Parks FAQ

Explore Frequently Asked Questions

Park General Admissions and Reservations

Admission must be paid online or by phone for Island Lake, Ken Whillans and Terra Cotta Conservation Areas. Go to the admission and reservation page to purchase tickets.

Check Park Advisories online before visiting for up to date information.

Admission tickets can be purchased online using contactless payment to reduce contact points at the park. Be prepared to show your ticket to staff onsite.  Even with pre-purchased admission tickets, admission is on a first come first served basis at Island Lake, Ken Whillans and Terra Cotta Conservation Areas and is subject to seasonal operating hours. Tickets can be used any day the park is open during the same calendar year the ticket is purchased.

Please note, we do our best to accommodate all visitors. Parking is subject to availability and is not guaranteed for pre-purchased admission tickets. If the park is at full capacity when you arrive, you can come another day or request a refund.

Admission is always free for Credit Valley Parks passholders and Conservation Parks members; you do not require an admission ticket but you must show your pass to staff upon entry.

Please check our Park Advisories before leaving home for the latest updates at each park.

Visitors can access some of our parks for free when they use active transportation. Active transportation includes travelling to the park by walking, biking, jogging, running, cycling, in-line skating, skateboarding, non-mechanized wheel chairing, skiing and snowshoeing. It does not include driving to or parking near a park boundary and entering by active transportation methods. Vehicles parked on adjacent roads are subject to enforcement.

Entry through active transportation is available in the following locations:

Terra Cotta Conservation Area– main gate
Island Lake Conservation Area – main gate
Ken Whillans Resource Management Area – main gate

Admission through active transportation is subject to availability. If the park is at full capacity when you arrive, you will not be permitted entry. Please check our Park Advisories before leaving home for the latest updates at each park.

Please note: Our Active Transportation policy does not apply at Belfountain Conservation Area. All visitors must make a reservation in order to visit this property. Bruce Trail users are permitted to hike through the property and do not require a reservation.

 

Online Services Through Xplor Recreation (formerly PerfectMind)

Visit cvc.perfectmind.com and click on ‘signup.’

You are required to make an account to purchase a parks pass. We also offer online reservations. You can see your previous bookings and purchases, and you can make cancellations online.

We collect birthdates to customize age-related product offerings. The correct pricing will be presented based on the birthdate you put on your client record. Birthdates are not used for any other purpose, nor do we share this information with third parties.

First create an account. Log in and hover over the ‘Parks Pass’ drop-down at the top of the screen. Here you can select ‘buy a parks pass’ or ‘renew a parks pass.’ The renewal option is for current Credit Valley Parks passholders whose pass has not expired.

Before your parks pass expires:

Log in to your account at cvc.perfectmind.com and click on the ’my info’ tab. Your current pass will be listed in the box above your contact information. Click on the three dots on the top left corner of the box and choose ‘renew’. You will be taken to the payment cart. Your 15 per cent discount will be applied.

After your parks pass expires:

Log in to your account at cvc.perfectmind.com and click on the ‘Parks Pass’ tab. Click on ‘buy a parks pass’, choose your pass type and follow the prompts.

Your parks pass will be mailed out within two weeks, in the meantime you can gain access:

CVC Parks: let staff know you have purchased a parks pass online and are waiting for your card. Staff can look up your account and provide entry on valid passes.

TRCA Parks: log in into your CVC Parks account, go to your invoices to find a copy of your receipt to present to staff.

To gift a parks pass, please select the gift card for the pass type you would like to give. Family, individual and senior individual parks passes are available.

General admission tickets are available for Island Lake, Terra Cotta or Ken Whillans. Admission tickets can be used on any day within that calendar year. Each ticket is valid for one park visit.

Online Reservation System for Belfountain Conservation Area

Belfountain Conservation Area is a small property with limited parking and road access. Capacity restrictions allow us to create the conditions to ensure everyone has the necessary parking, and helps provide an enjoyable visitor experience that is not overcrowded.

The reservation system offers 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. The reservation system also allows CVC to improve the overall visitor experience and create a more efficient, enjoyable and sustainable approach to park management.

Book up to two weeks in advance and have alternative dates in mind to accommodate your visit. Same day reservations are not available.

Yes, however a reservation is advised to guarantee your parking space and allow you to choose a time that best suits your schedule. You can also avoid the frustration of arriving to the park and being turned away because it is already at capacity.

Visit CVCparks.ca or call 1-800-367-0890 to make a reservation at least a day in advance of arriving at the park. Parking at these parks is extremely limited. Those that show up at the park without a reservation may be turned away.

For visitor safety and to support local businesses, walk-in visitors to the Belfountain Conservation Area aren’t permitted. There is limited legal street parking in the hamlet of Belfountain.

Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance. Same day reservations are not available.

Reservations are not required but are advised for Credit Valley Parks passholders (CVC) and Conservation Parks members (TRCA). If you show up without a reservation, you will be admitted on a first come first served basis by showing your card at the gatehouse. Please be prepared to show your card along with your online reservation receipt when you arrive at the park.

