Parks FAQ

Explore Frequently Asked Questions

Park General Admissions and Reservations

We offer different options for entry to our parks depending on your needs and the location you wish to visit. Options for admission to our parks include:

  1. Pay your admission on arrival at the gatehouse – available for Island Lake, Ken Whillans and Terra Cotta Conservation Areas.
  2. Pre-purchase your admission – a contactless pay option is available for Island Lake, Ken Whillans and Terra Cotta Conservation Areas. (Note: pre-purchased admission does not guarantee your entry during peak visitation times or allow you to bypass line-up).

Admission tickets can be purchased online using contactless payment to reduce contact points at the park. Simply show your confirmation receipt to our gate staff when you arrive. 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. Your ticket will be scanned for validation upon entry.

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 change your dates 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 the Cheltenham Badlands and Belfountain Conservation Area. All visitors must make a reservation in order to visit these properties. Bruce Trail users are permitted to hike through the property and do not require a reservation.

 

Online Services Through Perfect Mind

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 Cheltenham Badlands and Belfountain Conservation Area

The Cheltenham Badlands and Belfountain Conservation Area are small properties with limited parking and road access. Reservations allow us to create the conditions, to ensure that everyone has the necessary parking and helps provide an enjoyable visitor experience that is not overcrowded.

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

Please book early and have alternative dates in mind to accommodate your visit.

You cannot show up at the Cheltenham Badlands or Belfountain Conservation Area without a reservation. You must visit CVCparks.ca or call 1-800-367-0890 to make a reservation before arriving at the park. Parking at these parks is extremely limited and cannot safely accommodate visitors without a reservation. Those that show up at the park without a reservation may be turned away.

Reservations can be made up to two-weeks in advance.

Yes, everyone needs a reservation to visit the Cheltenham Badlands or Belfountain Conservation Area. Conservation Parks members and Credit Valley Parks passholders are able to visit these parks for free but must have a reservation. Please be prepared to show your card along with your online reservation ticket when you arrive at the park.

Yes, everyone needs a reservation to visit the Cheltenham Badlands and Belfountain Conservation Area. Conservation Ontario passholders are still able to visit for free. Please plan ahead. Simply call us at 1-800-367-0890. 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 reservation 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.

Cheltenham Badlands – Your reservation will give you a 1.5-hour time slot, which is enough time to see everything that the property has to offer. Visiting the Cheltenham Badlands 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.

Yes. Show your parking pass from your visit at the Cheltenham Badlands or 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 Conservation Parks membership card 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 the Cheltenham Badlands or Belfountain Conservation Area.

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 Cheltenham Badlands and 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.

The Cheltenham Badlands – A reservation is required to visit the park. Vehicles are not permitted to stop, stand or park along Olde Base Line Road. One accessible parking space is located near the feature and is for persons with a valid permit and an accessible reservation only. There is available parking onsite to accommodate everyone who has a reservation.

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

Belfountain Conservation Area – A reservation is required to visit the park. Vehicles are not permitted to stop, stand or park along Forks Three accessible parking spaces are located in the park and is for persons with a valid permit and an accessible reservation only. There is available parking onsite to accommodate everyone who has a reservation.

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. You can also purchase a parks pass in-person at Island Lake Conservation Area and Terra Cotta Conservation Area.

Park Amenities and Activities

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

Picnic and facility rentals are available for reservation.

To make a reservation, visit cvcparks.ca.

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:

  • Check our Park Advisories page for the latest updates
  • Review our Visitor Rules
  • Check out our Fishing Regulations if you’re planning to drop a line
  • Make your reservations online (Cheltenham Badlands and Belfountain Conservation Area)

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.

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.

 

 

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