorities. Conservation reserves are owned and operated by Ontario Parks.

What parks are available?

Visitors can now access trails and some facilities within Island Lake, Upper Credit, Terra Cotta, Silver Creek, Meadowvale, Rattray Marsh and Limehouse Conservation Areas, as well as Ken Whillans Resource Management Area and the Elora Cataract Trailway.

The Cheltenham Badlands opens September 8. Entry to Belfountain Conservation Area and the Cheltenham Badlands is by reservation only.

What activities can I do at the park?

Recreational activities include walking, hiking, birdwatching, photography, cycling and fishing.

Water access is now available for personal watercraft use. Boat launch access is also available. Physical distancing rules are in place and limit the number of watercrafts allowed in designated areas at a time. Rentals are currently unavailable.

Activities that are not specifically listed on the website are not available at this time. Physical distancing rules at facilities allow CVC to better monitor park use, limit visitor and staff contact and put less strain on emergency services.

Is fishing available?

Personal watercrafts are permitted at this time. Shore fishing is available in select locations within Island Lake Conservation Area and Ken Whillans Resource Management Area. Physical distancing rules are in place at the park to limit visitor and staff contact. Note: Island Lake still offers boat launch access daily, however Ken Whillans offers weekend access only.

Worms are available for purchase at Island Lake and Ken Whillans. Baitfish are not permitted. Worms, where Ontario Fishing Regulations allow, will continue to be allowed as bait in CVC conservation areas. CVC doesn’t allow harvesting of baitfish, frogs, leeches or crayfish in its parks.

Are equipment rentals available?

Kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals are now available at Island Lake Conservation Area and Ken Whillans Resource Management Area. Fishing rods are also available and are free to use through the Tackle Share program. Limited quantities are available. Regular rental fees and deposits apply for all rentals.

Equipment rentals will be issued on a first come, first serve basis as no reservations are being accepted at this time. If possible, bring your own life jacket.

Is boating available?

Personal watercrafts are permitted at this time. Limits are in place for dock and shoreline access to maintain physical distancing. Gas motors are not permitted at any time.

Rentals are available on a first come, first serve basis at Island Lake Conservation Area and Ken Whillans Resource Management Area. If possible, bring your own life jacket.

Note: Island Lake still offers boat launch access daily, however Ken Whillans offers weekend access only.

Does this mean boat launches are open?

Boat launches are now open for personal watercraft use. Only three watercrafts will be permitted on the dock or at the shoreline at one time to maintain physical distancing among visitors. Please obey all onsite signage.

Note: Island Lake still offers boat launch access daily, however Ken Whillans offers weekend access only.

Is watercraft storage available at Island Lake Conservation Area?

Our watercraft storage is now open. A maximum of five people will be allowed into the storage area at one time to maintain physical distancing guidelines. Please obey all onsite signage.

Are you accepting group reservations?

Group reservations cannot be made until further notice. Reservations are subject to compliance with provincial restrictions on gatherings at that time. Every effort will be made to contact you for changes to your booking within 30 days. If you have a question about a previously booked reservation, please email recreation@cvc.ca.

Can I have a picnic?

To maintain visitor and staff safety, pavilions currently remain closed and picnic tables are unavailable.

Will you be hosting any events this year?

All CVC Parks events are cancelled until the end of September. Up-to-date listings can be found on our events calendar. We will assess future events based on the direction of the province and public health authorities.

Will my membership be extended because of the closure?

Memberships that were impacted by the closure will be extended. Memberships purchased from March 2020 through to May 2020, will get an extension of up to three months on your current membership (depending which month you purchase your card during the parks closure). Please contact recreation@cvc.ca for more information. All members affected who have provided their email will get a notification.

Data and information released from Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) are provided on an 'AS IS' basis, without warranty of any kind, including without limitation the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement.

Availability of this data and information does not constitute scientific publication. Data and/or information may contain errors or be incomplete. CVC and its employees make no representation or warranty, express or implied, including without limitation any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or warranties as to the identity or ownership of data or information, the quality, accuracy or completeness of data or information, or that the use of such data or information will not infringe any patent, intellectual property or proprietary rights of any party. CVC shall not be liable for any claim for any loss, harm, illness or other damage or injury arising from access to or use of data or information, including without limitation any direct, indirect, incidental, exemplary, special or consequential damages, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

In accordance with scientific standards, appropriate acknowledgment of CVC should be made in any publications or other disclosures concerning data or information made available by CVC.
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