Credit Valley Parks passholders can make a reservation online at cvcparks.ca and login to your account. Conservation Parks members (TRCA) must call 1-800-367-0890 to reserve. Reservations and admission are free for Credit Valley Parks passholders (CVC) and Conservation Parks members (TRCA).

No,  Conservation Ontario passholders are still able to visit for free by showing your pass at the gatehouse or you can simply call us at 1-800-367-0890 to make a reservation if you wish. Additionally, you MUST have your Conservation Ontario pass and your online reservation ticket with you when you arrive.

Reservations are made for specific time slots during the park hours of operation.

Belfountain Conservation Area – Your visit will give you a 2-hour time slot, which is enough time to see everything that the property has to offer. Visiting Belfountain Conservation Area all day is not an option.

Check your confirmation email for details of your visit. Your reservation includes access to Terra Cotta and Island Lake Conservation Areas where you can stay longer if capacity allows.

Same-day reservations are not available to make entry at the park more efficient. Attempting to make reservations while waiting in the queue increases processing time at the gatehouse. Making a reservation by phone while driving or pulling over to do so is both dangerous and illegal in the area. Based on past occurrences, we are working to mitigate these issues and are asking visitors to plan and make reservations in advance. By making a reservation in advance, you will save $5 on your vehicle permit.

Yes. Show your parking pass from your visit at Belfountain Conservation Area at the Island Lake or Terra Cotta gatehouses to receive free entry.

Same day entry to these other parks will be allowed if space permits and the park is not already at capacity. Please check cvc.ca/park-advisories for park status before arriving to ensure space is available.

If you have borrowed a Credit Valley Parks Pass from your local library, you can make a reservation by calling 1-800-367-0890. Staff will reserve your time and date at the park of your choice during the hours of operation. 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.

No, the Canoo Pass is not valid at Belfountain Conservation Area.

For visitor safety and to support local businesses, walk-in visitors to the Belfountain Conservation Area aren’t permitted. There is limited legal street parking in the hamlet of Belfountain.

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 because this impacts local traffic, creates safety issues and can inconvenience our neighbours.

To preserve nature and history at Belfountain Conservation Area, picnicking, barbequing and day-camping are not permitted. To make your picnic reservation, visit Terra Cotta CA or Island Lake CA.

Parking

Parking is available at many of our parks however, please be aware of the following conditions:

Island Lake and Terra Cotta Conservation Areas – Parking is available at multiple lots in the park. Accessible parking is available. No roadside parking. If parking is full, please make alternate plans.

Ken Whillans and Limehouse Conservation Areas – Limited parking is available within the park. Accessible parking is available. No roadside parking. If parking is full, please make alternate plans.

Elora Cataract Trailway – Parking lots are located in Erin and Hillsburgh. Accessible parking is available. No roadside parking in these communities.  If parking is full, please make alternate plans.

Rattray Marsh Conservation Area – No parking available at this conservation area. No roadside parking. Parking is available at:

If the parking is full, please make alternate plans.

Silver Creek Conservation Area – Limited roadside parking is available. Do not park in dangerous areas. If the parking is full, please make alternate plans.

Belfountain Conservation Area – Closed for the season.

Please note: there is active police, by-law, provincial offences officer and security officer enforcement at and around the site.

We have electric charging stations in the following locations:

One – level 2 charging station in parking lot P1

Two – level 2 charging station in parking lot P2

Two – level 2 charging station in parking lot P4

The cost per charging station is:

P1 charging station is free to use with admission or your Credit Valley Parks Pass. This unit was donated and has no additional charges. Please move your vehicle after you are finished charging.

P2 and P4 charging stations cost $0.03/minute or $1.80/hour for charging. Park admission or your Credit Valley Parks Pass is required for entry. Please move your vehicle after you are finished charging otherwise a $10/hour parking fee will be charged if your vehicle is still parked there 30 minutes or more after it is fully charged.

There are no refunds for this service.

P1 charging station:

This is a simple charger, unhook the plug from the station and plug it into your vehicle. Use the start and stop button on the station to control charging. When the charger is actively charging the “charging” light will be lit up. Once the battery is charged the “protection” light will come on.

P2 and P4 charging stations:

You will need to pay for your session before the handle will release. You can easily start a session with your ChargePoint card, using the ChargePoint mobile app, with an RFID credit card or by calling driver support at 888-758-4389. The 888 number is listed on each ChargePoint station and on the back of your ChargePoint card.

There are three ways to start a charging session:

  1. Tap to charge. With the ChargePoint app installed, you can start a charging session by holding your phone over the reader symbol on the station. Make sure you have the app and are signed in to your account.

iPhone: In the ChargePoint app, go to Menu, select Account and then Manage Cards. Pick “set it up,” add your ChargePoint pass to Apple Wallet and tap your phone on the station to charge.

Android: Enable NFC, turn your phone screen on and tap your phone on the station to charge.

To use tap to charge, you’ll need iPhone SE, 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, 7 and 7 Plus running iOS 10 or newer, Apple Watch Series 2, Series 1 and 1st generation or Android 4.4 or later with NFC.

2. Start charging from the app. Choose the station and click the ‘Start Charge’ button.

  • Use your ChargePoint card. Just tap your activated ChargePoint card (make sure to activate it) on the card reader symbol on the station.

3. Hold your RFID (chip) credit card over the tap symbol on the front of the charger.

Chargers are available to use during regular hours of operation. Keep in mind these hours change seasonally. Check the webpage for current details.

Please contact the service provider at 1-888-758-4389.

Parks Passes

Parks passes can be purchased online or by calling 1-800-367-0890 in November and December. You can also purchase a parks pass in-person at Island Lake Conservation Area and Terra Cotta Conservation Areas beginning January 2024.

Park Amenities and Activities

Up-to-date listings can be found on our events calendar.

Picnic reservations for the 2024 season will become available February 1, 2024.

Summer equipment rentals and reservations will begin at Island Lake once the water temperature has reached a safe temperature. Please check our Park Advisories page for more up to date information.

Vicki Barron Lakeside Trail

Visitors can access the trail through several entry points. You can only access parking designated for lakeside trail use. If parking lots are full, please respect that there is no roadside parking. Other nearby parking lots, such as Home Hardware, are private property and cars will be towed.

Access points include:

Main Gates: 673067 Hurontario St. South, Orangeville

Regular admission is required and space may be limited based on capacity limits for safe physical distancing. Credit Valley Parks passholders receive free parking.

Note: the large turnaround at the front gate is a no parking zone, for emergency vehicles only. You may be ticketed or towed if parked there.

South Shore Access:

Rotary Park – 75 Second Avenue, Orangeville

Parking is available with trail access via George Douglas Way. Trail entrance is off Highway 10, across from 4th Avenue.

North Shore Access:

  • 24306 Hockley Road, Mono – across from Mono Amaranth Public School

Parking is available with trail access off the parking lot. Twelve spaces are available.

  • 673173 Hurontario Street North, Mono

Parking is available with trail access off the parking lot. Twenty-six spaces are available.

Note: The north and south shore access points are for pedestrians only. No motorized vehicles, lake access or watercrafts permitted from these parking lots.

There are several entry points to access the Vicki Barron Lakeside Trail for free using active transportation. While this community trail is free to use, it’s important to note that gate fees and the sales from parks passes help support monitoring and maintenance for year-round use. By purchasing a parks pass, you can ensure the trail is taken care of so you, your family and friends can continue to access it, while also enjoying the additional benefits of being a member.

Customer Service

Conservation Areas are spaces for the public to visit and connect with nature. Whether it’s your first visit or simply your first visit in a while, it’s important to get familiar with park etiquette, and the rules and regulations before heading to a local conservation area. We want you to make the most of your visit! Before you leave home make sure you:

Our park staff are receiving a high volume of calls and emails. Many of your questions can be answered through our online resources which include:

We recommend reviewing these resources first. If you still need assistance, email us or call 1-800-367-0890 and our staff can assist you. Please leave a message if you are unable to reach a staff member.

TackleShare Program

Initiated by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and proudly sponsored by Ontario Power Generation, the TackleShare Program gives new and intermediate anglers the opportunity to go fishing by removing the barriers that prevent them from getting involved, such as access to fishing equipment, and knowledge about recreational angling.

Participating anglers simply sign out a rod and reel, as well as an assortment of tackle in the same way they would borrow library material from a TackleShare loaner site, such as Credit Valley Parks.

Learn about fishing from educational fishing videos on the TackleShare YouTube channel. For more information on the program, visit the TackleShare website.

Summer fishing rod rentals are available at Island Lake Conservation Area and Ken Whillans Resource Management Area under the TackleShare program. There is no cost to rent the rods, however a $20 deposit is required onsite. Rods are available on a first come first serve basis.

Giant Hogweed

If you think you have found giant hogweed, keep your distance and avoid contact with this plant. Report your sighting to help us keep track of this species in the Credit River Watershed.

Giant hogweed is not currently abundant in the Credit River Watershed. There are also a few other species that are commonly mistaken for giant hogweed. To learn more about this species and its look-a-likes, please visit our Giant Hogweed page.

 

 

Tales on the Trails Program

 

Tales on the Trail, is an interactive experience that features a series of storybook panels along short trails at Island Lake and Terra Cotta Conservation Areas. Stories will be displayed in one-month intervals, all year long. There is also the possibility for additional presentations of literature or art. Check the park advisories page for the most up to date story. This latest park feature was introduced alongside project partners Orangeville Public Library, Halton Hills Public Library, Friends of Island Lake and the Women’s Institute. The installation at Island Lake Conservation Area is located around the Natural Playground, while the installation at Terra Cotta Conservation Area is located along the Wetland Trail.

 

 

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